All around the world there has been talk about the U.S. Presidential Elections due towards end of 2016. It is usually not the case for every such election which happens every four years.
Last time around, it was apparent that Barack Obama will win the re-election for the second term as President, which he achieved without much effort.
This time however, things could not be more radically different. There are more than a dozen Republican hopefuls making the field very crowded and the messaging rather confusing. Hillary Clinton has been leading the Democratic Party efforts at retaining the Presidency, but she has lost considerable steam due to her private email server usage during her term as U.S. Secretary of State. While she is not being written off (as there is a long wait of more than a year to go for the elections), her weakened position and her apparent reluctance to issue a formal apology for her judgement on the matter, are affecting her position.
In the midst of all, there is a refreshing whiff of air from a rookie kind of Presidential candidate, and that is Donald Trump. He is representing the Republican Party, but he could not be more different from the other Republican candidates. He has been saying several bad things against Mexicans and women, and those grave errors might come to haunt him later, but overall he has the lead over all other candidates. Even Jeb Bush, with his pedigree (both father and brother were previous Presidents), experience (as the Governor of Florida) and deep pockets (it is rumoured he collected more than USD 100M before announcing his candidature), has been left far behind by Mr. Trump.
So, do I agree with the philosophies expounded by Mr. Trump ?
That may not be the big question, and my response is not going to affect any result whatsoever. However, I got to be careful even if I am not a U.S. Citizen and a potential voter !
Well, I agree with Mr. Trump on several aspects of his policy – for instance, tax the rich some more (which in fact, is the antithesis of the Republican policy and anathema to them), go after the Hedge Fund Managers (he mentioned them), continue with the Iran Agreement if it is approved by the current Congress (not kill it as propounded by many other candidates), and reduce immigration (this is explosive, but nevertheless a very important issue for the U.S.). On all these aspects (and may be I missed some), Mr. Trump is keeping the interest of the people of the U.S. in his heart. You just have to listen to him speaking – don’t just listen to news reports.
Americans need jobs, and the world cannot live off the U.S. if Americans are suffering without jobs. The U.S. is a consumer economy, and it requires full employment (defined as unemployment kept at 4% or lower) and increasing wages in order to buy good and services from the rest of the world. That was the case in the Eighties and Nineties, but not the situation anymore. Things are improving in the U.S. Economy now, and unemployment rate has been dropping but wages are frozen.
Donald Trump has been pushing the right buttons on the economy and immigration. I would think even Democratic voters would be swayed by his arguments. Hillary Clinton is vague and not sure footed when it comes to “hard” issues such as these – she probably wants to ride on the good numbers delivered by her predecessor.
If Donald Trump can appeal to most of the Republican Party faithfuls, and also appeal across the aisle to Democratic Party voters, then the possibility of him winning the Elections improves dramatically. I think he is planning for such a scheme, and has been preparing his messaging to the voters very carefully. I would not say he is a xenophobe or a jingoist. He has run large corporations and managed thousands of employees, and that corporate experience would be helpful for running a very large corporation like the U.S. Government.
Isn’t this the most interesting and meaningful development in an otherwise staid state of electioneering politics in the U.S. ?
6th September 2015