November 3rd did not turn up to be a clear day after all. It was not quite twenty-twenty! Well this is my take. Let me share it.
From the get go, reality was in conflict with Donald Trump’s fondest cravings--an unhampered, weakly-opposed second term for him. Behaviorally, on the other hand, he feared he was going to lose the election, what with the preponderance of prognostications prophesying a Biden walk-away. The polling expectations not fully materializing, however, partisan patience began to fray. Votes personally cast on Election D-Day had to be tallied ahead of US Postal Service-dependent mail-in votes. That is when the fun began.
Sobriety dictates that delay in counting does not amount to fraud but a careful count means and leads to accuracy. Such is the quintessential foundation of an effectively operating democracy.
As of the moment of this report, Joe Biden is shy just 6 electoral votes to make it 270, the number that seals his Presidency, by the rules of the Electoral College electing the American President. Joe Biden has 264 against Donald Trump’s lumbering 214. Still without finality, but there is impending totality trending towards Biden. The US and the world await final and certified tally from Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, where the winds stream stongly Bidenward. That final count will come, with contested finality.
While Joe Biden is inching his way to the White House, Donald Trump has began to pursue legal actions with claims of fraud, completely without substance of proof, in a vainglorious swagger to keep his pathway to a second term still open. Ominous though, the reality is that only losers complain and file complaints.
It is a safe assumption that within hours, the unofficial consolidated media reports will announce a Joe Biden victory. By then, Joe’s Job Number One begins.
The reunification of a profoundly pained and divided nation. It is a Trumpian legacy. Although nothing quite like the Trump moral and political disaster has ever befallen the United States before, America will survive as she did the Civil War that ended in 1865.
As the counting commenced, the results of the 2020 Presidential elections did not seem optically clear. Not quite ‘twenty-twenty,’ as I opined. However, early on, there already appeared to be an uncontested loser. An entity who was not on the ballot, a loser who was not a candidate. It was the polling industry, losing much esteem as prognostications of a landslide vanished. Jokes even began to appear disparaging or simply making fun of pollsters. Aficionados and political junkies must upgrade their antlers in order to to catch up with advent of social media. Norms and methods of political pulse taking and its interpretations do require a reset and rebooting. Next time around, pollsters have much ground to recover.
History will certainly record this election in descriptive terms. ‘Cliff-hanger.’ ‘Nail-biting.’ ‘Roller-coaster.’ ‘Hanging in the balance.’ ‘Unlike any other.” For one thing, with a 66% voting participation, the 2020 Presidential Elections produced the biggest turnout in a century.
Let us be wary of a little caution, though. Joe Biden’s victory does not end the Trumpian nightmare of America. Donald Trump is President until January 20, 2021. Imagine the residual mischief he is still capable of! Donald Trump behaving like a termagant fishwife is capable of the most egregious political skullduggeries. Donald’s niece, Mary L. Trump’s tell-all book “Too Much and Never Enough,” is the best guide to fully understand his psychosis. I will not be surprised should physical restraint be strongly recommended. You know, straight jacket in a padded cell!
On the plus side, Joe Biden exudes sobriety and poise, sincerity, grace, kindness and empathy. I am confident that, gaffes and all, Joe has a calming effect upon the national psyche. Life can be honestly enjoyed again.
There is quite a stretch of possibility that Tantrums ala Trump will ridiculously worsen. But not to worry, American justice and humor are sure antidotes. I pray temperance will once more reign.
Fortunate Fil-Am: Topping the list of successful Fil-Am candidates in the US 2020 is 42-year-old Todd Gloria who was elected Mayor of San Diego, California’s second largest city. San Diego is the 8th largest City in the US with a population of 1.5 million and is the homeport of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
According to his campaign material, Mayor-Elect Gloria is a native San Diegan, ‘a quarter Filipino,’ third generation Fil-Am. A Democrat, he served in the City Council and is a member of the California State Assembly representing the 78th Assembly District encompassing San Diego.
(Personally, I found his claim of being just a ‘quarter Filipino’ somewhat curious. I found a photograph of his father while researching info beyond his campaign slogan of being “a son of a maid and a gardener.” His father, Phil Gloria, looked 100% Pinoy to me.)
Hard Luck Fil-Am: Shucks! Gina Ortiz Jones lost again! And this time more dismally. Her second defeat could be pointed out as additional evidence of Texas staunchly refusing to turn “Blue.” We remember she was the Democratic Party candidate for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in the 2018 elections. Perhaps encouraged by a loss of less than a thousand votes against incumbent Republican Will Hurd, an African American, plus the fact that Hurd decided not to seek reelection, Gina decided to run anew. Her Republican opponent Tony Gonzales, also a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, beat Gina by 12,000 votes.
Silent Winner: Marijuana! Evidently crowded out of media frontpage, eclipsed by a boisterous Presidential elections dominated by Trumpian thunder, Marijuana or Cannabis silently breezed through with a clean sweep of every marijuana-related proposition in the 2020 ballot.
Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota just joined the rest of the US where earlier legislation have already fully legalized use of marijuana in a variety of usage. These are combinations of medicinal and/or recreational/adult-use only as well as an almost nationwide decriminalization.
There is a common thread invoked in all these loosening up on punitive restrictions: prohibitions and enforcement of bans do more harm than criminalizing the use of marijuana. (In this regard, do the Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice have an idea of the number of jail detainees awaiting judicial proceedings who are held due to marijuana infractions?)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tomas 'Buddy' Gomez III began his professional media career in ABS-CBN's (previously Chronicle Broadcasting Network) DZQL-Radio Reloj in 1957, after which he spent 25 years with the Ayala Group.
In 1986, the then Pres. Cory Aquino appointed him Consul General to Hawaii and later served as her Press Secretary.
During the Ramos administration, he was chairman and president of state-owned IBC-13 Network.
After government service, he became an ‘OFW’ in the U.S., working as front-desk clerk and then assistant general manager of a hotel. He also worked as a furniture and antique restoration specialist.
He is now retired and lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.