The State Department tends to punish those countries that do not meet democratic “standards” or transparency in their elections. But the president appears to be doing the same.
If Donald Trump were president of Wakanda on the eve of elections, that country would have received several warnings from the US State Department. on the need for elections to be free and fair and all games will play according to the rules.
But what is playing by the rules if the parties do not accept an orderly transfer of command?
For example, during two recent midterm state elections in southern Nigeria, the U.S. embassy threatened to impose visa restrictions on candidates, agents or security officials who impede the electoral process. It was not an empty threat, and the political elite obsessed with taxpayer-paid foreign travel knew it.
Yet while that welcome US index finger wagged in the direction of Nigerian politicians, the other four fingers of the same hand pointed toward the US, where its own president, Trump, has threatened not to accept the result of the November 3 elections if he loses.
In 2016 he made the same threat saying that he would not accept the result of the competition against Hillary Clinton because the system was “fixed”. We may never know what would have happened since he won.
At the time of writing, Facebook planned to apply strict rules to avoid the chaos of 2016 and the possibility of a repeat of what happened in Cambodia in 2018, where the prime minister was accused of buying fake sympathizers to increase their electoral chances: a clear indication of how low the country that prides itself on its outstanding democratic values has fallen.
By this date, next week, the US presidential elections will be over. But there are several reasons why even days after them, voters may still not know for sure whether Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden won.
One reason is that some aspects of the labyrinthine voting and recount process in the US are being questioned in court. giving to states and counties considerable latitude in the management of elections. While some states may still be counting mail-in ballots (and this COVID-19 year they will be significantly more numerous), others, especially Republican states, want the mail-in ballot counting to end before or on Election Day. .
However, the main reason this choice is problematic is that Trump has darkly hinted that he would not accept the result if he loses. He said he could not guarantee an orderly transfer of power if the outcome was not in his favor. The Trump ranks listen and the violent elements in their midst wait. America is facing a dark winter of post-election chaos.
Trump’s threat not to accept defeat is the main fuel that stokes the flames. However, what he is doing himself and what is being done on his behalf is far worse. In several US states, especially those where the congresswoman is most critical, Republican governors are still desperately trying to go to court to prevent mail-in ballots from being counted past Election Day, even where the law does It allows.
The Supreme Court intervened with a precarious 4-4 ruling, but the matter is not yet resolved. The inauguration of conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett in that court on Monday could tip the final decision on vote-by-mail, a momentous issue in a COVID-19 year and beyond.
In other states, various methods of voter exclusion, including strict identification requirements and last-minute manipulative maneuvers, have become everyday ruses.
The matter does not end there. Concern about harassment in the campaign, suspicion that the National Guard may redeploy as it did after the murder of George Floyd and the rush to confirm Judge Barrett on the eve of elections seem to be all ingredients in a dictator’s cookbook.
But he does not care. Trump has said over and over again that “the system is rigged,” that he suspects serious mail ballot fraud, that China is helping the Democratic Party compromise the system, that he is the victim of an Obama spy ring, all without just a shred of proof. However, you seem determined to use self-help if the results don’t turn out your way.
At first it was like a joke. But because he doesn’t distinguish between opinion and fact, Trump has taught the world to consider him for his jokes. He allows himself to make fiction, which he conceives with a unique talent, hard to believe.
That he insisted – until last week – that he would not accept an orderly handover of power if he loses the election is terrifying. Makes Guinea, where President Alpha Condé just imposed a third term yours to the country, look like a model of democracy.