It came down to five states—Nevada (six votes), Arizona (11), North Carolina (15), Georgia (16), and Pennsylvania (20)—but, in the end, the American electorate and American democracy repudiated the exhausting President. In one of the irrepressible ironies of irony-filled 2020, the man whom he regarded as the worst candidate ever put forward for the presidency polled the most votes ever by any presidential candidate and trumped him out of office and so out of the toxic launchpad of policies, insults, and supremacist foolishness that had tainted, hopefully not irretrievably, the image of America for most Americans at home and abroad, as well as for many of the rest of us in the world.
From Wednesday to Friday (I wrote this on Friday morning), when Biden’s share of the electoral college votes amounted to 253 and his to 213, it was clear that the five states mentioned above would be the real ‘battleground states’—marginal seats, in our political nomenclature—at least in this round of presidential elections. The margins were razor-thin—less than two per cent in all the cases—even though there were still (hundreds of) thousands of votes to be counted. But the counts were trending in favour of Biden, largely because of three factors: a hugely disproportionate share of the mail-in vote being Democratic; most of the election-day voters coming from Democratic strongholds; and the counting of mail-in votes in North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania occurring after that of the election-day turnout.
By Thursday night, he had realised that the die had been incontrovertibly cast, so he took to crying foul—without providing evidence. The voting and counting processes were flawed, he charged. Incredibly, mail-in votes were being counted, especially in Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania where, suddenly, dramatically, Biden began cutting his lead down and threatened to overhaul it! He was going to file multiple lawsuits in the courts.
He, the incumbent American president, stood up before the world when it was clear he was losing and, without adducing evidence other than the specious evidence of mail-in voting, shamelessly told us that the American election process was corrupt.
Back....! As the Jamaican comedian, Oliver Samuels would say.
But, as I write, the count is proceeding apace and Biden has come up trumps. Biden has held his lead in Arizona, has run him down in Pennsylvania, and overtaken him in the others except North Carolina.
Now, at 213, he can win, that is, get to 270, if the electorate gives him all five of the battleground states or all except Arizona. But I look at my midmorning TV screen where CNN is broadcasting that Biden is leading in all except North Carolina—and with thousands of votes still to count.
He’s gone, without a doubt. Biden has triumphed! Even if you take out the ‘I’ and the ‘h’ from ‘triumphed’, Biden has trumped him!
Barring, of course, the courts where he has fled for redemption.
There are big, big contrasts between the two men. Where Biden says, ‘All votes must be counted; be patient’, he says, ‘Stop the counting!’ Where Biden says, There’s systemic racism against non-White peoples in America that we must fight to root out, he says, The brown, black, and yellow peoples never had it so good in the economy on steroids that I, and not Barack, built. Where Biden says, We must show empathy with our fellow African-American citizens on the murder by white police of black men and women, he says, Let’s bring in the federal troops to stop the protests of these looters. Where Biden says, We should have warned America about the dangers of the novel coronavirus since February when he had the data and advice, thereby saving thousands of lives, he says, It is what it is. Where Biden says, Wear masks as a matter of course when you are out in public and practice social distancing, he says, Use your discretion where masking and social distancing are concerned; you are free men and women. Where Biden says, Let’s pursue green, renewable energies, he says, Reliance on energy from oil, gas, and water is sufficient. Where Biden says, Let’s promote multiculturalism and give the world credible leadership, he says, No, let’s promote bilateralism instead; let’s make America great again—again.
It’s now late morning on Friday. Biden is still leading in all the target states, except North Carolina, but there are still many votes to count. And he is leading by over four million in the popular vote. He’s on the ‘verge of the presidency’, according to CNN. But his rival is not prepared to concede and has even said so to some of his foreign allies.
I cannot see how a process that involves Republicans, Democrats, independents, and adjudicators as witnesses and agents, in a system that has worked election after election, could this year somehow be corrupt and fraudulent. I cannot see how it could be corrupt and fraudulent when in these elections it has kept the Republicans in control of the Senate but rejected them in the White House.
The American electorate has spoken unambiguously. And if I had been able to vote, I would have done my part to divest America’s executive branch of the Government of this exhausting man.