AMERICAN citizens have been protesting against the election of Donald Trump as president.
Had a similar occurrence happened in some third world country, it would be termed post-electoral violence or disturbance?
Foreign-sponsored civic organisations would be calling for Trump to step down and listen to the demands of the majority.
Surveys prior to the elections had indicated Hillary Clinton as the national favourite: So who voted for Trump?
According to the state websites and contrary to the general American belief, the electorate do not vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
Instead, at a general election, the public in each state elects the ‘electors’, who are pledged to vote for a party’s candidate on behalf of all the citizens in their respective states.
These electors belong to a ‘Group of 538’ who are called the Electoral College.
Each state has a certain number of Electoral College votes allocated to them.
California has 55, New York (29), Texas (38), Florida (29), Illinois (20) and Pennsylvania (20).
These have the biggest impact on the result of the presidential election.
Under a ‘winner-take-all’ system which is used by all states except Maine and Nebraska, the state’s electors are awarded to the candidates with the most votes in that state.
The first candidate to reach an absolute majority of 270 electors of the 538 automatically wins the general election.
Because the ballot lists the names of the presidential nominees and not the names of the electors, many people mistakenly believe they have the last say in who gets into office.
The electors officially cast their vote in December.
Because no federal law forces an elector to vote for the candidate pledged for, it is possible, but rare, for an elector to become faithless.
A ‘faithless elector’ is one who casts an electoral vote for someone other than the candidate of the party that they pledged to vote for or does not vote for anyone.
Because the winner takes all electors in each state, it is then possible for a candidate to have more votes in the general election, but less Electoral College votes.
This has happened on four occasions in American history, including the George Bush and Al Gore elections of 2000.
Bush lost the popular vote by over
500 000, but won the Electoral College vote by receiving 271 electors yet Al Gore got 267.
Trump’s recent victory is the fifth time the Electoral College has had the last say.
He lost the popular vote, but was the first to get the required 270 electors.
When founding fathers/ancestors forged the American nation, they had their ideals and principles, which they believed had to be protected at all costs.
It was the belief of the ‘Framers of the American Constitution’ that: “The office seeks the man, not the man the office.”
To uphold their values, they needed to ensure that the man who would take office would not trample their founding ideals.
They were fearful that a well-spoken, but not well-intentioned individual could flatter the people, win their support and subvert principles of the federation.
Yes, they simply did not trust the majority to make the right decision.
They hoped that a secondary body, such as the Electoral College, would not be susceptible to such attempts at manipulation.
So the Electoral College was enacted in 1776 by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence.
The Electoral College was inspired by the College of Cardinals, which elects the Catholic pope.
This system allowed a group of people to select the pope on behalf of the believers regardless of his unpopularity or unfamiliarity.
In the US today, it is this type of arrangement that makes it possible to win the popular vote and lose the electoral vote.
This system assures that US stays ‘safe’ and protects her sovereignty and interests.
The US, however, as we have seen in history and today, does not believe that other nations can use the same discretion in deciding what is good for them.
They do not allow policy makers from other nations to use the same ‘intuition’ that the Electoral College has in their own country.
There are many contradictions on our ‘big brother’s’ stance on democracy.
Where it suits them, they advocate ‘dominant minorities’.
They impose gay rights on populations whose majority has refused to accept, understand or embrace them.
In Zimbabwe, they have imposed sanctions on the black majority, in support of the white minority that was forced to give back stolen land to the black majority.
The US Government sponsors civic society across Africa to monitor and maintain a status quo that benefits them and other ‘powerful’ nations that support them.
In Zimbabwe, it was such civic society in 2000 that distorted and misinformed the public about the referendum meant to take land from the minority and give it to the majority with no compensation.
‘Vote No!’ became the slogan of many who had no idea that in 1995, the British had sadistically announced that they owed black Zimbabweans nothing.
Forgetting that after the European so-called ‘Second World War’, the British Empire awarded its faithful war veterans land in the colonies, including Zimbabwe.
Overnight, the former black owners of the land were put in lorries without compensation and dumped in the middle of nowhere to make way for the new white landlords.
Meanwhile, the black veterans of the same war, who had helped the British fight a war that had nothing to do with them, would be insultingly given watches or bicycles.
Some of these black veterans even became victims of the land dispositions that benefitted their white comrades-in-arms.
Decades later, the British would declare they owed them nothing.
Using their own version of democracy, together with their allies, the Americans, demonised the redistribution of land to the landless black majority.
They hypocritically claimed that taking the land without compensation was a trampling of human rights.
In the end, the ignorant and misinformed majority went on to vote ‘No’ to the referendum.
In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi was accused by the misinformed ‘majority’ of being an undemocratic dictator and NATO came in to militarily ‘rescue’ the nation from their ‘tyrant leader’ and we had Hillary Clinton giggling in an interview and insensitively announcing: “We came, we saw, he died.”
Today the state of Libya testifies to how misinformed that majority was.
They are asking themselves if they were not better-off under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi.
All over the world the Americans have called leaders ‘dictators’ and ‘tyrants’ for ‘overriding majority will’.
We, the rest of the world have blindly received their warped version of democracy under the assumption that the Americans know what is right.
We have not scrutinised this received knowledge to see if it is right for our different contexts.
The rest of the world has no qualms with the Electoral College or America overriding popular will.
It is their business and the rest of the world should be allowed the same sovereignty and Zimbabwe is not an exception.