Instead of a beacon, US-styled election shows world chaos, rifts
Published: Jan 05, 2021 09:14 PM

Degradation in the Western system Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Although the US congressional joint session to count electoral votes is more of a routine affair, this year is different, given outgoing President Donald Trump's last-ditch efforts to challenge his Democratic rival Joe Biden's victory. 

On Wednesday when the joint session is to be held, nearly a quarter of Senate Republicans who echo Trump's claims of fraud will object to Biden's Electoral College win. Trump himself also called on his loyal supporters to come to downtown Washington D.C. to attend the "Stop the Steal" rally. Analysts believe Trump's effort is sure to fail in the Democratic-controlled House, and likely in the Senate. 

It has been two months since the 2020 US presidential election. An opinion piece in the New York Times once contended that America is the loser whoever wins the election. 

In a recent podcast, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that "America has always been a beacon" to those "who are oppressed and those living difficult lives around the world for years and years to come." But what the US has made the world see is the difficult lives the Americans live, and via the election, the US taught the world what chaos and rifts really mean instead of how the US sets an example as a beacon.

Election disputes have occurred in recent US history. A recount dispute in Florida's 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore led to a month-long series of legal battles. The dispute was solved through legal means, or in other words, rationality and compromise. 

But rationality and compromise were both absent from last November election. The world watched the election for fun as a bystander. At a time when the epidemic situation keeps worsening, the US is staging petty shows one after another. The year-long drama has exposed the entrenched division and polarization in US society.

The 2020 election year overlapped with the COVID-19 epidemic. The US, a country with the most resources in the world, is supposed to take on the political task and carry out stringent measures to fight the epidemic. Nonetheless, the rules and culture embedded in the US election do not encourage such responsibility. 

Instead, an election win trumps everything, and politicians attach more importance to bipartisan struggles than human lives. Two months on since the election, politicians rarely came up with effective measures to fight the epidemic, while being obsessed with infighting and criticizing China instead of reflecting upon themselves. 

The incumbent US administration has shown its hubris and arrogance in terms of fighting the epidemic and shirked its responsibilities to other countries. As more than 350,000 lives have been lost from the epidemic, the US is exercising capitalist tyranny with democracy and freedom as the cover. 

American-styled democracy is not the cure to make America great again, but the catalyst to expose the dark side of it. 

The US is like a super carrier which has sailed a long time. However, the components within are so torn and tattered that it can hardly withstand any major test. 

The problem is: Does the American captain have the will and ability to mend it?