Trinis eye US election

SEVERAL people who Newsday spoke to felt TT and the region would be better off if Tuesday’s US presidential election is won by Democrat nominee Joe Biden unseating US President Donald Trump. Newsday spoke to activist Khafra Kambon, communication specialist Denise Demming and US-based politics lecturer Rock Hermon Hackshaw.

However, evangelist Candice Moe of Candice Moe Ministries disagreed.

Hackshaw blamed Trump’s alleged “volatility and polarising manner” for business places in some areas of the US boarding up in preparation for possible unrest on voting day.

“Biden is going to win. It is not even a contest.”

However, he said the election was not beyond unrest coming from Trump supporters.

“If Trump wins, TT could be in for another round of deportees coming back home – mass deportations.”

Hackshaw said Trump wants to invade Venezuela, but as the TT Government has not supported such a stance, Trump might act punitively towards TT and still invade Venezuela.

“TT should be investing in a Biden victory,” he urged.

Asked if TT nationals in the US and other Caribbean people there were really keen to vote, Hackshaw said yes and pointed out the huge turnout in last June’s election in Brooklyn of congresswoman Yvette Clarke. He said that turnout foresees things to come on Tuesday.

“Caribbean people will vote with Biden.”

Kambon told Newsday that basic US foreign policy, such as towards TT, would likely stay unaffected by the election result.

“That will continue but be somewhat less reckless,” he anticipated of foreign policy should Biden win.

“For the sake of both the people of the US and a number of countries on the outside, if there is a change of government in the US it would be better.”

Kambon said the world is now a dangerous place, having been made worse by Trump.

He said Trump had courted and reawakened an anti-black racism in the US.

“So there is an imminent danger to people who look like me in the US.”

Regarding this region, he said Trump had made things very hard for Cuba over the past four years.

As for Venezuela, he did not know if a Biden presidency would go easier on the Maduro government, even as he recalled speculation that Trump might have tried to invade Venezuela last month.

“The elections are too close to call.” He was surprised how much support Trump has, despite many globally seeing him as a buffoon.

“I don’t expect a fundamental change under Biden, but the world might become a less dangerous place.”

While powerful interests might constrain Biden in reining-in the US energy sector, Kambon was glad at least Biden has different sensibilities.

He said Trump has represented "a backward step for race relations."

Asked whether Biden was too old to stand for election, Kambon said, “Age doesn’t bother me, because you may get a black woman as president.”

Pressed about Biden’s age, he said almost anyone was a preferable choice to Trump as president.

Demming lamented that Trump’s tone in office has been "strident and non-inclusive" and said this has filtered down into US society.

“Powerful people in the US who are not supportive of non-whites are now seen to be emboldened.”

Demming lamented that Trump’s communications via new media were often condensed, with him then leaving open the communication loop for too long, leaving the listener to have to figure it all out.

“Further, he has been conditioned by being a businessman who is operating on the edge all the time. In the US, you want more stability, more engagement with the people and more structure.”

As an example of the latter, she cited his war of words with immunologist Dr Anthony Fauci which, she lamented, had heightened the number of covid19 cases.

Newsday asked if Trump looked like a stronger personality than Biden.

“My observation from the debates is that I’d prefer the authenticity and warmth of Biden to the scatter-shot boldness of Trump.

“Trump’s gutsiness is over the edge.” Saying she preferred a leader with honesty, openness and love, she cited New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“She exudes warmth and depth and feeling and understanding, and she is taking hard decisions. Leadership doesn’t have to be strident, in your face, and authoritarian. So I’d go with Biden rather than Trump.”

She said if Trump is re-elected, he will have a free hand to go further than he did in certain aspects in his first term, as he would not face a third election where he might need to appease some voters.

“If he has unbridled power for the next four years, it’ll be worse.”

Moe however argued that policy trumps personality.

“The US election, as any and every other, has very little to do with the figureheads on the ballot.”

She hoped voters would vote for righteous policies in line with the belief in the existence of the spiritual realm.

“The policies of heaven must become the deciding factor for the voter.

“The premise, then, is to vote, not necessarily for the personality but for the stances that are in keeping with biblical standards.”

Moe said the enactment of godly laws and policies bring heavenly blessings, citing scripture, “Everyone rejoices when the lovers of God flourish, but the people groan when the wicked rise to power.” (Proverbs 29:2).


"Trinis eye US election"

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