The recent facts in the US remind me a situation that I use to face when I was a child. When playing soccer and the “owner of the soccer ball” team started to lose the game, he would grab the ball and call it “game over”.
This is what we have been watching in the past few days. The US elections can be illustrated as: a spoiled child with no respect for his adversaries, the judge, and the game itself. He simply does not accept that the other team has more players (voters) than his own team and he would/will lose!
There was indication through open statements that if results were unfavorable, Trump would question and refuse the elections outcome. But he is going beyond that when trying to interrupt the votes counting and motivating his followers and supporters to claim for “game over” before it is confirmed that he lost it.
Is this the leader (?) of the self-proclaimed most democratic nation in the planet?
What might happen…
If Trump succeed in interrupting the game or win the elections though (i)legal actions, a dangerous precedent opens the door for democratic nations across the globe to follow similar pattern in their future elections… votes are not going to be recognized as the main democracy tool… in other words, democracy as we know is condemned to disappear.
Yes – I am looking at the 2022 Brazil elections. The current president – Bolsonaro – has already copied Trump by questioning the previous elections that elected him, with no proof or evidence. A calculated action that anticipates a future disrespect with the elections results, if not favourable to him.
If justice and democracy prevail and Biden is elected with the majority of votes (according to the US electoral system), we are at risk of seeing a civil rupture in the United States.
If that happens, a financial crisis in the USA would affect the whole world. But that’s not all! A civil crisis in the USA legitimates that violent and uncivilized supporters (of losing candidates) challenge elections results in other democracies.
Yes – once again, I am concerned with Brazil. Bolsonaro’s supporters are in favour of access to firearms by all citizens and they always respond to debates and discussions with personal, direct, and violent actions.
A recipe for disaster
Whatever the outcome, add to the cauldron all (wrong) values that both presidents (Trump and Bolsonaro) have allowed to expand in the countries: xenophobia, homophobia, disrespect to women, racism, disrespect to press and civil society (non-profits). We will be at the edge of a civil war.
It is important to remind that both democracies are proud to pose as example for the world (USA) and Latin America (Brazil). What does it make these two countries different from autocratic nations whose leaders use brutal force or administrative/judicial artifices with no evidence to remain in their post?
Population is divided. Different side’s individuals can’t talk to each other anymore… and simply do not accept the victory of the opposing team. Relatives cut relations… neighbours attack each other… the social relations are ruined. Our understanding of what is a society is as threatened as much as the democracy definition.
The after-match BBQ
When my left knee still allowed me to play soccer, I remember the fighting, hustle, shouting, and even cursing in the field during the match. But when the judge whistled and call it a goal… it was a goal. And the scoreboard numbers were always accepted by all players.
When the match was over, we had a BBQ waiting (for both teams) to celebrate and fraternize. We shared tables, laughs, and talked about our lives. After all, another week (4 years) of hard work would start in the next day… and we would see each other again on the next weekend for another match (elections).
I would like to feel a little more optimistic… but the scenes that unfold makes me believe that the ball owner prefers to poke it rather than losing the game… and he is followed by his team that support and shares the same (wrong) values… they are furious and carry guns.
It looks like ain’t gonna be a BBQ.