Is the U.S. election over?

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I could have kicked myself for not waking up on time to watch the Great Debate between the two contenders for the American presidency. I wish I had seen actually the exchange between incumbent Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden and judge for myself how each comported himself. I guess my system isn’t used to the fact that what is day to them is night to us, hence the failure can be blamed on my own body clock. Well, TV didn’t mind showing portions of the exchanges, with accompanying commentaries, so I believe I had caught up a bit on the results.

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And with what I caught from the comments and replays of portions, I would be very, very worried if I were Donald Trump or a supporter of his bid to reclaim the presidency through this election. Almost all the polls and surveys came out giving the edge to his rival, Joe Biden, and giving him a comfortable margin at that. And it seems Trump was combative, rather than rational, while Biden held his peace throughout. And which one of them was reported to have called the other “a liar, a rascal and a bully”? My, Oh my!

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Is there a law that allows candidates to berate their opponents and use any foul language, without being held accountable for it? Are their libel laws lenient when it comes to election campaigners and tirades? I heard the reporter say that the exchange was “full of non-stop lies and insults”. Was the moderator not equal to the task of “moderating” their words, if not their body language? Unless he has some sure-fire strategy to turn the tide, I think Donald Trump may have sleepless nights after seeing the results of the polls taken after their encounter.

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Well, let us leave the Americans – all of them, white, black and brown – to settle down after their votes had been cast in just about a month from now. From the way things are going, it looks like a foregone conclusion as to who will take the oath after November the third. Will Trump do a repeat, or will he “stand by the road as the winner goes by”? Or will he act like some Pinoys, who continue to complain and protest even when the next elections are already nearing? Until now some wags are still fond of saying that in the Philippines, nobody loses, the one proclaimed had only cheated.

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And that is not just a joke. Only yesterday, there was news that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a.k.a. “Bongbong”, was asking the Supreme Court to act on his protest against the proclamation of Leni Robredo as vice president. To this day, it seems he still believes or has managed to convince himself, that he had won the election where Rodrigo Duterte was proclaimed president. Why is he so sure that he would be declared winner by the Supreme Court? Has a recount already proven him the winner?

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I was astounded to hear the report that, all in all, there are more than three million Filipinos who have immigrated to other countries. I won’t be surprised if the biggest number is in the United States that has become to many of our people, the Land of Promise. Well, we cannot blame them, because, truly, those who moved there, especially those who have good educational backgrounds, often land better jobs and compete with native Americans for top positions. Only those who do not have such backgrounds – most of whom are turned down by immigration officials anyway – end up with menial jobs, as many of our people who go to Asian countries content themselves with.

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The Ombudsman is planning to conduct lifestyle checks on all officials to determine who have enriched themselves in office. Why are they announcing it? Are they giving those guilty a chance to cover their tracks? By the time they get around, all the guilty ones will have disposed of, or transferred their ill-gotten gains, and what will they find? I doubt if any of the Big Shots will be cornered, had they pounced on the suspected grafters without notice, they may have some culprits cornered. Have they never heard that “forewarned is forearmed”?

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Good news for government workers. The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), has announced that it is granting emergency loans to qualified members. Isn’t that a God-send to impoverished workers who are looking forward to the Christmas season with dismay because they have exhausted their earnings during these COVID days? Let’s hope, though, that those who avail of the loans will not immediately go on a splurging spree, and use up their loan proceeds before Christmas comes. If they aren’t prudent, it may not be a merry Christmas, as originally feared. Don’t say you weren’t warned!*

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