Old-time values of empathy, kindness, compassion, and emotional intelligence still reign supreme as evidenced in the results of the 2020 US Presidential Elections, and it’s a huge relief. I couldn’t have dared to bet that Trump would lose. Scratch that. I expected Trump to win. I had been jolted by the outcome of the 2016 elections because I had been certain Hilary Clinton would take the day. As far as I was concerned, the odds were stacked against her rival. Donald Trump was supposed to be the long-shot candidate whose braggadocio and xenophobia irked Americans enough to shun him, let alone the allegations of sexual abuse and gross disregard for decorum. I thought these were more foreboding than the exaggerated sins of leaked emails. But I was wrong.
Americans made their decision, one the majority appear to rue four years later.
I am pleasantly surprised that Joe Biden won. It inspires hope that there’s still some semblance of appreciation for decency in our world. Does it mean Biden will be best the president America ever had or even surpass the modest achievements of Donald Trump? No. But it at least translates to someone who is proven to be far more decorous and presidential in posture occupying the highest office in the land, and that’s something to cheer about.
Trump was an aberration. The outlier in the long list of former presidents who had the pedigree and temperament to hold a political office as critical as the Office of the President of the United States of America. And this is not to suggest that any of his predecessors were saints. Far from it.
One does not have to dig too deep before highlighting the flaws of these men, but at least, they were not uncouth neither did anyone of them refer to African countries as “shithole countries”.
When some of us express our relief at the ouster of personalities like Trump from sensitive posts, it’s because we understand the far-reaching impact his continued stay in office would have on society. The multiplier effect of a cantankerous Commander in Chief cannot be quantified.
As the world continues to shrink and more and more people have the opportunity to collaborate and relate outside geographical boundaries, it is safe to say what affects one, affects all. Gone are the days when unrest in Asia or America meant little to Africa and vice-versa.
These days, a wrong move by one far-flung nation could mean economic hardship for another. This explains the keen interest people the world over had in the affairs of the US as they went through the process of choosing their next leader. One who arguably becomes the next leader of the free world.
When a superpower like America puts a foot wrong, many nations fall into the ditch, and that’s why the choice of Biden has people who will probably never step foot on American soil rejoicing.
Moreover, the outcome of the elections is not just epochal but also reassuring.
Some of us were of the impression that the more quarrelsome and disagreeable a person is, the higher the number of people who would support and defend their disposition to life. It’s called self-expression. They are just expressing themselves and it has no bearing on their potential for good or evil.
The narrative these days is that people who are kind, compassionate or gentle in speech are pretenders. They had to be hiding something, while personalities like Trump are the “real” ones who are authentic in speech and deed. They are only loathed or criticised because others fail to look beyond the tantrums they throw “once in a while”.
The election results are proof that at some point, everyone just wants peace. No normal human abhors peace and the presence of one who embodies calm. Only troubled humans respond negatively to kindness and compassion. We all desire to be respected, loved even, and never want to be judged on account of skin colour, background, gender or sexual orientation.
And when one who should be the poster boy for unification represents the very opposite of that, then we have a collective problem on our hands.
The outcome of the US elections fuels hopes that things may not be as bad as we think they are. It is an indication that in the long run, the values that seem to have been badly eroded are still worth holding onto.