Tony Ademiluyi writes that the American President-Elect has run a good race
The then 13 colonies of the United States rose up in arms in unison against the brutal tyranny of King George III who was then the English monarch. George Washington was given the onerous responsibility of leading the army against the world’s most powerful army at the time as well as navy since the defeat of the Spanish armada in 1588 under the leadership of Queen Elizabeth I.
The King’s words after the unexpected defeat was that the ‘world has turned upside down.’ One of George Washington’s comrade-in-arms, Alexander Hamilton offered to crown the former as the first King of the United States but the war general declined opting for the entrenchment of the Presidential System of Government. A constitutional conference soon followed and the Electoral College and Popular Vote were established with the former being the accepted path to the Presidency. The constitution drafters wanted the president’s popularity to be spread across the nation and so they gave each state votes according to the size of their population to ensure that only popular candidates emerged as presidents.
The 2020 presidential election would go down in history as the most bitter and divisive in the United States. Also it had the highest turnout as Joe Biden, former Vice President under Barack Obama won with over 74 million votes while the incumbent President Donald Trump lost with slightly over 70 million votes. The mail voting also saw over 100 million votes as Biden encouraged it as a way to curtail the spread of the dreaded corona virus as social distancing was taken care of through the system of electronic voting.
Donald Trump opposed it as he made crude remarks of the virus, which he himself caught, not being an issue not minding the fact that over 10 million of his countrymen and over 200,000 of them were infected and died as a result of it. This was most insensitive, but what do you expect from the rambunctious Trump who most times behaves like a Bull in a China’s shop? His capacity for gaffes is only equaled by that of Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh.
In fairness to Trump he made considerable progress in the economy and security. Millions of jobs were created in his tenure and the ethnic minorities were integrated into the workforce. His countrymen also trusted him a lot on security as the country didn’t witness any terrorist attack on the home soil. He was even nominated for the Nobel peace prize for his role in getting North Korea to shelve its nuclear war weapons production. He ensured that many jobs lost to cheaper labour in China were brought back as he slammed heavy sanctions on American companies that exported jobs abroad in order to save cost. He ensured that the Chinese Tik Tok was courted by an American company as a buyer and as at the time of writing this Oracle has been identified as the preferred purchaser for the social media network.
All these gains were however eroded in one fell swoop as a result of the corona virus which emerged from Wuhan, China. Most Americans believed that he didn’t act fast enough to prevent the spread of it in their country. He was warned against it late last year but the abrasive Trump dismissed it with the wave of the hand as a mere flu that would go away soon. He was caught napping. In the beginning of the year it became a pandemic and Trump showed the lack of capacity to handle it effectively. He even spurned a conspiracy theory as he opined that the World Health Organization colluded with China to make it diffuse to Uncle Sam. He pulled the US out of the WHO in retaliation. Millions of Americans lost their jobs as the country went into a lockdown and palliatives had to be shared to the citizens and the most economically vulnerable. He himself and the First Lady even caught the virus and his theory of the use of hydroxychloroquine fell flat on his face. The reason why he pushed for the reopening of the economy was that he feared losing at the polls as the economy was his sturdiest weapon.
Joe Biden is a veteran politician who got elected into the US Senate at the young age of 29 and remained there for 47 years. This is his third shot at the Presidency having lost in 1988 and 2008. He appealed largely to the working class whites who were tired of Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ 2016 campaign slogan that was at best a cover up for deep-rooted racism. He also appealed to the blacks, Hispanics since he is a practicing Roman Catholic as well as the Asians. He appealed to the women by nominating Kamala Harris to be his running mate as well as the blacks and Asians as she is a cross-breed of both nationalities. Many of these ethnic minorities were alarmed at the fact that Trump was taking away what made America great through his nauseating racist immigration policies. They were sad that Trump was dividing families in the name of immigration, blocking the best brains from entering the country under the auspices of ‘countries with travel bans’, making healthcare out of the reach of the hardworking folks as well as his plan to build a wall to take the country back to the gory days of the Iron Curtain which set the world aback by centuries.
Former President Barack Obama also campaigned aggressively for Biden to emerge victorious. Unlike in 2016 when he took the back seat as Hillary Clinton did not want him in the fore front, he was very active in the campaigns of his erstwhile vice-president. Obama’s approval rating while in office was very high and this naturally rubbed off on Biden who convinced Americans that he was a better alternative to Trump.
Biden won by 290 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 214 according to Associated Press (AP) and he made history as having the highest popular vote in the history of the country, thumping Obama’s 2008’s 69 million.
Despite the handwriting on the wall, Trump blatantly refused to congratulate Biden and has instead taken him to court. He has called the process a fraud and has called for a fresh recount of the votes. It may end up in the Supreme Court where he made a substantial input in the nominations of the Justices. It is interesting to see how this would end.
One thing is sure: the inauguration on January 20, 2021 must take place. The only time that the constitution wasn’t followed was during the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) who was elected four times because of World War II and the impossibility of conducting elections in the middle of the war.
Will Biden sustain his victory as America’s President-elect which is now reflected in his Twitter and Wikipedia status? Will Trump cause an upset in the courts?
Ademiluyi wrote from Lagos and edits www.thefederation.com.ng