Electrifying Speeches and NATO


You may be left wondering about the topic of this post, right ?

NATO here means – NO ACTION, TALK ONLY.

That’s what we see in the Presidential Election nomination speeches in the U.S. party conventions – whether it is Republican or Democratic Parties.

Some of the speeches have been terrific, for instance the one by ex-President Bill Clinton. President Obama also delivered a rather neat speech, emphasizing his victories over the past four years adequately and highlighting the differences between his philosophy and that of Mitt Romney, the Republican contender for President.

I am not easily taken in by politicians’ speeches. While they are good at rubble-rousing and inciting the masses, if one sits back and thinks through, it becomes clear that promises made have not yet been delivered. It does not matter whatever be the intentions, what matters is only the result.

There are big pluses and minuses on both sides of the political spectrum. But it is critical for the American people to evaluate seriously the performance of the current President as that is the only true indicator of what is to come. In the case of Mitt Romney, he remains unproven, so is a bigger risk for sure. However, if in the final evaluation his potential appears to be bigger than that of the past four years of performance of President Obama, then the pendulum should swing in favour of the contender.

From a non-American perspective, the American Elections remain the most important global policy determinants for the rest of the world. May be that influence could diminish in the years to come, but the decline has not started and any perceived decline could be reversing in the eyes of the world. May be even the American Economy could be reversing its declining trend soon (going by the performance of 2.5% GDP growth rate in the past quarter).

While the world watches the speech performances of both the Parties, let us not forget one pre-eminent thought – most politicians indulge in NATO (No Action, Talk Only). So, do not get taken in by the oratorical skills of any one person. Watch carefully how the Presidential debates pan out in October, and how the candidates position their differing visions to the American people. Many people do not even get to read the Party Manifestos !

It would be interesting to see the process of electioneering working its way through the next two months. While I am no supporter of the Democratic Party’s position on Outsourcing for example, I think President Obama has an edge over Mitt Romney who has not done a great job explaining his tax returns and his job-creation capabilities, and instead has created many doubts.

So while a Republican President would be better for India (and Asia in general), the chance of that happening is somewhat limited at this stage of the electioneering.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
8th September 2012
Mumbai

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