An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
COULD THERE HAVE BEEN a worse possible outcome from last night’s U.S. election?
The civil unrest has already begun. What everyone had dreamed of — a clear, indisputable result — instead became a nightmare that could last for days and weeks and, if Donald Trump prevails, even for years.
There’s still a good chance this awful man will be defeated — even though he claims victory — but even if Joe Biden completes a comeback as all those mail-in ballots come into play, the pain caused by Trump will linger. Already, before the vote counting has finished, Trump has declared that the election was a “fraud.”
There’s a distinct irony in that, since he has done his best to rig the election in his own favour. He’ll do everything he can to invalidate votes that are still being counted today and in the next few days.
How is it possible that a lying, racist, incompetent, corrupt man who insults women, the handicapped, soldiers, immigrants, healthcare experts and anyone he disagrees with not have been sent packing in humiliating defeat?
Where did the much-vaunted polling that was supposed to be so much better than 2016 go wrong?
And, can the U.S. itself survive in its current form?
What’s the message from this result? Is the U.S. a country in which bullies are admired? Where jobs are more important than principle? A place that doesn’t give a damn about the pandemic?
What will happen with abortion rights, healthcare, the environment and so many other crucial issues?
So many questions. Many had been hoping they’d be shouting today the final lines of that most famous of speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1963, words from an old spiritual: “Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty, free at last.”
There’s still hope that day is coming but we may not yet be free of Donald Trump and his loathsome legacy.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.