Wednesday 24th of July 2024

Reaction of Americans to the US Elections
Vrinda Prabhat
Region : America,
Issue : ,
First there was the promise of political change in Barack Obama"s historic 2008 election. Then the pledge to up end Washington "s ways after the 2010 tea party wave.
But for some Americans the change and disruption have come too slowly or failed altogether.
Wages have barely budged and the costs of housing, education and health care are soaring. The country is more racially ethnically diverse than at any point in its history ,with census data projecting white Americans will make up less than half the population by mid-century.
In a national USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, likely voters given the choice of four options — enthusiastic, satisfied, dissatisfied or scared — are most inclined to say the prospect of Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination or Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic one would leave them fearful.
The findings underscore an increasingly bitter divide in American politics. Partisans on both sides warn that the leading candidate on the other side would not only pursue unwelcome policies in the White House but would imperil the nation's fundamental values and constitutional principles.
Honesty and Integrity
Nearly half of the public says Mrs. Clinton is not very or not at all honest. In fact less than half of Democrats (45 percent) regard her as particularly honest, and most Republicans (73 percent) and independents (56 percent) say Mrs. Clinton is not very or not at all honest.
Mrs. Clinton has had problems for many years with perceptions of her trustworthiness. In recent years, the controversy over her email use while Secretary of State and the Congressional investigation in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has taken a toll. And while she was First Lady, controversies included investigations into the White-water real estate investments.
According to PolitiFact, a fact-checking website, three-quarters of statements made by Mrs. Clinton are true or mostly true. In comparison, not quite half of statements made by her opponent for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Sanders are judged true or mostly true by Politifact.
But the public sees Mr. Sanders as more trustworthy. Forty-two percent of Democrats say Mr. Sanders is extremely or very trustworthy, similar to the 45 percent who say the same about Mrs. Clinton. But only 22 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of independents (15 percent) agree.

The current presidential candidates are offering scapegoats instead of solutions, and they are promising results that they can’t possibly deliver. Rather than explaining how they will break the fever of partisanship that is crippling Washington, they are doubling down on dysfunction.
The leading Democratic candidates have attacked policies that spurred growth and opportunity under President Bill Clinton -- support for trade, charter schools, deficit reduction and the financial sector. Meanwhile, the leading Republican candidates have attacked policies that spurred growth and opportunity under President Ronald Reagan, including immigration reform, compromise on taxes and entitlement reform, and support for bipartisan budgets. Both presidents were problem-solvers, not ideological purists. And both moved the country forward in important ways.
According to Michael R. Bloomberg,"Threatening to bar foreign Muslims from entering the country is a direct assault on two of the core values that gave rise to our nation: religious tolerance and the separation of church and state. Attacking and promising to deport millions of Mexicans, feigning ignorance of white supremacists, and threatening China and Japan with a trade war are all dangerously wrong, too. These moves would divide us at home and compromise our moral leadership around the world. The end result would be to embolden our enemies, threaten the security of our allies, and put our own men and women in uniform at greater risk."
Senator Cruz’s view on immigration may lack Trump’s rhetorical excess, but it is no less extreme. His refusal to oppose banning foreigners based on their religion may be less bombastic than Trump’s position, but it is no less extreme.
His refusal to oppose banning foreigners based on their religion may be less bombastic than Trump’s position, but it is no less divisive.
The present-day anger and disillusionment of many American voters is with the modern political establishment and the way things are now. This discontent is very real and very urgent. Understanding it, articulating it and, most importantly, acting to both satisfy and channel it in positive ways represents the biggest challenge for Trump and Clinton. But from where does this anger come? Is it simply that Washington’s so-called elite are out of touch, that Congress is log-jammed and Obama is a discredited lame duck.Or is there a bigger, deeper cause of this malaise that any president would struggle to remedy?
The truth confronting Americans is that their country, for so long regarded by them as unquestionably the foremost and best among nations, is under unprecedented pressure. Militarily, the US remains the world’s most powerful state. Yet it cannot or will not stop a resurgent Russia thumbing its nose at the west in Ukraine, Syria and the Baltic. In the South China Sea, another upstart rival, China, builds multiple island military bases with nonchalant impunity. In the Middle East, the sons of those same insurgents who resisted the 2003 Iraq invasion and swore allegiance to al-Qaida now fly the black banners of Islamic State, tearing up international human rights law, threatening civilian lives in every European and Arab capital and making a mockery of the post-Cold War pax Americana.

At home, global forces beyond the control of any White House incumbent undermine the job security, pay and pensions of American workers once inured to international competition. The US national debt, estimated at a whopping $19.1tn, is in fact much higher. The government has pledged an astounding $41.9tn in social security and other retiree benefits over the next 75 years, money it simply does not have and will not receive on current revenue projections. That amounts to a total debt of $61tn, equivalent to more than three times US gross domestic product.
American society meanwhile continues to transform rapidly in myriad ways. Gone are the old, Germanic-inspired certainties of kitchen, church and country. No longer can violence against black people and other minorities, powerfully symbolised by police shootings, be quietly ignored. As Obama’s watershed election in 2008 foretold, in the making is a more integrated, more multiracial, multi-confessional, sexually liberated and politically diverse America than ever existed before. The wonderful irony is that the idea of the melting pot, for so long more myth than daily fact of life,seems finally to be coming into being.
The bigger question for 2016’s voters, is not about Trump or Clinton, Republican or Democrat. It is about how to manage a changing, less homogenous, less wealthy and less dominant America in a highly competitive, often chaotic and dangerous 21st-century world. At this critical hour, America needs leadership.
Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FORE INDIA

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