November 17, 2020 10:25:18 AM
This election is historic in many ways. More than 150 million people voted, and there is only about a 5 million difference in votes between the winner and the loser. In addition, the difference in votes across multiple states continues to be "too close to call."
If this situation happened in my native country in South Asia - and many other parts of the world - violent and fatal riots would have erupted. In fact, according to one report, almost 75 percent of Americans feared post-election violence and riots in the United States. Fortunately to date, no casualty of human life has been reported due to sectarianism both pre- and post- U.S. elections. This, despite very inflammatory rhetoric by some public leaders.
As an American, I am proud and happy. We should all be!
Gun sales apparently broke records before the election. On top of that, Trump supporters were encouraged to "knock the crap" out of protesters with the promise that their legal fees for assault charges would be covered. Instead of taking these opportunities to get away with crime, Americans stayed more or less calm, waiting patiently for vote count updates. Some have been demonstrating rather passionately, but no violence so far. In this case, I'm proud of American civility. We have come a long way since the Jim Crow era.
Sometimes, however, the "keep calm and carry on" approach is not such a good thing. For example, it seems like the recent surge of COVID-19 cases has had no influence on most Americans! It is painful to think about how many lives America has lost compared to other countries. Renowned journalist Fareed Zakaria pointed out how some leading epidemiologists (who were trained in American universities) have managed to successfully contain COVID-19 in countries like Taiwan. All it took was for their government to be willing to listen to scientific experts from the beginning. As a result, they were able to minimize both loss of human lives and economic damage. Despite having many of the best minds and Nobel Prize winners, America's federal government has done little to fight this invisible war.
I wonder why there are no advertisements in any media just to promote wearing masks? Science tells us that masks don't kill, rather they can save lives.
I understand the media has been biased to some extent for the last few years. According to "Fact Checker's Database," our outgoing President has made 20,000 false or misleading claims until July 13, 2020. He has established himself a bit far from the truth. Even his statements sometimes stray from science. Maybe because of these statements, the overwhelming majority didn't believe his rhetoric of a fraud election.
Most of the old folks, including myself, did vote early either by mail or in person. Shouldn't we want our vote counted? Only one day after the election, how can one say, "stop counting"? I think this was totally undemocratic.
As Dispatch columnist, Mr. Slim Smith rightfully asked a better question in his Slimantics column: After four years let's ask, am I a better person? Not, am I better off than I was four years ago.
Columnist's note: I would like to thank my daughters for their input on this column.
Jiben Roy, a native of Bangladesh, teaches chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences at Mississippi University for Women. His email address is [email protected]
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