Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.
Professor of Sociology
I had been watching news all week about the early voting for the crucial American Presidential elections on November 3rd. I saw TV images of long lines of voters standing six feet apart going sometimes miles or kilometers around street blocks in many cities and towns. Some people were reporting standing in line for eight hours to cast their vote.
About thirty million Americans of the possible total of about 134 million voters had already voted in the early voting by last week. Some had voted by mailing or posting their ballots. But the President and Republicans are so desperate to win re-election that the Post Office was messed up in June this year. Some Post Office boxes were removed, large mail automatic processing machines were removed from Post offices, and the Post Office mail or letter carriers were ordered to slow down mail delivery. Since many people especially Democrats were going to vote by mail because of the Corona Virus pandemic, these measures were going to severely delay or disrupt the delivery of the filled election ballots causing Trump and the Republicans to win re-election. The President has been making wild false statements that voting by mail was going to cause wide spread fraud in the elections. There is no proof of voter fraud as many States like California have safely conducted mail voting for decades. The bad news made me panic. I did not want my vote not to count on Election Day if I was unable to vote that day due to overcrowding. So I decided to go and vote last Saturday on a non-work day.
The previous evening, I went to the park and exercised since all the gyms are Covert-19 super spreaders and have been closed. In the morning, I packed lunch, took two spare masks, charged my cell phone lining up my favorite music. I drove 23 Kms to the closest town of Harrisonburg population of 54,000. I arrived ready to face voting obstacles at the Rockingham Country early voting precinct. There was no line. I went inside and voted in less than ten minutes.
But much as I feel good that I voted, I and millions of other Americans have this very deep fear. The country is very divided and we fear there might be violence on election day next Tuesday November 3rd. I have witnessed many elections for the last 40 years in this country. I have never seen this much tension over elections with actual threats of violence breaking out on election day and the days that follow. There have been fears that after being defeated in the elections, the President might refuse to leave office or the White House as he has already broken most of the rules of his office over the last 4 years.
The tensions, divisions, and now more than 225 thousand Americans dead from Corona virus started on July 16 2015. This is the day when Donald Trump declared his candidacy for President of the United States as a member of the Republican Party. He started by saying Mexican immigrants were criminals, rapists and drug dealers. He bullied over 17 other Republican candidates and won the nomination. For months, he falsely claimed President Obama was born in Kenya and was not an American. There were so many terrible things he said as a candidate that I, and most Americans believed he would never win the General Election. Once he won in November 2016, the nation was stunned. We knew we were in for the next 4 years of hell as a nation. I remember the following week being at a meeting in November 2016 of over 200 people in room as a member of the newly created Indivisible Movement that was going to resist Trump for the next four years. These 4 years have been dark days in America.
George Washington is the founding father and the first President. Since 1797, there have been 45 Presidents. Trump is among the worst. He won his election very narrowly in 2016 engaging in political chicanery as Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million. Press reports today say he has told more than twenty thousand lies.
The entire Congress and Senate are so corrupted that when the President was impeached last year, the Senate refused to remove him from office. The entire federal bureaucracy is headed by his inept political sycophants as most experts have been side lined or forced out of government. The President demands that all his government appointees have personal loyalty to him and not the Constitution of the United States. The President has fomented disunity among the 28 European countries who are members of NATO. These are not just my words or views, as there are now over a dozen books and too many former patriotic government employees disclosing how corruption, criminality, and immorality are so rampart. This great American nation has been lucky many times during it’s over 200 years since the first President George Washington in 1797. Tashupika; we are suffering here in America. We are all just praying we will be lucky during next Tuesday Presidential elections.