Who will prevail? | Daily News

Who will prevail?

The results of the US Presidential Election would be trickling in as this edition is out giving a fair picture of the winner in the race although concerns abound as regards the final outcome, considering the volatile build up to the poll, not least due to the incendiary remarks and rhetoric of incumbent Donald Trump who had already cast doubts on the legality of the vote in the battle-ground States that are crucial for either party reaching the magical 270 Electoral College votes for victory.

TV commentators covering the election had expressed doubts whether a President would be declared in the traditional way of American elections hitherto held, with Trump refusing to accept the mail-in voting in the crucial swing states and insisting that the final result should be declared on election night itself.

Trump had indicated that he would not accept the results due ostensibly to flaws and irregularities in the counting of mail-in and early voting ballots against which the Trump camp had filed a slew of legal challenges.

Many factors have given rise to the spectre of violence on polling day and thereafter with shops and business establishments being boarded up and a huge un-scalable fence being erected around the White House along with the visible presence of the National Guard.

Some observers believe it will be a while before a winner is declared, depending on the turn of events- reminiscent of the 2000 Gore vs Bush election.

All this, of course, raises the pertinent question: whither democracy in the citadel of the world democracy? It is the United States and its allies in the West that always lecture small nations to abide by democratic traditions and freedoms and dispatch so-called election monitors to these small countries to ensure democratic norms are being upheld during elections.

Now we have reports of voter intimidation, refusal to accept legitimate votes and other brazen attempts to sabotage the vote and disenfranchise voters originating from the self-same guardian of world democracy, all pointing to the hypocrisy and double standards of the West which instead of putting their own house in order deigns to preach the virtues of democracy and concepts such as good governance to smaller nations.

The race, for all intents and purposes, is a closely fought one although pollsters are betting on a Biden victory. The same forecasts were made in 2016 as well only to see opinion pollsters made to stand on their heads that saw a painful exit for Hillary Clinton.

True, the Coronavirus pandemic has turned out to be a veritable millstone round the neck of Donald Trump, made worse by the cavalier attitude he has shown towards the world’s worst health emergency that has so far claimed the lives of a quarter million Americans. But COVID-19 is not everything. Even amidst the pandemic the US economy has proved strong and resilient under Trump. Joe Biden is sitting pretty for now. But there is always a slip Between the Cup and the Lip, particularly in a scenario where the election is not decided on the popular vote but on the strength of each candidate in the crucial battleground States.

The gilt-edged Bond

The passing away of Sir Sean Connery (90), who first played the British Super Spy James Bond in the celebrated series created by Ian Fleming, removes from world cinema one of its most iconic stars of all time whose screen character is still a living legend, not just among cinema goers but also the world at large.

Connery epitomized the quintessential character Fleming had in mind when he put together the profile of the famous MI6 ‘007’ Secret Agent tasked with destroying all enemies who plotted against the downfall of England in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. Needless to say, James Bond eventually got the better of powerful villains who were agents of evil and a threat to world peace.

The James Bond genre took world cinema by storm in the early sixties since its debut Dr. No in 1962 that followed works such as Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever–all famed for their fast action, thrilling sequences, glamour and adventure, the trademark of all Bond movies. He came back to do one unofficial Bond film titled Never Say Never Again at age 52.

Albert (Cubby) Broccoli and Harry Saltzman too deserve credit in large measure for the enormous success of the Bond series that elevated Connery to iconic status and made him ‘the greatest Bond ever’- the smooth suave Super Spy who always announced himself with the famous line “Bond. My name is James Bond” and wanted his cocktails “Shaken, not Stirred,” before seeking out the enemy, wearing the 007 badge that gave him the ‘license to kill’. His death, following a bout of dementia, has left Bond fans all over the world shaken and stirred.