By Assunta Ng
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Let’s have some fun with President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and President Trump’s loss. Some writers compare Biden’s story to the movie “Rocky” and even the fairy tale Cinderella for his perseverance, and eventual triumph over adversities. An Asian cultural interpretation of the two men’s election results would be fascinating.
Over 72 million people voted for Trump in this election, much higher than his total votes of 62.98 million in the 2016 election. He could have easily won the election. Things were going smooth for him, including the economy and stock market gains, despite his character flaws. The man seemed to be invincible, surviving impeachment unharmed. The Republicans let him get away with corruption and many faults. And Trump supporters treat him like Caesar.
The pandemic topples Trump
Everything happens for a reason. The timing of the pandemic is apparent—during the election year. And the news of covid vaccine availability arrived after the election despite White House pressure to get it before the election.
A national threat is a test to heads of state’s leadership and ability to contain a crisis. However, Trump’s handling of the pandemic is disastrous. He is not interested in learning new things when it comes to science and especially viruses and diseases. What energizes him is getting the spotlight in his daily press briefings, even with misinformation on the virus, being nominated for the Nobel Prize, and above all, making money. His lack of leadership, patience, and intelligence to deal with the pandemic is clear.
So many suffering voters woke up to find out who the real Trump is and, oftentimes, it was too late when they died of COVID. The pandemic is an act of heaven, according to some Chinese elderly, to punish Trump.
Without a doubt, the pandemic is beyond Trump’s capability. So he gives up fighting COVID, resulting in over 200,000 total deaths and over 1 million infections in just the last two weeks. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said two weeks before the election, the U.S. is “not going to control” the coronavirus pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigation areas,” according to a CNN report. Trump also favors “herd immunity” to control the virus. How many human lives will be sacrificed before America is good enough to immune itself? What a crazy and cruel mentality! Trump is waving “a white flag” to the disease, Biden said. There is blood on Trump’s hands.
The supernatural forces
The spirits’ curses of Congressman John Lewis and Sen. John McCain was at work. Asian cultures believe in spirits. You call them ghosts or souls. The spirit of Biden’s son, Beau Biden, also showed its might to help his dad’s victory, some Asians and non-Asians said.
Trump had a feud with Lewis and McCain. Lewis, representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional district for 17 terms, was an iconic civil rights leader, who fought alongside with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lewis died at 80 from cancer this year. Holding a grudge for not attending his inauguration, Trump didn’t attend Lewis’ funeral, while three former presidents did.
While he was running for president in 2016, Trump slighted McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, by saying he’s not a hero, “He’s being captured, I like someone not being captured.” Trump continued to demean McCain’s military service and contributions to America, even after his death, and even skipped his funeral. Those personal insults turned McCain’s widow against Trump and endorsed Biden, even though she is a Republican.
Then the Black Lives Matter movement occurred. Trump was not only incapable of dealing with racial issues, he added fuel to the fire, by declaring peaceful protesters as rioters and calling his supporters to counter-protest. Trump’s divisiveness
inflamed Black voters in Georgia, which pushed Biden’s win and the only Democrat president in 36 years to break Republican’s red states chain on the map.
Beau, Biden’s son who died of brain cancer, had always urged his father to run for president. Before he died, he told his dad, “Promise me you’ll run.” Beau would now be smiling in heaven and saying, “Dad, I told you so.”
Encountering a nobleman
Western culture calls Biden a comeback kid after South Carolina’s primary. From the start, Biden looked like an ultimate loser. He lost critical primary elections and his cool after a reporter in Iowa asked him about his son’s involvement in a business venture. On the debate stage, he gave mediocre performances compared to other Democatic candidates.
So many voters including me, who wanted a change, were skeptical about Biden not because of his character, qualifications, and experience, but because of his age. It was awfully hard to pick the best one out of 17 Democratic candidates, who would be strong enough to beat Trump.
Even a few days before Washington’s primary, I couldn’t decide. The person who convinced me and millions of others to vote for Biden was Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. He said he knew Biden and his experience, but not other Democrats. That testimony changed Biden’s political career, it led him to victory. He won South Carolina and other primaries since then, and became the Democratic presidential nominee. His story fits a Chinese proverb, “encountering a nobleman on the road.” Clyburn was literally the nobleman Biden needed to save him from failure. A Chinese proverb says, “He is bound for good fortune after surviving a great disaster.”
Since South Carolina, his opponents, one by one, dropped out of their campaigns, and endorsed him. Not only that, they campaigned for him.
Biden’s facial energy
When Biden first announced his run last year, he stumbled badly. He looked terrible, old, and tired.
Republicans spread fake news that he suffered from dementia. Only at the Democratic National Convention, we learned the truth—Biden was a stutterer when he was a child. To some extent, he exhibited a slight stuttering in his speech.
In Chinese culture, facial color is a predictable factor not only for a person’s health, but fortune as well. We regard the color as “energy color.” Biden had none in the first part of his campaign, while some of his opponents like Elizabeth Warren looked vibrant and tough.
After he won the South Carolina primary, Biden looked like a different candidate. The energy on his face was back. At an ABC network Town Hall meeting in October, he was in great shape. Days later on the CBS program “60 minutes,” Biden gave a substantial performance, while Trump who had recovered from COVID, was temperatal, frail, and tired.
I could go on and on about Trump‘s misgivings in Chinese cultural perspectives. By now, you understand why former Vice President Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris, the first woman of color as the Vice President.
Assunta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.