US Electoral College
President Donald Trump

By Carl Umegboro

THE 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, has not only shocked the world but demonstrated that upright and adverse characters exist across-the-board. Prior to the recent US presidential election, many, particularly Africans where ‘do-or-die’ politics and hostility after a loss thrive irrepressibly had believed that all white people are cultured.

Of course, many public officers in the United States, United Kingdom and other developed nations had distinguished themselves, voluntarily resigned their appointments without much ado when found wanting unlike in African countries where sit-tight syndrome has remained a norm for ages.

On account of such anomalies amongst politicians in developing nations, the outgoing US President Trump at a time had tagged Africa as ‘Shithole’. Justified by his unfolding true colours presently or not is a story for another day. Conversely, past US presidents like George Bush, Bill Clinton, Barak Obama and many others had during their respective tenures distinguished leadership and demonstrated that America has a high number of refined and elegant personalities.

Even when Hilary Clinton, presidential candidate of the Democratic Party then and wife of influential former US President, Bill won the general poll but lost afterwards at the Electoral College to Trump and his Republican Party, despite great influence and affluence, she conceded defeat, maintained decorum and moved on; didn’t even approach any court to reclaim the peoples mandate she was foully denied at the Electorate College. Clearly, this system is anti-democratic which may not survive if pursued at a Court of Justice. Why should a mandate by majority of citizens be overturned by few individuals that constitute the Electoral College?

In America, the Electoral College is a group of 538 presidential electors that “finally decide” after general ballots, with power to endorse or overturn the general election results. Trump cleverly leveraged on it to emerge US President after losing the general election, terribly against democratic norms. The two-step system is repugnant and bizarre. With it, it is pointless channeling energy to campaigns since few people ultimately decide. For instance, Americans never elected Trump as president. Yet, he was sworn-in.

Suffice to say Trump became US President through the back door – Electoral College. It, therefore, suggests that US democracy is a weird concept; a government by few individuals. The recent endorsement by the Electoral College will be considered on January 6 by the US Congress. And tirelessly, President Trump is manifestly, plotting to overturn the election, unprecedentedly through the Congress.

Inarguably, this arrangement is crazy and precarious, and should astutely be reviewed. It implies a desperate moneybag can buy US Presidency after losing general polls. This absurdity creates the unending scenes for Trump after losing convincingly, to behave as a ‘too-powerful monster’ and determinedly fight to overturn the outcome as he successfully did against Clinton previously.

Trump had challenged the election in 60 courts across the states in America and used his presidential power to secure recounts in some but, alas in futility, and finally thrown-out at the Supreme Court, yet, he still believes he could overrule the verdict of the apex court. This is abysmal and unacceptable.

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What is happening in America is a big shame. If a verdict of the Supreme Court could be snubbed, where is the concept of Rule of Law. It means the system is vulnerable.

Appallingly, Trump has unrelentingly continued to make baseless claims of electoral frauds to the extent that Twitter and other social media disclaims his statements every now and then to avoid misleading the public. Yet, he remains recalcitrant. Honestly, this is unfortunate and leaves much to be desired of a US President that most nations of the world look up to for guidance.

Indeed, Trump has made a history. It shows that Trump lacks core leadership qualities other than selfish interests and autocratic tendencies. Americans shouldn’t allow these blunders and nuisances to continue unabated or to metamorphose to further violence. Most terrible, Trump purportedly vowed not to vacate the White House for the incoming President on inauguration day. This can plunge the nation into a war. What a rebellion!

Arguably, Trump and his fellow Republicans may end up destroying the great feats past US leaders had put in place. As it stands, a clash is foreseeable on January 20 during or after Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The President-elect after his endorsement by the Electoral College remarkably reminded Trump and his cohorts that electoral mandate solely emanates from the people, and not imposed by politicians or attained by self-helps.

Obviously, Trump will go down in history as an undesirable denizen of the US White-House for deficiency in American character. A man that is arguably uncultured, cantankerous, unteachable and self-centered is unideal for public service let alone to occupy the revered office of a president, and the US White-House for that matter. Furthermore, Trump has fired scores of his principled appointees that unflinchingly disagreed on the baseless electoral-fraud claims thereby portraying himself as ‘too-desperate-for-power’. Obviously, these are ‘shithole’ traits.

For the incoming 46th US President, Biden, there’s a big work ahead. The highest level of hostility looms after inauguration. It is obvious that America under Trump has been taken aback vis-à-vis its cherished democratic values, setting a wrong precedent which must be addressed as soon as inaugurated in office. Instructively, the interferences; endorsement and ratification of Electoral College and Congress respectively on general polls outcomes should be reconsidered as it is anti-democratic. It flouts one-man, one-vote concept. Peoples’ votes must count.

Not even the developing countries Trump tagged shitholes have recorded such monumental nuisances after a Supreme Court’s verdict. Thus, if unchecked, they can be used by greedy politicians to continually create uproars in the polity. Above all, egoistic politicians in the developing nations may copy such irresponsible attitudes rather than seeing politics as friendly and intellectual pursuit for power. And the consequences are usually grievous. Goodluck, Mr. Biden.

Umegboro, a public affairs analyst and Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (United Kingdom), wrote via [email protected]

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