Kaieteur News – The more I listen to Donald Trump, the more I am convinced of two things. The first is that American democracy is facing its gravest crisis ever; and the second is that Trump was influenced by developments in Guyana between March and August 2020.
Donald Trump was President of the United States when the General and Regional Elections were held in Guyana on 2nd March 2020. He would have received weekly Monday briefings about the attempts to rig those elections. His advisors would have informed him, based on reports transmitted back to the United States by the media, the embassy and by the international election observers, of the shenanigans being employed to claim that there was fraud in the elections.
His then Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, came out publicly and called upon the Granger administration to step aside. He pulled no punches. Prior to this demand, he had imposed travel restrictions on unknown individuals who he said were undermining the electoral process. The Canadians and EU threatened to do the same but it is not clear if they ever blacklisted anyone.
Trump would have been thoroughly briefed about the claims of fraudulent elections in Guyana. And while neither he nor his advisors ever believed the contention that that dead and migrant people voted, it is my belief that he would have filed away those narrative in the back of his mind.
The United States elections were held a few months after Irfaan Ali was sworn into office. And realizing that he was about to lose power, it is my belief that Trump recalled what was being claimed in Guyana and tried to employ similar tactics by asking officials to misrepresent what was taking place in the United States.
Like some of the Opposition forces in Guyana, Trump is now claiming that the American elections of 2020 were rigged. Trump told his supporters recently that he competed twice for the Presidency and won twice and that malpractices conspired against him.
But this is not the first time that he has done this. Even when he won in 2016 against Hilary Clinton, he attributed Clinton’s strong but losing performance to immigrants voting illegally.
Trump’s conduct, even after the disastrous storming of the Capitol in January 2021, shows that he is not prepared to abandon the narrative of fraudulent elections and tragically millions of his supporters are prepared to parrot this incredibly discredited lie.
This scale on which this is taking place presents a serious crisis for US democracy. Even President Joe Biden was recently forced to admit the once unthinkable: that democracy cannot ever be taken for granted any longer.
Biden is calling on Americans to essentially make a choice between democracy and autocracy. He is suggesting that if the Republicans dominate this week’s mid-term elections, it would be a victory for autocratic rule.
Such an appeal would never have been conceivable prior to 2020. The fairness of elections in America has hardly ever been called into question. Now the conspiracy factory is churning out on mass scale falsehoods about electoral fraud.
Things have changed. America, once seen as the world’s leading democracy, is now in deep crisis. America’s right wing nationalists are behaving like the communists which they once viciously opposed.
But if the Republicans win this week’s mid-terms cannot be exclusively be credited to the rise of nationalism and right wing fanaticism. The Democrats must take some blame for the likely outcome. Biden has been unimaginative and listless, even at times, seemingly disconnected and fazed. The American people have been given enough incentive to move away from the Democratic Party.
America is going to find it difficult to speak with credibility to the rest of the world about democracy. When a US President can hint that it is democracy which is on trial in this week’s elections, then it is clear that the America is losing its standing when it comes to democracy.
All of this has been influenced, I believed, because of what took place in Guyana between March and August of 2020 when there was an attempt to rig the elections. What took place in America afterwards bears striking parallels to the Guyana experience.
Just as how tens of thousands of misguided Guyanese still peddle the line of rigged 2020 elections, so too there are millions of Americans prepared to shamelessly claim that the elections which brought Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to office were the result of electoral manipulation.
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