America has never been in this type of mess, so report the United States media. The world’s leading democracy, say the media, has also never been this disunited in the history of representative democracy that America has championed over the past few centuries. There have regrettably been allegations and counter allegations of misdeeds involving top government functionaries, the media and Americans generally. A sitting president declares himself the reelected candidate, usurping the powers of the electoral institution charged with that responsibility. Allegations of fake news fly between the president and the media. There is tension and an incredible high level of mistrust. People say it has never been so bad and the current situation is capable of eroding United States’ credibility as the world’s foremost democracy.
THE INFLUENCE OF AMERICA Those who wonder why the whole world’s focus must be on the electoral contest must engage in introspection. Kofi Annan, the seventh UN Secretary-General spoke about the influence of the United States several times during his very impressive career. Annan, in the Truman Presidential Library speech noted that: ‘’Today the actions of one state can often have a decisive effect on the lives of people in other states. As President Truman said, “the responsibility of the great states is to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world.” He showed what can be achieved when the US assumes that responsibility. ‘’And still today, none of our global institutions can accomplish much when the United States remains aloof. ‘’But when it is fully engaged, the sky’s the limit.’’ That is one good reason why the whole world needs to encourage the United States to continue to engage positively with the rest of humanity and the United Nations, as well as remain a shining example for democratic conducts.
PATRIOTISM & THE SITUATION IN AMERICA In all societies, the objective of people functioning in representative democracies is the promotion of the public good. Every so often, those who govern speak about the public interest or public good. What constitutes public good or public interest? The citizens of any democratic nation are at the core of democracy. The public good, therefore, refers to that which serves the interest of not one, two or three people; but that of the entire populace. The 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt spoke about the responsibility of the ordinary American in an essay entitled “Lincoln and Free Speech” that was originally published in Metropolitan Magazine in May 1918. He asserted that: “The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. ‘’He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. ‘’To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ‘’Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.’’
WHAT CONSTITUTES PUBLIC GOOD? Patriotism is linked with the common good. Adlai Stevenson once said, “Patriotism puts country ahead of self; a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” Famous playwright, George Bernard Shaw: “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.’’ Elsewhere, Shaw stated that: ‘’Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.’’ Governments, in representative democracies comprise three arms: Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary. It is the duty of the Legislature to make laws for good governance, while the Executive arm is charged with the responsibility of implementation. The third arm, the Judiciary, deals with the interpretation of laws. This means that the three arms of government, though independent of each other, have their roles and duties clearly defined. The media is reckoned with as the ‘’watchdogs’’ of the society that serve as moral checks for the three arms of Government, on behalf of the citizenry. And the US press is effectively playing its role as the ‘’Fourth Estate of the Realm’’ through largely unbiased coverage and commentaries on the exercise.
MORE SECRET SERVICE AGENTS FOR BIDEN …. FOX News reports that ‘’Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will receive a beefed-up Secret Service detail starting today Friday as the candidates wait for the presidential race to be called, according to a report. As of early Friday, several crucial battleground states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada, remained undecided as mail-in ballots continued to be counted. The agents will be sent to the Chase Center on the Riverfront convention center in Wilmington, Delaware., where Biden’s team has been headquartered since the campaign ended and were planning for a possible major speech later Friday, ‘’The Washington Post reported, citing two sources familiar with the situation. Biden has had Secret Service protection since March when he emerged as the likely Democratic nominee but his ramped-up security will still be less than if he were the president-elect, the Post reported.’’
THE MEDIA AS A POTENT FORCE: Donald John Trump, the 45th and current President of the United States appears to be the most vilified head of government in the world today in spite of the enormous powers he wields as the most powerful personality in the world as conferred on him by the influence of the United States in global politics. Trump has complained innumerable times about false reports and fake news; like is being witnessed in the developing world. But as powerful as Donald Trump is, he bows to superior forces as exemplified by the Constitution of the United States. Unlike it could occur in the developing world, it is very sure that both President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden, will eventually bow to the Constitution of the United States. Americans respect the Constitution from where public officers draw legitimacy. In the past few weeks, apprehensive commentators have wondered if President Donald Trump would quit at the expiration of his tenure. This follows a body language that suggests Trump’s unwillingness to quit on account of his allegations that the Presidential elections would be compromised.
AN ATTEMPT TO POSTPONE ELECTION RESISTED .. A very powerful editorial published by the New York Times titled: ‘Trump, Please Quit Before You’re Fired’ pointed out, among others that: ‘’Delaying the Nov. 3 election is not only illegal, it would be unprecedented. Lincoln held the regular election during the Civil War, and Franklin Roosevelt faced voters on time during World War II’’ The newspaper concluded that: ‘’. If Trump refuses to leave on January 20, 2021, ‘’this weary nation would be rewarded with a presidential perp walk, as Trump is escorted out of the White House and into infamy by the military police’’
PUBLIC OPINION: Another tabloid, UnHerd in its report aggregates opinions and submitted that: ‘’The conclusion reached by all these disparate folk, from liberal Democrats, through ‘never Trump’ Republicans, into the base itself, is that Donald Trump is going to fight a dirty election, perhaps even contest the result, but eventually lose and lose big.’’ Events over time have proven that elections in the United States could be enmeshed in controversies. It is patently clearer that those who govern all over the world are the same in terms of wielding power and having mixed feelings about quitting office. A foremost Nigerian statesman, Obafemi Awolowo in his convocation address at the University of Ife submitted that: “Power enslaves: absolute power enslaves absolutely. I have made a diligent search through history, and I have not come across a single instance where a regime, be it military or civilian, which has come to power at its own will and has wielded that power for many years, has found it easy to extricate itself from the sweet uses and shackles of power, and then hand it to others outside its own hierarchy. It is possible, quite possible, that my search is not exhaustive and so, I stand to be corrected.”
AMERICA –A BASTION OF DEMOCRACY Globally, decent political leadership emphasizes respect for the rule of law, discipline, viable political visions, and the sustenance of sanity in the polity. United States democratic dispensations that draw legitimacy from the support of the generality of the masses, that demand at all times respect the principles of accountability, probity, integrity, and transparency. All these factors encourage the citizenry to hold the government accountable to the people. Democracy is the fulcrum upon which the fulfillment of collective aspirations of Americans rests. The convention in the United States is that if a President fails, it is the entire American populace that fails. This is why the citizenry always rise up against poor leadership, poor political culture and pattern of governance, ignorance, and lack of commitment to set goals and aspirations, as well as insensitivity to the feelings of the masses.
MOUNTING CONCERNS What happens to democracy in Africa if an illegal tenure elongation happens in the United States that I usually refer to as ‘’the land of human rights?’’ What becomes of governance in the developing world if America is unable to conduct a fool-proof election? The above are good posers that warrant the focus of the whole world that must be concerned about political developments in the United States, just like America shows concern about democracy and good governance in the developing world. John Campbell, a former United States ambassador to Nigeria had in a March 5, 2005, discussion paper (personal opinion) issued by the National Intelligence Council spoken of dire consequences for Nigeria’s democracy around 2015, given the level of heating up of the polity by politicians. It is possible that this alert held the nation back from retrogression. Could the latest series of outbursts on rigging elections and attendant reactions not amount to heating up America’s political space?
TENURE ELONGATION? The last two general elections held in Nigeria attracted the concerns of Western powers — the United States and British governments threatened to deny visas and impose other penalties on anyone who attempts to encourage or use violence to influence Nigeria’s elections. In separate statements from their embassies in Abuja, both nations expressed strong support for free, fair, and peaceful elections in Nigeria. The statements declared that Nigerians should be able to choose their leaders in an environment free from hate speech and insecurity. The Washington Post, in a July 22 report noted that President Donald Trump had continued to assault the integrity of election results before the polls: ‘’With less than four months before the election, Trump’s escalating attacks on the security of mail-in ballots and his refusal again this week to reassure the country that he would abide by the voters’ will have added urgency to long-simmering concerns among scholars and his critics about the lengths he could go to hold on to power.’’
WHICH WAY FORWARD God has made it possible for reverse evangelism to be recorded with Nigeria now exporting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Western nations. Nigeria usually hosted U.S Secretaries of State a few days to its general elections conveying messages from the US President while embassies issue veiled threats of withdrawal of travelling visas from politicians who broke electoral rules. Because the effect of a failed election in the United States means a lot to the whole world, particularly Nigeria and Africa, we could perhaps also send the opposite number of the United States Secretary of State, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to Nigerian President, Commander-in-Chief with the same type of messages conveyed by presidential emissaries from the U.S whenever elections approached. Nigeria could also warn American politicians starting from President Trump that Nigeria will withdraw her travelling visas from American politicians who foment trouble in the United States.
EXPORT NIGERIA’S PEACE COMMITTEE TO THE UNITED STATES Nigeria could then go a step further by ensuring that the two contestants – President Donald Trump and Vice-President Joe R. Biden Jnr sign PEACE ACCORDS and commitments not to misbehave before, during, and after the November Presidential poll in the United States. Nigeria could also export on loan to the United States, the Abdulsalami Abubakar Peace Committee to ensure that the election holds peacefully. This is the type of issue an adage describes as ‘’When a big problem floors a powerful personality, smaller problems will have the opportunity of riding on the powerful’’ Those suggestions are merely written to invite the attention of the United States to its role as the foremost democracy in the world that is copied by the developing world, particularly those that practice Federalism. America should continue to show the way for proper democratic conduct.
NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT: THE WINNER WILL BE SWORN IN & THE LOSER WILL CONCEDE DEFEAT: United States is not Africa or any developing nation that could be ridden anyhow. Fred Kaplan, writing in Slate newspapers analyzes exactly what would happen should a defeated Donald Trump refuse to quit the White House for the incoming President. Americans obey the Constitution to the letter, and institutions abide by the provisions of the Constitution rigidly.
TERM OF A US EXPIRES AT NOON 20TH JANUARY: ‘’On the dot of noon, the nuclear codes, which currently allow Trump to order and authenticate a nuclear attack, expire. The officer who has been following him around everywhere with the “football”—which, contrary to popular belief, is not a button or a palm print but rather a book filled with various launch codes—leaves. If Trump and whatever lackeys stay with him prevent the officer from leaving, another officer, holding a back-up ”football”, would join Joe Biden at the inauguration ceremony. By the same token, the entire U.S. military establishment will pivot away from ex-President Trump and salute President Biden.’’
MILITARY WILL REFUSE ORDERS BUT OBEY THE U.S CONSTITUTION: It continues: ‘’The principle of civilian control is hammered into American officers from the time they’re cadets—and the 20th Amendment of the Constitution states, “The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January”—no ifs, ands, or buts. If Trump orders the military to do anything, they will refuse his order. If any officers obey his order—say, to circle the White House to keep him in power—they would certainly be tried and convicted on charges of mutiny and sedition and they would know this before taking the leap. Meanwhile, the Secret Service will abandon Trump, as they do every president whose term is up, except for a small detail assigned to protect him and his family for the rest of their lives.
Overseas, foreign leaders will cut off relations with the U.S. ambassadors in their capitals and await instructions from Biden or his acting Secretary of State. Meanwhile, Biden’s acting Attorney General will have drawn up arrest warrants for Donald J. Trump and anyone who remains at his side on charges—at minimum—of criminal trespassing. If Trump calls on the armed forces or militias or the nation’s sheriffs to come to defend him, he might also be charged with incitement or insurrection.’’
GIVEN the way and manner the United States that is the world’s foremost democracy operates and its rigidity in following the constitution and upholding human rights, either Trump or Biden will emerge November 2020. And my dream that the US Constitution and the people’s desires will prevail will come true. It is either continuity by Donald Trump or another US President Joe Biden comes into the White House January 20, 2021. America is too sophisticated for any pranks.
God bless the United States of America.