The whole world is glued on who will win the US elections. By Wednesday evening, we will know whether the Americans will re-elect President Donald Trump or have had enough of him and install Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Across the US, especially in major cities that have seen riots and protests this year, businesses have boarded up and the National Guards are on stand-by to ensure that any violence will be quelled immediately.
This scenario may not be farfetched as Trump has insinuated that he will question the legality of some mailed-in ballots and his defeat or that of Biden, might fuel unrest from their supporters.
It has been an interesting campaign for both, not to mention the much-talked about presidential debates that have been a rich material for comic stand-ups.
A report from Fil-Am journalist, Ryan Songalia, who was formerly with Rappler said that FiveThirtyEight, a site that analysis election outcomes, are predicting a Biden win based on 40,000 simulations of the election.
If that prediction is correct, then Trump will be the US president in recent history who will only serve for one term. The last one was George Bush Sr. who served as president from 1989-1993 and who was also a Republican like Trump.
Trump losing the presidency is also very believable after recent polls showed his popularity has dropped after a series of COVID fiasco and the racism rioting that spread throughout the US early this year.
That is one of the reasons why this hotly-contested election prompted businesses to close and board-up their façade because reactions from supporters of both camps can be unpredictable.
By now, most of the ballots are in by way of mail as some states opted to do away with automated polling places due to the pandemic. The US elections, unlike ours, are counted by way of electoral votes from the Electoral College and not by popular voting or individual casting of votes.
This method of course has been criticized, especially in terms of percentage votes, proportionate to the population of the state. As in the case of the Trump win in 2016 where he got the majority vote from 538 electors yet popular voting showed Hillary Clinton had more individual votes.
Some results have become predictable because states are either strongly identified as Republican or Democratic and will vote that way, except for some swing states which have been the focus of many campaign trails.
Either way, if Trump or Biden will be elected president, both will be among the oldest presidents to serve the US with Trump at 74 while Biden will be 78 by the time they will be inaugurated by January 2021.
So why are we interested in the US elections? Because apart from the fact that Filipino-Americans comprise the third largest group of minorities that vote in the US, our economy and that of the world, will be greatly affected by the outcome of the US elections.
The fact too, that in the present situation in our country where this administration is perceived to be very subservient to the Chinese government, we need the US as allies to protect our interests and rights.
Strangely, most of my Filipino-American friends are pro-Trump, even if they are residents in progressive states like California and New York. But a report from Rappler explained that among the reasons is not really because they share much love for Trump but because they uphold the views of the Republicans particularly on the issue of family, religion, and faith and this is very reflective of their original culture as Filipinos.
In that Rappler report, a group called Raise the FilAm Voice said, “We cherish our family, our freedom to succeed, and our faith. We are traditionally conservative. This is who we are. Our conservative values are what defines our identity, our strength, and our hard-earned prosperity in the US.”
It doesn’t matter to them that Trump has time and again been found to lie through his teeth in many of his statements, has poorly addressed the pandemic situation in the US and has issued so many anti-immigration statements.
To them, a Republican upholds the values they believe in and it doesn’t matter that Trump has one of the most colourful lives embroiled in many scandals. It doesn’t matter too that Trump has issued one of the strongest anti-immigrant policies ever, for as long as they are now safely cocooned in America with their citizenships or green cards, albeit even probably entering the US as illegal immigrants in the past.
But that is democracy. No matter how skewed their reasons are, each one has probably a personal agenda, rather than looking at the bigger picture, that prods them to vote that way.
I am personally rooting for Biden but as they say, que sera sera. How I wish we are holding our elections today as well. Waiting for 2022 is just agonizing under this administration.*