by Olalekan Waheed Adigun
One does not know whether to empathize or sympathize with US citizens at this time. Not that the global recession has hit them harder than any other country. Also, it is not that, like the United Kingdom who voted to leave the European Union (EU), they are “feeling the heat”. We can also not say that the country is in a period of great mourning as a result of the loss of a great statesman. But because, the country has to face the hard-or harder- choice of having to make a choice of who becomes President between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Don’t let us lose our perspectives. Both candidates are fantastic personalities and their outputs speak for themselves.
It will take an unrepentant sadist to take building a real estate empire, like Trump did in New York, with the wave of the hands; just as Hillary’s public service experience is too intimidating to ignore, even to the blind. The fact that the US political system presents (or threw up) to its electorates, and the world by extension, two “controversial” presidential candidates, means they must make a very difficult choice come November.
Making tough choices appear to be part of the American way of life. President Franklin Roosevelt faced the hard choice of “protecting American security” by confining thousands of Japanese immigrants and natural-born citizens in remote camps after the Japanese Navy launched their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941; to President Jimmy Carter’s handling of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979.
If voting can be seen to signify an approval, influence a determination to change, pledge of allegiance and a disaffection to a particular choice, candidate or political party, then we need to understand what the Germans felt after the World War I, when they “elected” Adolf Hitler or what Italians were thinking when they accepted Benito Mussolini.
The present economic downturn hitting hard on some countries may again come to play in voters’ decision come November. Trump’s strategists appear to be cashing in on that to get the voters on their side. Explaining economic phenomena to unemployed voters in logical terms may make little or no sense. All that an unemployed person thinks about the more is how to get the jobs. Trump is telling the voters that those taking away their jobs are – the Chinese, Mexicans, Minimum Wage, Deficit Financing and the likes. All of these appear to be making a lot of sense at least that was how he won the Republican primaries by landslide in the first instance. On this one Trump appears to be winning!
On the other hand Hillary is doing her best to explain her policies to the American voters. Her job is made harder for two reasons. First, she will have to withdraw speeches she made contesting against President Obama in 2008 for the party nomination. Secondly, as the incumbent party’s (Democrats) candidate, she would serve as the unofficial spokeswoman of the Obama administration and its policies, even though she may not fully agree with them. As a result of these, her ambition, we must admit, to become the first female US president is made harder relative to Trump’s.
Trump’s campaign has also done a good job of trying to “moralize” the political process. By frequently referring to the Benghazi attacks and others, including the handling of Syrian and Middle East crises, his strategists intend to take advantage of Hillary “lying to the American people” while she served as US Secretary of State (2008-2012). Some “scandals” have been “revealed” concerning donations from corrupt regimes to the Clinton Foundation in a well-coordinated campaign effort against Hillary. The truth of the matter is that, while this writer supports moral authority, unnecessarily “moralizing” politics leads to endless and unnecessary arguments which benefit no one in particular. The reason for this is simple; no one can claim to be “the authority” in ethics or morality. Trump doesn’t want his several cases of bankruptcy to be mentioned publicly. He doesn’t want the public to know the shady deals that comes with his massive real estate empire.
Using the “failed decisions” Hillary made as Secretary of State in the aforementioned cases. Let us assume as alleged, that the decisions got so bad, which often do, and on the basis of past failed decisions, people should not be qualified for office. This will only mean that no one, including those making the allegations will be qualified to hold any office of responsibly since no one recalls not making a bad, and I mean really bad, decisions in the past! The recent Congressional report on Benghazi should equally have put the matter to rest since nowhere in the report was she found guilty or of any wrong doing.
Like I wrote earlier, Americans will be in a serious dilemma between voting a public officer with long years of service and a business tycoon with little or no political experience. The choice will also involve choosing a renowned “racist” or an allegedly “corrupt” officer. It is difficult to know whether to sympathize or empathize with Americans over the choice they are about to make later this year.
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