by Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV
The United States repeatedly has the worst elections of all the Western core democracies.
That’s not “Iranian meddling” but Harvard and their 2019 Electoral Integrity Index. They ranked US elections just 57th in the world.
One wonders how much further they will fall in this year’s ranking?
If we honestly ask if American elections have integrity I think everyone has the same answer, and it’s as serious as a heart-attack:
You don’t want to go there. American elections cannot withstand serious scrutiny.
So if President Donald Trump actually wants a second term, it’s likely there for the taking. He’ll have to ride out weeks of personal stress even worse than the televised Watergate hearings in 1973, but he won’t come out like Richard Nixon just for insisting that American elections finally get looked at honestly.
I don’t think that Trump has engaged in vote fraud, but I must report that half of the US still believes that Democrats did. Mail-in balloting has unnecessarily stressed an already corruption-filled system, per Harvard. In a democracy it does not matter if perceptions of voter fraud run on partisan lines – if such perceptions are widespread they simply must be resolved satisfactorily.
Nobody has tested the integrity of US elections in recent memory. Not in even in 2000, when they rushed to install George W. Bush 37 days after the election. We later found that an unforgivable 14% of African-American votes had been questionably rejected in they key state of Florida.
Americans shouldn’t forget things like that, and many don’t. Many just permanently stay away from elections and encourage others to do the same.
Democrats want to pin all the blame for the current election mistrust on Trump, but such a view acts as if the world began in 2016.
This is an election system which could not stand serious scrutiny, and now it is cracking at the end of this year of unprecedented pressures.
Half the country is begging Trump: stress it further.
His supporters are asking Trump to be a martyr and refuse to concede
This is an absolutely history-making moment in time, and this hard-news journalist never resorts to such hyperbole: This is the moment when Donald Trump can choose between going down in history likely portrayed as a buffoon, or he can take on the establishment “Swamp” by forcing it to investigate allegations of structural corruption by elites.
It’s a stunning idea, and unthinkable to half the country here, who is being swamped with the insistence that Joe Biden is the president-elect even though the votes counting is still ongoing, even though he leads by a mere average of 21,000 votes over four states, and in an election which has been tainted by corruption accusations for months.
What they are applying as pressure is the cynical power of “inevitability”. Maybe Trump really did get fewer votes, so why put the nation through stress?
That common view should be rejected in favor of the martyrs who came before, such as the disenfranchised Black Floridians of 2000. And how long can honest reckonings be put off without destroying faith in the system? Destroyed faith in society has a price, and America has a problem with honest talk, but this is truly la chance for redemption.
That’s why Joe Biden’s early declaration was so reckless, self-interested and – in the worst sense of the word – Trumpian. Biden’s promised redemption is already false – he did not have faith in allowing the US system to play out.
It seems like a difficult task, but I contend that Trump has everything going for him – he has the one thing nobody really has, which is time. All Trump has to do is let the process play out: if he lost fairly, he will garner much credit for standing up for the common voter; if he wins the presidency, he’s a hero who reversed the tide.
Trump’s Achilles’ heel is that he cannot do this with dignity, but when every other election this century has been disputed, one person’s foolish behavior isn’t the main issue for American society anymore.
There really is no rush: a new president doesn’t take over until January 20. But imperialists abhor a vacuum. They don’t know who is in charge and, thus who to follow, and thus who to plot to destroy. Imperialist cultures are exceptional and distorted like this in ways smaller countries can’t imagine.
This, “We’re the slave-master,” pride is also why a small country can take their time and get an election right, but the US is rushing to judgement no matter how many it disenfranchises. They know they have to constantly project total strength: every day they do not is another day the colonised will question the slave-master’s true power and abilities.
What is this 21st century “Trumpism” really? We are about to finally find out.
‘Trumpism’ isn’t the name of a proper political party – will one be found or is it over already?
Certainly, like the Yellow Vests in France, it was immediately and falsely slammed as xenophobic. That’s now a pathetic, false and boring argument: Trump won a greater percentage of minority votes than any Republican in 60 years. So we don’t really know what it is, due to this propaganda.
The reality is that their opposition to 1%-benefiting globalisation, their demand for patriotic sovereignty and their opposition to 1%-benefiting “universal values” are the reasons for the corporate-mainstream vilification of both.
If Trump gives up the adjective of “Trumpian” Republican will no longer be necessary because the world’s oldest duopoly sucks the revolutionary spirit out of every third-party movement. I doubt you have heard of the “Bull Moose Party”, even though Teddy Roosevelt is on Mount Rushmore?
If Trump really stands his ground right “Trumpian” could shed its perceptions of xenophobia and be associated with a spirit of rigour and democratic egalitarianism. It would be a coup against the 1%’s efforts, and to win that Trump has to get absolutely crucified in the next three months.
We’ve never known just how serious about politics Trump is, no?
He used to be a reality-show star, but he has certainly put in a lot of work for four years. Key senators have said that Trump is within his rights to demand recounts and transparency. Now we will find out how fighting he is willing to do – he still has a ton of power.
Trump been vilified for four years, and revolutionaries are made, not born. Surely he is aware of the problems which those without power cannot possibly stand up to? He who is more aware is necessarily more responsible.
But how deep is Trump’s Trumpism?
It’s very easy to cynically say that Trump will only ever be a tool of the pro-Zionist camp, or that he is only in this to make money, or that all he seeks is fame or even infamy. Maybe all this is quite true, and he’s gone further than he ever imagined or even wanted to?
It doesn’t matter to me: The better point to make is that Trumpism is very real to its supporters. Like the Yellow Vests they actually do have genuine virtues. They see corruption and they want it out, but all they have is one vote each – they are not the president.
Right now is the time if Trump shows he has learned how to be a public servant after four years, or if perhaps many are right to conclude that “democracy with American characteristics” is incapable of producing humble, selfless public servants, and only corrupt, self-interested ones.
If Americans cannot have a transparent election they cannot possibly achieve even moderate progress: This is country which has opposed revolutionary tactics for 200+ years – everyone here is committed to reformism of the American system. If Trump does not make a stand here – if he bows to the forces of cynical inevitability – Trumpism remains half a personality cult, half a brand name and certainly half-finished at best. Trumpism will have made a point, but not a real impact.
The average American should not be punished – they have a right to free and transparent elections, and the whole world knows that they don’t get them. 2020 is yet another recent example. It seems unfortunate that it is up to Donald Trump to help him and her, but it is too early to judge: he may yet get added onto Mount Rushmore, as he hopes.
What is certain one week after their initial vote is that the US has had a vote, and a winner (two of them) – there is only one logical conclusion: concession/inauguration.
Until that happens it will be a steadily-increasing drip of chaotic news. That is not a bad thing for the world, nor one to be feared by Americans, but it is intensely feared by their 1%.
4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight – November 7, 2020
US partitioned by 2 presidents: worst-case election scenario realized – November 9, 2020
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.