If we talked about the election in the United States the same way we talk about elections in a foreign country, here’s how Western media would cover it. Many of those quoted in the “story” below are fictional.
In the midst of the divisive election, the United States, known for its Dunkin’ Donuts-powered economy and for exporting its own brand of democracy, has been devastated by the covid-19 pandemic, which the beleaguered regime of Donald Trump has been unable to control, causing more than 240,000 Americans to die.
Trump, the populist right-wing leader of the Republicans, has repeatedly cast doubt on the voting process, especially mail-in ballots. As mailed votes were counted and Trump lost his early lead, he demanded to “Stop the count!” Now, instead of beginning a peaceful transition process, Trump has hunkered down in the presidential palace.
The international community is watching with great concern. Leading observers wonder whether the United States is in the grips of an anti-constitutional seizure of power. “It’s not actually a coup unless it comes from the coup d’etat region of France,“ said writer Rémy Anne on Twitter. “Otherwise it’s just a sparkling authoritarian takeover.“
In Britain, which still maintains a keen interest in the politics of its former colony, there are signs that some members of the monarchy may be looking to influence the affairs of the troubled Western nation. The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, voted in the U.S. election and has been an outspoken critic of Trump. There have been rumors that Markle is considering a future presidential run herself.
A number of Americans and British citizens believe that the country was perhaps never ready to manage its affairs independently, but American politicians are resisting the prospect of renewed British influence. Rep. Jason T. Smith of Missouri sent a heated letter to the British government blasting the duchess and her husband, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, saying that their statements urging Americans to vote and “reject hate speech, misinformation and online negativity” were an “inappropriate act of domestic interference.”
“From Indira Gandhi to Pratibha Patil, India has had women in the highest offices of our country, so we are glad to see America finally trying to catch up to more politically advanced nations,” the Hyderabad-based political expert Sarojini Desai said. “To top it all off, a half-desi woman is a part of that change. Indian kids now know that their parents will tell them to work harder, that it’s not enough to just be a doctor or a lawyer, that they can now aim to be vice president. This is a bittersweet moment for desi children in America.”
Britain has also had a female prime minister before, but it has taken decades for its geopolitical protege of a nation to catch up. “We wonder why America has not adopted the values of gender progress and anti-racism like we have here in the U.K.,” Morthington remarked. Meanwhile, channeling Winston Churchill, U.K. politician Lord Kilclooney asked, “What happens if Biden moves on and the Indian becomes President? Who then becomes Vice President?” After social media backlash, Kilclooney retreated, tweeting, “This tweet is cancelled.”
Republican loyalists, meanwhile, continue to stand by their leader, afraid that Trump will be mean to them on Twitter and make them unpopular.