Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hopes and Fear in US presidential election

NEW YORK: As the Amercians are ready to vote for the 45th president on November 8, never ever in the history were they so nervous, feared and disgruntled. As the largest democracy in the world is going to vote, some however still see hope as there is not much room for a president – whoever is elected – to maneuver on his own.
The fear is also mounting as according to various polls that some 60 percent of the Americans say that they don't like either of the presidential nominees – Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican candidate Donald J Trump – as they both seem 'not real'.
According to the Watergate famed-journalist Bob Woodward, both of the nominees are not very truthful. "We don't understand why these people are there," he said, in an interaction with journalists. "American people seem not believing on either of the candidates," he added.
Trump is a real estate businessman with no prior political experience whereas Clinton has already been the Secretary of the State, which is why White House is not new to her. However both the candidates have been in news for one or the other wrong reasons. A US presidential candidate must get 270 electoral college votes – out of the total 538 – to win. Each of the 50 states have 2 electoral college making 100 apart from 435 House of Congress members adding to a total of 535, and Washington DC has 3 electoral college votes as it has no representation in the House of the Congress.
However, most of the political pundits are of the view that the history might repeat itself; one candidate will get more popular votes and the other electoral college to win as it had happened in 2000. In 2000 presidential election, George Bush had won the presidency by 271 electoral college votes, though his opponent Al Gore had the majority of the popular votes. And it took 36 days to declare the winner after the controversy.
"Everyone has gone tired and fatigued in the political system of the Washington DC," according to Colonel F William Smullen, former chief of staff to the former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and incumbent director of National Security Studies in the Syracuse University in Syracuse New York. "They are divided because majority of the voters are simply disgusted by the state of politics, which I have never seen before," he says, explaining the cause of rise in the anti government sentiments in recent times.
According to Smullen, who is also the author of the book, "Ways and Means for Managing Up," it all started in the year 2003, when the USA invaded Iraq blaming Saddam Hussein for possessing the weapons of mass destruction (WMD). "The CIA unluckily towed the wrong lead," he remembers. "The sources were not reliable but it proceeded through that moment and till today there is no compromise. We have not learnt to find a compromise."
Of the total 330 million American population, some 220 million are registered as a voters. However, there is a huge doubt that the voters' turnout will not be as it is expected. And there is also possibility that those who come out to vote will only vote for their local senator but not for the presidents.
In an interview with Syracuse New Times newspaper, John Katko, the Republican incumbent for the 24th Congressional District seat of New York, said he would not support any of the candidates. When asked about which presidential candidate does he support and why, he said, "None of the above."
"I have never endorsed Donald Trump and I've never been said I'm going to vote for him, and I'm not going to," he said, adding, "I have serious concern with his tone of rhetoric. And I've had serious concern about some of the integrity issues with Hillary Clinton. So, I'm not going to vote for either one, and I don't think I am alone."
Smullen seconds his opinion. "Most of the Americans might not turn out to vote because they are frustrated and angry," he added.
But the sun will again rise on November 9 and one between the two candidates will win. However, Smullen fears of critical situation after November 9. "If Clinton wins, there could be civilian strife and protest on streets," he said, "because the Trump and his supporters – 60 percent according to NYT/CBS News Polls – have been claiming that they will not accept the results, if he loses."
The civil strife and then the majority of Republicans in the House of Congress seem to make Clinton's tenure in White Office harder, if she wins. "The Republicans in the House of Congress have already declared that they are not going to let Clinton appoint any judges, if she wins," he added. The post of the 2 judges has been vacant in the Supreme Court, which is the new president is expected to appoint.
However, Smullen is not at all hopeless and so is Dr Jeremy Mayer, Associated Professor at the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs, George Mason University, who thinks, in the first hand, things will turn out well. "If not also, there is less room for the president to dance," Mayer said, adding that the US Federalism has made the US president less powerful. "That's why whoever wins; there is a limit to his role, which is why there is hope too."


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