The long and winding road to the White House


Sir, – Donald Trump’s statement that, “If you count the legal votes, I easily win”, reminds me of my friend who is a very good golfer as he only counts the good shots. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – Is it too early to begin the construction of the “Joe Biden Plaza” somewhere between Ballina and Castlebar ? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.

Sir, – Remember when someone said we were a disgrace for using pencils and paper in our voting system? Maybe we should show the US how it’s done. – Yours, etc,




Co Waterford.

Sir, – The petulant childishness of the president of a democratic country, who declares victory in an election when many votes have yet to be counted, is preposterously and almost laughably deluded. Mr Trump should be sent back to playschool. – Yours, etc,



Co Westmeath.

Sir, – I’m with Donald Trump. I had the first two numbers in the Lotto draw and I’d have won if they had only just stopped adding more numbers. – Yours, etc,




Co Galway.

Sir, – Suzanne Lynch writes, “Even if Biden ultimately wins this election . . . Democrats should be chastened by this performance” (Analysis, November 5th). Your Washington correspondent is part of a widespread media consensus that the Democrats have somehow had a poor election.

Am I alone in finding this to be a peculiar analysis?

In truth, despite the opinion polls, Donald Trump was never going to be easy to dislodge from the presidency.

If, as seems highly likely, Joe Biden wins the election, Mr Trump will join only a handful of defeated incumbent US presidents in the modern era.

Certainly, no “blue wave” materialised in 2020.

But, I, for one, will be eternally grateful to Mr Biden and Kamala Harris if they remove Mr Trump – with his grim narcissism, daily mendacity and constant petty airing of personal grievances – from his global soapbox in the White House and my living room. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – Notwithstanding the excellent coverage of the US elections by Suzanne Lynch, I beg to differ when she writes, “The ghosts of the 2018 midterm elections have resurfaced”, and in particular relating to Stacey Abrams and the state of Georgia.

Ms Abrams lost by a whisker in 2018 in the gubernatorial election, amid widespread claims of voter suppression in her home state. Rather than wilt into the political wilderness, as Florida’s Andrew Gillum did, she instead doubled down, setting up Fair Fight Action, a non-profit voting rights organisation, as well as being the first African-American woman to deliver a State of the Union address response in February 2019. She was also on the shortlist for vice-presidential nominee. As I write this, there are less than 1,200 votes separating the incumbent from Joe Biden but of even greater significance is that Georgia will now decide who controls the legislative agenda in the new administration when special run-off elections in January are held for two critical Senate seats. With Alaska still in play on flipping another Senate seat, this election is far from over. Rather than being chastened, Democrats may feel confident that when all the votes are counted and signed off, they may yet wrest control of the three branches of government. – Yours, etc,



Co Kerry.

Sir, – Sleepy Joe? I don’t think so. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – I don’t doubt that the current US president is a demagogue and a charlatan but mentally going through the list of chancers we have returned again and again to the Dáil, I wonder whether we are in any position to advise, condemn or criticise our American brethren. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – While the difference between postal and in-person voting has given a “hare and the tortoise” feeling to the current American electoral count, it is likely that historians will see a resounding victory for Joe Biden, and the pollsters predictions may not look so poor (“Opinion polling – beware the shy Trumper”, Editorial, November 6th). It seems likely that Mr Biden will win Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona. He would then have 306 electoral college votes, of the 538 on offer. That margin exceeds Mr Trump’s 2016 win, or either of those by George W Bush. As regards the popular vote, Mr Biden has over 5 per cent more votes than Mr Trump’s total, a margin which continues to grow. In two of the last five elections, of course, the winner lost the popular vote. As far as the Hare and the Tortoise story goes, it seems “Sleepy Joe” is going to be well ahead, by any measure, at the finish line. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – A letter writer (November 6th) criticises Fintan O’Toole (Analysis, November 4th) for opining that Donald Trump attempted to stage “a coup” on the morning after the election, because of the absence of the normal trappings of a coup, such as troops on the street and control over radio and TV. However, Mr Trump’s blatant lies could have encouraged and emboldened the many armed militias who are neither willing nor educated enough to parse his inflammatory words and taken action against what they perceive as a grave injustice. Moreover, you don’t need to take over TV or radio stations when you have Fox News and an array of shock-jocks to amplify your propaganda. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – OTT (over the top) has been much used in describing the bombastic “style” of one Donald Trump. How apposite that it may yet be recast as a fitting footnote to his political legacy, “One-term Trump”. – Yours, etc,



Co Offaly.

Sir, – Joe Biden’s campaign was a significant battle won against modern virulent populist politics. The war against the anti-democratic, intimidatory, and divisive tactics that form the core of populism is far from over. Over 69 million citizens voted for Mr Trump after four years of a jaw-dropping administration. Their votes must be listened to by all who value western democracy. Too many are being left behind and ignored by modern society and economy. To the new administration a mammoth task of making politics work for all awaits. We should all wish them well. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – As the count in the US election continues, Mr Trump has continued to rail against what he sees as the corruption of the electoral process. He is correct to highlight a possible corruption of the political process but obviously his is just a tired and disingenuous tirade against the mechanisms of voting. The real corruption is in the malignant influence of money in US politics, facilitated by the fundamentally flawed Citizens United ruling. In this election cycle, a record amount of corporate finance was deployed to spread misinformation and falsehoods through public action committees (PACs) and social media.

However, the most glaring issue with the US political system is that the Senate, which holds the real power in the US, is dysfunctional in how it represents the electorate of the US. As it stands, with two senators per state, regardless of population, densely populated states are significantly underrepresented when compared to rural, less populated states. This is reflected in the conservative lean of the upper house and exacerbates the social divisions simmering in the US. This election again highlights the need for serious political reform but in the current climate it is hard to see how this can happen. As the world watches on, any claims that US politicians make about the merits of their democracy sound hollow. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.