By Matthew Nyanplu
Angry mobs, mainly pro Trump supporters today stormed the United States Capitol as Electoral College Votes are being counted to certify Democratic Joe Biden’s win of the US Elections of November 03, 2020. Mr Trump has not accepted defeat, and his supporters are hoping to take it by force.
These are some lessons we can learn from today’s scenes at the United States Capitol:
1.) If Mr Donald Trump was the President of a third world country, he would have out-rightly rigged the elections, and deployed state security forces to hold on to power. Today, the United States, the “greatest” nation of earth gets a feel of what dictators in third world countries do.
2.) Thankfully, we can trust the strength of US Institutions that this broad day power grab, no matter what, will not see the light of day. We believe the United States is strong enough to ensure that the will of its majority citizens who voted Joe Biden is respected. It says much about the difference between third world and consolidated democracies; and this is why leaders in third world countries often tamper with State Institutions. Because it is exactly at these moments that they endear state institutions to act towards their selfish ends, in violation of popular will. We trust the US will fend off this challenge and hopefully its citizens will NEVER toy with authoritarian tendencies.
3.) The third lesson is to us citizens from third world countries; we should also NOT toy with authoritarian and illiberal tendencies. As the United States situation shows to us, even the most sophisticated democracy is fragile, and democracy can be lost. As we vote, in spite of whatever disapproval of the political status quo, we should NEVER be tempted to try “non politicians” in political positions as high as the Presidency. The consequences are dire, most especially if such a figure shows gross disregard for established precedents and the most basic tenets of democracy, free expression. It can get worse as we see from the United States today. Mr Donald Trump is trying to superimpose himself on the people of the United States by stealing away the power that they took away from him on November 03, 2020. If this were a third world country, and Mr. Trump finding it difficult to get his will through, the military would have helped him, and we know too well the consequences, a civil war could be the ultimate end, and lives would be lost, maybe in the hundreds of thousands. Thankfully, we trust the United States is sophisticated for this, and we hope she fends this off and moves forward. The world is watching and the world looks to America for leadership of the free world.
Matthew Nyanplu is Student Chief Editor of this blog. He is pursuing a master of arts in international affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe.