is the sort of thing you would expect from a banana republic and could
leave America in chaos for weeks. If the extra ballots, mistaken votes and
recount still leave the election hung, it will have to wait for postal
votes to be counted. The simplest thing might be for President Clinton to
be asked to stay on for another four years. But the way things are in the
States at the moment, the letter asking him to do that would probably get
lost in the post.’
the sleepy hairdresser from Curepe singed my scalp for the second time I
asked her irritably, why she HAD to stay up all night to watch the latest
on the US election.
I must! Who they vote affect everything from the products I sell, to the
video games my grandchildren play, to the sneakers them young boys kill
for.” Smart woman.
thought of reports out of Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia, Rwanda, where even the
most left-wing journalists have admitted the American troops were keeping
bloodshed at bay. I thought of people of splintered Russia, of Israel, of
has got to be among the closest watched elections in history. America has
had a stake in the world for so long that no wonder, the world feels
it’s got a stake in America.
the deep recesses of Ramallah to Curepe, people have been glued to their
TV and computer screens to watch the Americans make fools of themselves on
their own networks. For the second time in as many years, the Americans
have found their cultural and imperial infiltration worldwide through
television and Internet is a double-edged sword.
first time, the world watched their embarrassed president descend to the
depths of making public announcements such as “I did not have sex with
that woman - Miss Lewinsky,” only to be proved a liar.
time we get to watch the soap opera of their jumbled election count, court
action, confusing ballots, which shows an election machinery that is
incompetent at best, corrupt at worst, despite the use of the most
sophisticated computers in the world.
as in the aftermath of Clinton’s sex fiasco, their election is being
ridiculed around the world. Africa’s Independent quoted a German analyst
calling the Electoral College “idiotic.” The Cuban newspaper Granma
dripped with sarcasm saying, while nobody was sure who had won the
presidency, it was clear a dead man had won a senate seat in Missouri. The
Times of London wrote contemptuously: “What can be described only as an
absolute charade of an election will have given hope to dictatorships
won’t know the winner of the grand prize of the Western world till late
this week, after the electoral recount is done. Even so, in the bizarre
display of how democracy can turn into a monster that feeds upon itself,
the new president will have won with the tiniest sliver of votes, and
without the authority, moral or otherwise, to be able to speak for his
entire country, since he is representative of only half.
must be a Trinidadian since there are lessons in here somewhere for us as
we prepare to go to the polls on December 11. History always tells us
events themselves are unimportant, it’s our reaction to them that is.
initial reaction to the two presidential candidates was they were both
terrible. I disliked Gore because he is smug, flash and ruthlessly
self-serving, disloyal, riding on Clinton’s policies without wanting his
to be tarnished by his presence. Bush was less terrible because he was
less false. A right-wing father figure, but his appeal over Gore was still
his relative humility, so I (now) am ashamed to admit I chose him. As the
election fiasco unfolded, two things dawned upon me.
chose Bush like a Trinidadian - based on personality. I liked him better
and didn’t question his politics. This approach can prove to be fatal. I
came to this conclusion because some research yielded the following
information on Bush.
Bush the president will: