Anxious moments for democracy
When the world’s most powerful country finds itself engulfed in political turmoil over the process of electing a president, it is a concern. Not just for that country, but indeed for the world, and that includes us, right here in Bermuda.
The economic power of the United States and its military might require leadership of the highest standard in comprehending the enormous responsibility of managing internal and international affairs with skilled diplomacy that protects democracy and the values that ensure the people’s needs are highest on the agenda.
One would think in a General Election, when a candidate emerges victorious with a clear mandate from voters, the situation would be concluded and a pathway would open to move forward. That is basically what usually happens in small and large countries operating under democratic principles. What has happened in the United States with Donald Trump refusing to concede to former vice-president Joe Biden has created concern throughout the nation with regard to a smooth transition of political power.
Since Trump took office in 2016, divisive rumblings have been expanding in the nation at a time when over the years so many have paid with their lives to build a place that was inclusive for every citizen regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief or political persuasion. There has been considerable progress, since the civil war, which was fought mainly over having justice for all, including former slaves.
Democracy usually provides people with the opportunity to use the ballot box to choose who they prefer as a leader. That remains one of the golden principles of the democratic process. It is a process not available in countries with dictators in control. Under that system, to express an opinion that differs from dictatorial policy, one could be placing their life in danger.
There are countries today, where many people with good intentions have been permanently removed without fanfare. This is why democracy should never be taken for granted.
America is facing anxious moments, with Democrats and Republicans seemingly locked in confrontation over how to resolve a situation where the sitting president refuses to acknowledge that even with considerable support, the majority of the nation opted for Biden to be the next President of the United States.
A significant fact that cannot be overlooked is that Trump, before the election, planted a seed of mischief when he stated that the only way he could lose would be with massive fraud. So far, there has been no evidence of election fraud.
It is similar to someone saying the only way their house could burn is if someone puts a torch to it. Common sense dictates that such a view is preposterous. Accidents happen around the world every day.
It is more than stunning to think that during a pandemic that continues to sweep through much of America, claiming lives daily, there would be time to squabble over an election result that removes from office a president who will not accept the voice of the people.
They have spoken through the ballot box, and that is how democracy works. Trump, throughout his time in the White House, sent signals that he and he alone knew what was best for America.
He attacked the free press, often calling them fake news, and accused them of being rude for simply asking questions, which Is their professional duty. After a while, it became a situation where reporters began to wonder what would happen next.
The nation has little time to play political games because too much is at stake. People want stability and leadership that put their needs as top priority. The nation is far from out of the woods in tackling racial divisiveness, along with many other issues that have been issues for decades. However, America is a strong country and should be capable of moving forward, providing they are committed to doing it together.
Together meaning the best of the nation’s leaders — Democrats and Republicans — must merge their talents to serve the people and to protect democracy. That will be a challenge, but achieving success is never easy.