Democracy is hard, it is often messy and challenging but it is what many in the western world, including T&T and the USA, subscribe to.

It was in 1947 that Winston Churchill famously said, “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

The last three days, and to be honest most of this year, we have had a stage-side view of the American electoral process. From the announcements by various candidates of their intention to run for the presidency of the most powerful country in the world, to the emergence of former US vice-president Joe Biden as the standard-bearer of the democratic party, to the dramatic debate between himself and President Donald Trump.

We have even seen how democracy can be enhanced by early voting and the use of mailed-in ballots, as people were encouraged and this year participated in record numbers in the democratic process.

It has now come down to a few states to determine who will be the next US President and as the paths to the incumbent appear increasingly narrow, President Trump has called for the counting to stop, has alleged voter fraud, threatened to go to court and has sewn doubt on the veracity and integrity of the electoral process.

It is stunning that President Trump could so want to return to office that he is prepared to risk the sanctity of the US electoral process and the reputation of the US.

This media house has no favourites in this race, as surely it is for the American people to decide whom they want as their President but there are two things here.

Firstly, the US is the leader of the Western World and if it can’t have free and fair elections, then it has ceded its moral high ground to lecture and take punitive action against any administration not prepared to honour the will of the people.

Secondly, T&T has a direct interest, if only because of how many of our nationals call the USA their homes. T&T provided fuel to the western allies during the war campaign and our citizens died with Americans in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre, so we have been friends for a long time.

The last four years of President Trump’s America First policy has alienated many of his allies.

T&T and the US have had our disagreements of late as it relates to our closest neighbour Venezuela and the Trump administration has actively tried to divide CARICOM as it tries to put more pressure on the Nicholas Maduro administration in Caracas.

But T&T and the USA remain allies and friends and like the rest of the world, we are rooting for democracy to prevail.

If Mr Trump loses, he must see it as a repudiation of his behaviour and not a failure of democracy.