” Anger and Masks (a.m.) – Two Defining Factors in US General Election 2020 ” – October 29, 2020.

US general election 2020 is unique in its history. As a common man with no expertise in Political Science or practice of running a competitive organisation , I see this election between Good over Evil. I don’t really mean to be harsh or strong in my opinion. I have no stakes in this election, directly or indirectly, and I am always neutral.

US general election is the race between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

This is what I have come to understand following the media coverage, articles in print, the debates of both contestants in the preliminaries and finals, speeches of top politicians/surrogates of contestants specially in the last 7 or 20 days, and other reported events.

Political parties, the defining elements of representative democracy, have their colors and symbols. For the Republican Party, Red is the colour and Elephant stands as the symbol of hope ; For the Democratic Party, Blue is the colour and Donkey stands as the symbol of hope . These are used in campaigning and printed on ballot papers where voter has to make a mark for one while casting the vote.

Voters are people casting votes for their chosen candidate. Voting is an expression of the hope and desire of a person he/she has to choose.

There are only two factors, according to my commonsense, (though I wish I am wrong) that will decide the fate of the two candidates – prominent in their own ways and measures – 1. Anger, and 2. Masks ; a.m. for short.

1. Anger : This denotes the feeling that something has happened or someone has done something that one does not like. Here, in this context of the election, it refers to what President Donald Trump has done to spread COVID-19 as the opponents allege. The anger is not just passive, but open and assertive too as evidenced from the reactions of people and the polls.

Reasoning gets clouded when you are in anger ; blame spreads like wildfire ; makes one’s judgement clouded by personal whims.

Voting is not an accountable decision, rather it is subject to many factors and influences like emotion, bias, revenge, retribution, punitive, harsh without calling for any justification or evaluation in performance.

It is quite unlike business decisions where staff are engaged in detailed analysis of consequences of a decision and justifying that strongly with actions. There will not even be a single sight of questioning eyebrow raised by anyone in voting ; not any circumstances of providing a reason explaining the action except that it was “anger” that caused the action. There is little chance to take control of the situation and redirect the course it can take even with emergency measures. It has already embedded deeply among the people reaching a point of ‘no change’ ever. Anger is also amplified and magnified by media, print, common discussion courses, adding details to the faults, missteps, and wrongdoings raising the misery of the candidate.

To say that a large section of people are angry with President Donald Trump, genuinely or otherwise, is saying the obvious. Whether the facts of the case of neglect and delay in COVID-19 containment heaped against him are completely fair or set to get even with him for people sufferings is a subject that will be debated and analysed for years into the future after the election results come out.

2. Masks : This refers to something that one wears to cover his/her face or part of face in protection. Here, in this context, it is worn for protection against COVID-19.

Voters do not have any symbol normally . This time, though, they have earned a powerful symbol thanks to COVID-19, the “Mask”. It occurs to my mind that the fight between the two candidates is more based on the “Mask”, and its usage or otherwise rather than the issues that usually drive the voters to make their choices. Hurt and anger in general that have resulted from continuous and incessant bombarding of wearing or otherwise of ‘masks’ as a public health measure to contain COVID-19 has now become the decisive issue in voters’ preference for the candidate.

President Donald Trump has shown a total disregard for the ‘masks’ for months claiming that COVID-19 will disappear ; propagating therapeutic measures of his choice ; claiming thst a vaccine will be ready by November ; espousing the cause and interests of students (opening schools) and businesses (opening dealings) ; insisting on restoration of law and order amidst protests ; and ridiculing strongly lockdown as causing damage to the economy.

In contrast, Joe Biden advocated strongly the use of ‘masks’ by everyone ( even to the extent of favouring a mandate on mask wearing ) ; listening to scientists and doctors in observing public health measures diligently ; using the vaccine only after proper safety and effectiveness confirmation ; holding the life of people more sacred than even national growth ; and not doing anything in haste to gain political advantage.

The general public perception seem to strongly favour Joe Biden and his assessment of the situation in reality. Seeing, hearing, and understanding of Joe Biden has come to be approved and admired by a large section of the people. His 10 to 12% margin of lead over President Donald Trump in polls combined with more than 74 million votes cast already reflecting the interest and higher turn out in this election bear testimony to this.

Whether President Donald Trump’s recent spate of rallies in States with huge gatherings ; whether Republican Party’s ground level operations constituting voter contact door to door making a big impact ; and whether Hunter Biden’s alleged disproportionate accumulation of wealth can tilt the voter’s behaviour in the last 5 or 6 days before the election day remains uncertain.

Voters, for the first time in a general election, have earned their symbol, in “Masks”. Mask has become synonymous with “vote” in favour of Democrats.

If Joe Biden gives the victory speech on November 3 or 4 or even later ; and stands to deliver the President’s Inaugural Address on January 20, 2020, it will be due to public “anger” and “mask” wearing.

If Joe Biden says, “what I am” is “who I am” on that day, the credit will belong to the people’s “a.m.”, that is ‘anger’ and ‘mask’ that would have elevated him to that position.

” Dieu avec nous”

Thursday, October 29, 2020 – 9.35 p.m. (IST)

Tidbit : ” What I am is usually said by the person in the context and who I am is usually said by the public “.

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