As the world witness the just concluded American elections there is a lot of lessons to be learnt from the events that transpire all through the process.
It is important to state that the whole idea of Trumpism is far from over especially as democracy would continue to have its own challenges until things are done appropriately.
The world has witnessed series of leadership full of greed, dictatorship, authoritarians, populists and predators, and many leaders have not bathed themselves in glory which has somewhat rubbed off on the full meaning of democracy.
As many nations watch and see how things unfolds in the U.S., many anti-democrats would be laughing and looking for means to exploit the current situation of the Us as its own president Donald Trump rubbish the American elections and process of democracy as the highest fluke of the century.
Countries like China and Russia to the Middle East, anti-democrats laughed scornfully and looked for loopholes as the US president trashed his own country’s election, denouncing it as the heist of the century.
first of all, it was nice to see and affirm positively that Americans voted in huge numbers, exhibiting impressive faith in the democratic process. Joe Biden’s personal haul of about 74 million votes smashed Barack Obama’s record, set in 2008. Total turnout was put at 160 million, or 67%, the highest in 120 years.
To be candid, Biden’s lead of more than 4 million votes over Trump, in any other given country or circumstance, was enough to have won him the presidency – but in the US, with its own ways and constitution which relies on the Electoral College had to wait for their final verdict.
Worst still is the fact that the electoral process coincided with a period where the daily US cases covid-19 spiralled up to a 100,000 for the first time and the death toll surpassed 234,000.
Though there were protests on the elections, only few incidence of chaos was reported as the vote counts went on smoothly and the polls were better than that of 2016.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s countenance was calm and collected in the midst of the confusion and he called for patience, while sticking to facts alone. He stressed the importance of all votes irrespective of any party and that all must be collated.
Even though Biden is seen to be in huge support of a united American and all inclusive party administration as a way of healing for the nation, it’s still an obvious fact that the issue is far from over.
Just as Biden set the tone for the way forward, Trump was making conscious efforts to lowering it. He stated without evidence that they elections were being rigged as he was the clear victor and that a “sad group” of people (Democrats) was stealing the election. While the results continued to turn against him he vented his frustration by claiming malpractice and tried to put a stop to vote counts, while also launching series of legal suits
This reaction of Trump and his false electoral claims according to many observers, were dangerously irresponsible and unethical as it was obvious he wanted to cling to power by any means even if it meant rubbishing his opponents genuine victory.
It is certain that Trump would continue to cry foul no matter the outcome of the elections. With over 69 million voters on his side he would continue to take advantage of the chaos and and division this could bring just as he did with his former predecessors Obama and fellow contestants Hilary Clinton.
Trump is going to continue to cook up conspiracy theories, shameless lies and distortion, vote suppression, vexatious court actions, vilification of opponents, officials and independent media, tacit incitement to violence, abuse of power, illegal collusion with a hostile state, nepotism, corruption and self-glorification – this is Trump’s likely legacy, his gift to democracy in America.
Trump’s dictatorial leadership laid a bad precedence not only for Americans but for a watching world. leaders who despise the popular will, men such as Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Egypt’s Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, whom Trump called his “favourite dictator”. Perversely, he taunted democratically elected allies and friends.
Majority of the so called authoritarian hard men are laughing at him now, relishing US discord. Russia’s Vladimir Putin has plainly enjoyed having his own useful idiot in the White House in a relationship of mutual benefit.
The gleeful reaction of Vyacheslav Nikonov of the ruling United Russia party was instructive: “No matter who wins in court, half of Americans won’t consider him the legitimate president,” he said.
This sort of verdict also appeals to China as it spells an America’s decline. For them, Trump’s anti-China ravings are the product of weakness, not strength.
There is the fear and global perception that democracy isn’t working in the country that believes it invented it. This could in turn have an adverse negative effect on the genuine nature of democracy especially for African countries whose leaders are reluctant to vacate the seat of power and often manipulate the laws to favour their evil agendas.
This could also be the case in Europe, where democratic structures are besieged by cynicism and distrust. Most European governments privately wanted to see him removed. They hope the Biden presidency will bring a return to consensus-building on world issues generally. The only exception in all of these is Boris Johnson’s government, which relied on Trump’s help on Brexit, and conservative-led Poland and Hungary.
Europeans however, should be mindful in their jubilations and not think that Trump’s humbling signals the defeat of the ideas he portrays or democracy in America and the world at large. It rather, bring about the fact that the world’s fight for free and equal democratic society is unending. Trumpism is far from extinction.