US elections: mud-slinging ahead of the final result

Joe Biden is the favourite in the final phase of the vote counting in the US. So far he has received almost three million more votes than Trump - but he still doesn't have enough electoral votes to declare victory. Donald Trump, who prematurely declared himself the winner on election night, has now filed lawsuits in several states claiming fraud in the vote-counting process. For observers, this a blow to the very foundations of US democracy.

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Novi list (HR) /

The fall of the US in real-time

Trump declaring himself the winner in advance is a nail in the coffin of US democracy, Novi list comments, appalled:

“We are watching the fall of the great American democracy practically in real-time. Whoever wins in the end, Trump or Biden: it will go down in history that Trump announced victory when little more than two-thirds of the votes had been counted. And that at the same time he had already announced that he saw fraud and cheating and would fight for victory in the Supreme Court. With such a statement the president of the USA has not made his country great again, but destroyed the first and largest democracy in the world. Everything America stands for, freedom, democracy, strength of institutions and processes, he has destroyed, because with his message he is suggesting that elections are only valid if he wins.”

Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

A great country at rock bottom

Regardless of the final outcome, these elections underline the decline of the US, writes Fabio Pontiggia, editor-in-chief of Corriere del Ticino:

“For all those who, despite all the criticism and shortcomings, believe in the virtues of liberal democracy, Trump's unpresentability and Biden's inconsistency are a measure of the political decline of a great country and great democracy. ... The system for selecting candidates can no longer produce people of substance for the voters to elect. From one election day to the next, we must look on as the US loses all relevance as a political and institutional point of reference. The Trump-Biden election campaign marks the low point of this decline.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Where is the outrage?

With an eye to Trump's statements during the vote count De Volkskrant would have liked to see more indignation from the rest of the world:

“It is strange that Trump's unprecedented snubbing of the American electorate and electoral system has barely triggered outrage internationally. The Democratic Party and the American mainstream media (including CNN, which Trump so detests) expressed their anger, and even Fox News reacted with dismay. But while the world usually shouts out 'shame on you' when an African president clings to power using intimidation and hair-raising accusations of electoral fraud, it has now remained tellingly silent.”

El País (ES) /

The system needs to be updated

US democracy needs to be renewed but unfortunately there is no consensus for this, laments Alexander Stille, a lecturer in political journalism at New York's Columbia University, in El País:

“Although the final result of the presidential elections is not yet clear, this most recent vote has already produced an undeniable loser: the US electoral system. ... The US constitution, the oldest of all democracies in the world, urgently needs to be updated. It's clear that the electoral system also needs an overhaul to be able to guarantee a certain degree of justice, uniformity and legitimacy. But in such a divided country it will be difficult to create the necessary political consensus for such weighty reforms.”