We hold this truth to be self-evident: for the last four years, America has flirted with fascism as never before in the last 60 years.
But we firmly believe that this fever will finally pass, the world can exhale after nearly half a decade of holding its breath, and that the arc of history has been righted and pointed in the direction of justice.
In case you missed it, the United States was gripped by a wannabe autocrat who exhibited some of the strongest anti-democracy rhetoric, the most rabid xenophobia and racism, and the most blatant egotism of any American president in the last century.
For the last four years, we watched by turns in horror and dumbstruck awe as the 45th President of the United States bulldozed his way through norms and the rule of law, all while declaring himself a paragon of virtue beset by partisan witch-hunts.
His relentless prevarication, inexactitude, for seemingly direct personal gain have brought a nation, already stricken by deep divisions and crises, to its knees.
Yet, as we have noted here before, his political playbook appeared uncannily reminiscent of the misconduct manual often found on Caribbean political platforms and gossip rooms.
Disdain for facts, utter lack of empathy and self-aggrandisement have long been the hallmarks of too many West Indian politicians to escape ironic notice. All while undermining the vital purpose and promise of the free press, largely out of disdain for accountability and oversight.
But this night, we are certain that a plurality of Americans have signalled their strong rejection of lies, anti-scientific stance, know-nothingism and downplaying of the real threat to America and its neighbours by the Coronavirus pandemic, which has led to countless more than 230 000 deaths.
It is inconceivable that America and the world could long be able to breathe freely amid brutal, unfeeling and callous rhetoric.
From honoured war dead to revered world experts, none has escaped the deadening ray of vengeful personal attacks and bullying that none should olerate from the most powerful office-holder in the western civilisation.
In the election of the former vice president to the first black chief executive of the United States and the first African-American, Indian-American, Caribbean-descended person and woman vice president, we have thus begun the first day of the rest of our lives.
It has not been easy, and while the US has finally signalled it is diverting itself from an anti-democracy path to doom, we note that yet again, strong anti-democracy tendencies remain. Each victory for democracy for America – from the US Civil War to Reconstruction, Jim Crow to World Wars One and Two, the fight for the right to vote for women and civil and political rights for blacks – the great pro-democracy epochs in American history were all won amid significant opposition by the American people themselves. Democracy in America is a close-run, fragile thing.
Today, even by margins that are thinner than might have been supposed, Americans are slowly rejecting Trump.
Yet, the 45th president, desperate to hold on to power for his own sake, will do absolutely anything to win a lost cause, while trampling over institutions from the US Postal Service to the Armed Forces to the Supreme Court.
Some months ago, two American psychologists in a joint article for the New York Daily News, predicted the following: “Trump will declare victory as soon as he can, even if millions of ballots have not been counted. If need be, he will challenge the election results so that the Supreme Court will ultimately choose him for a second term. Trump’s desire to sabotage our election process is the behaviour of a dictator.”
But a plurality of Americans will have braved the fear of a viral pandemic, and the fearmongering about President-elect Biden with bizarre and outrageous allegations, to deliver a message that America has pulled the plug on a dangerously surreal reality show.
America has begun a slow and painful comeback from the nihilism and cynicism of the last four years. Climate change and the existential threat to small islands such as ours, peace and security, a more equitable international system, global cooperation on public health, nuclear non-proliferation can once again welcome American cooperation and partnership.
Now is a time for sober and solemn reckoning, deep thanksgiving and a bold vision for a nation and world that might yet bend toward justice and truth.