It may shock the readers who know me that I am asking this. Please hear me out.
There is a famous saying about communism. It does not matter if we can’t make everyone rich. We can make everyone poor and the result is the same. All are equal. I am only expanding this concept and substituting people with countries.
For long, everyone looked up to America. Land of opportunities. Everyone gets a fair share at striking it rich. It is democratic and every aspiring democratic nation can follow its foot steps – at least, we all believed this till the arrival of Mr. Trump at the altar sorry the White House.
I am taking the liberty to talk about American Election from a column written by Mr. Art Buchwald many years ago. He had urged that American President should be elected by people from all the countries not because it’s a powerful country but everyone’s life is somehow linked to what happens in USA. Excuse given let me proceed.
The First USA president election I followed was of Jimmy Carter. I am not sure whether this was the reason or like everyone in that era, I was also an admirer of JFK, I started supporting Democrats. So when Carter lost in 1980, I was upset and glad when Senior Mr. Bush lost in 1992. There are only Twelve US presidents who served only one full term and fourteen who served two full terms (except FDR who died when he was in his fourth term) and I am not including people who had not completed one full term or two full terms.
So from the day I started following US election only two presidents have served only one term Mr. Carter and Mr. Bush Sr. All others, Mr. Reagan, Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush Jr and the president I liked most Mr. Obama have all served two full terms. At 2 to 1, my personal odds favour Mr. Trump.
I would not have followed the current election but for my subscription to New York times which I did for getting an article of the London – Calcutta Bus journey.
Everyone who follows US election outside the USA and most of citizens of USA for that matter, will know the election for the President is not as simple as it may sound. People will vote for the president but the electoral college actually decides who becomes the president. Every fourth year, I try hard to figure out how this exactly happens but I am still not able to get on top of it after 8 attempts (one more attempt than Robert the Bruce). Just sample this, in the last 20 years no Republican president has won popular vote but managed to become President thanks to electoral college.
I have digressed too much. Sorry. I gather from what I have read so far, that Trump’s is most likely to lose but no one is certain. And he has assured that he will not quit gracefully. So I am assuming that Mr. Trump will hold on by going to court and the court is packed to the right or at least it will be when Mr. Trumps sues. So he will declare himself president and may follow his close friend Mr. Putin on how to extend this beyond the mandatory two terms.
A triumphant return for Mr. Trump?
So far, anywhere in the world, when the current incumbent loses the election and refuses to quit, some spokesperson from the great USA will say this is not acceptable. People’s mandate should be accepted and the person should leave. In future, from Syria to Sudan, from Azerbaijan to Angola, from Vietnam to Venezuela, when the current leader loses an election and still holds on to power he or she need not worry about a lecture from USA. These lectures to other countries, hopefully, will stop. Pot calling the kettle black etc. etc.
No elected leader or dictator for that matter needs to worry about hiding wealth or paying taxes on income or ill-gotten wealth. The media from west will think twice about bringing these cases to light. After all they could not do a damn about that in their own country, why worry about others?
Leaders who are going to face election, can start discrediting the whole process two years before without any proof. Mr. Modi can say he does not believe in Electronic Voting Machine and may not accept the result. Highly unlikely but I am just giving a clue to Mr. Modi.
It beats me how a president who is the head of Government can fault a process which is designed and administered by his/her own Government. But on the positive side, it gives hope to leaders all over the world. They can just appear on National Television or the equivalent of Fox News and declare, “I will accept the result only if I win!”
No developing nation needs to worry about Climate Change, Paris Accord or anything that works tirelessly for keeping the world safe for future generation. They can simply withdraw and blame all other nations for global warming. How exciting!
America has been the dream destination for immigrants. Indian Americans have excelled in all spheres except in sports. People like Ms. Indira Nooyi, Mr. Nadella and Mr. Pichai are exceptional leaders and would have risen to top even if they had stayed in India (may be a smaller canvas). India need not worry about loosing future Nooyis and Nadellas. Mr. Trump will make sure no one comes into America except perhaps Ms. Trump’s relatives. India can stop talking about ‘brain drain.’
Only Fox News and QAnon will survive. Inspired by this, Mr. Trump’s friend Mr. Modi can call in Republic TV everyday and talk to Mr. Arnab for hours. What media bias? Everyone is following the world’s most powerful man’s practices.
We will have more of Trever Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and host of others mocking Trump 24 X 7 not just on late night shows. So we can tune into these channels all the time. Biggest entertainment at free of cost. We need not watch Big Boss or other stupid entertainment programs. Mr. Trump’s tweets and the late night, early morning and mid afternoon shows will keep us entertained all the time.
We in India wanted our Democracy to be as good as the USA with all the checks and balances, limit to Prime Minister’s terms etc. We can now claim, even after the worst blot on our democracy (emergency) when the election happened, the transfer of power happened smoothly and flawlessly. So we will have gained some moral high ground.
There’s a Trevor Noah show which highlights how close Mr. Trump is to Mr. Idi Amin, the erstwhile dictator of Uganda or other African dictators. If you had not seen it, you can watch it here.
If you think this is all just a rattle by Mr. Trump consider this. This is the country where a mobile phone is made (OK at least designed) wherein you pack a billion transistors (yes billion) in a A14 bionic chip, the size of your finger nail. But they have not figured out, how to make a flawless fifty dollar voting machine which punches hole exactly opposite to the candidate’s name. If they had done that in 2004, Mr. Gore would have probably won and the history of the world in the 21st century would have been different.
Once, every nation wanted to be America. In future everyone can claim they are as good (or as bad) as USA. Not a bad result after all.