COLUMN-OPINION: POWER POINT- Why a Biden presidency matters

Saturday 7am, November 7, 2020
Cases globally: 49,613,995:
Deaths: 1,247,700:
Recovered: 35,231,117.

Elizabeth Angsioco.

Why a Biden presidency matters “Trump is not good for democracy in the world.”

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I have never been this invested in American elections until now. Sure, I have always rooted for the Democrats because of their being generally more liberal than the Republicans. Prior to this 2020 election, the Clinton-Trump contest was the most exciting for me because it involved the opportunity for a woman to become the president of the United States. But I did not really follow the vote count as I am doing now.In fact, it is only recently that I studied the electoral system there. The concept of electoral college is confusing, and in my opinion, undemocratic. This was shown by the 2016 elections when Hilary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the electoral votes to Trump. In the end, it is the electoral college votes that are counted.Under the system, a certain number of electoral votes are assigned per state. Some states have more than the others. Thus, a candidate may be elected by more voters but still lose because the states where the votes came from have less electoral college votes.

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This happened to Hilary and Trump occupied the White House.As of this writing, the results of the Donald Trump – Joe Biden presidential race continues to be a cliffhanger with 264 electoral votes for Biden (Democrats) and 214 for Trump (Republicans). The magic number to win the majority of electoral votes is 270. This means that Biden is only six (6) votes away from the U.S. presidency.Several states have yet to finish the count but if Biden gets Georgia (16 electoral votes) or Florida (29 electoral votes), the game is over and Biden becomes the new president. Both states have reported 99 percent votes counted. It is possible that by the time this piece comes out, Biden has garnered the 270 votes he needs to win.However, it looks like Trump is not going to concede. First, he claimed victory even as the counting was far from over. Then he made a call to stop the count when he started to see that he can lose the elections as mailed-in votes were showing big numbers for Biden. He threatened to go to the Supreme Court to ask for the absentee votes count to be stopped. Then he alleged that the Democrats cheated. Reports have it that he has gone to Court to sue in three states.Worse, Trump supporters have started to call for violence. Facebook had to ban the pro-Trump Stop the Steal due to “worrying calls for violence from some members of the group.” For his part, Biden has launched the Biden Fight Fund, a fundraiser to fight Trump’s moves to derail the electoral count, and thus, the results. From all indications, this US election can drag for a while. After all, the inauguration will happen in January 2021 yet.

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Surely, the whole world is closely watching the events in the U.S. Why? Because as often said, when America sneezes, the world catches a cold. The US remains to be one of the most powerful countries and what happens there affects most, if not all countries—the Philippines definitely included.

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A Trump presidency will not be good for democracy in the world. It is anathema to human rights. It is overly conservative, racist, and sexist. His xenophobic policies has broken thousands of families, abused children who were forcibly separated from their parents, and ignited racism in white Americans that resulted in the murder, violence, abuse, and harassment of people of color no matter if they were American citizens.Trump’s four years in the White House showed that he is anti-human rights. Women’s rights, especially sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), as well as those of LGBTQIA+ persons have been progressively disrespected and curtailed. In fact, there have been at least twenty-six (26) complaints of sexual abuse, ranging from sexual harassment, sexual assault, to rape against Trump.

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These Trump policies are exported to the world as shown by US behavior in the United Nations and other international bodies. Naturally, they also affect the development programs done by the US in developing countries like the Philippines.The past years have shown the rise of conservatism, populism, misogyny, and fascist tendencies in politics the world over. This includes the election of Trump and here, Duterte. A victory by the democrats in the US will be a welcome change. It will be good not only for democracy, but also for human rights. Hopefully, it can inspire other democratic groups and spark a wave of change toward more progressive governance in more countries.It is also very important to note that a Biden presidency also means that the US will have its first woman vice-president in the person of Kamala Harris. This is huge for American women. The Biden-Harris tandem is expected to be more progressive. They will need to undo many of Trump’s policies and this will not be easy especially if the senate remains republican.I have no great expectations that a Biden presidency will take a huge interest in the Philippines but it will still be good for us especially as we approach the presidential elections in 2022. While it is not yet over, I am hoping that Joe Biden will be in the White [email protected] on Twitter Elizabeth Angsioco on Facebook


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