WOULD THIS BE A DIFFERENT AMERICA? LET’S SEE.

Hillary Clinton just said that the US is more divided than they previously had thought. Well, she just lost the poll of her life because, in all probability, she is not going to stand in the presidential race again. She has had close calls – first in 2008 and now, in 2016. Then it was Barack Obama – a highly competent person who mesmerized not only America but the whole world.

Now it is Donald Trump – whom not only most in America but even most in the world were writing off.

So it hurts.

But like has been the US tradition, like Trump was graceful in his victory speech (even if we cannot give him any benefit of doubt because he was not ‘fully’ graceful), Hillary, though admitting the deep fissures in the US society, has gracefully extended him ‘an open mind and the chance to lead’.

Donald Trump was also graceful till this part – recognizing Hillary’s efforts, her career and her service to the nation. He began his speech with this point. But beyond that, though it was a balanced victory speech sans all the campaign rhetoric, it fell short of expectations.

Trump did not mention Barack Obama even once during his speech – someone who is going to succeed – someone who has been a popular president. Now we cannot say if it fits some pattern but logic cannot accept it.

So far Donald Trump has been known as wearing a reckless business attitude – a ‘profiteering from everything’ motto defines his existence – a life that has nothing credible to inspire people – a lifestyle that has been undoubtedly playboyish – a thinking process that reeks of sexism, class discrimination and racial domination.

So far, Donald Trump has been a character – he has been an actor – let’s see if he can now be the person that a US President needs to be.

We all know election campaign rhetoric and official rhetoric are entirely different. ‘Politics is nasty stuff’ – even Donald Trump accepted it in his victory speech.

If he realizes it and is going to follow it in his governance style, it will be good for America and the world.

For America, his election has deeply divided the US society. Clashes broke at many place, in many states after his victory became clear. Students organized protest rallies. There were incidents of arson and vandalism. Many US parents are worried that what they would tell to their children. Women are fearful of a president with a long history of anti-woman statements.

The world, too, has not taken it kindly. From world leaders to media outfits, they have shown displeasure and scepticism. It can be summed up in two expressesions – of the French President Francois Hollande who reacted on Trump’s election saying it has ‘opened a period of uncertainty’ – and of the UK daily The Telegraph’s report on the global reaction headlined ‘dear God, America what have you done?’.

Donald Trump has to change that if he has to have successful four years first. Second term or eight years, as he mentioned in his speech comes only after that.

©SantoshChaubey

TOMORROW IS THE GLOBAL D-DAY

So, it’s going to be the biggest electoral d-day of the globe tomorrow when the world’s most powerful and successful democracy, that is also the only superpower, will vote to elect its next president.

Though the world is increasingly becoming multipolar, it is still the US driven geopolitics when it comes to most international issues. And the US president is the most powerful person on the planet and it all depends on him.

Barack Obama, the 44th US President, is a man who is more inclined to focus on his domestic interests, reducing the footprint of active US intervention in global affairs, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria to Libya to Middle East countries. His efforts to mend ties with Iran and Cuba tell us his balanced approach here.

But that would not be the case always – in case a mercurial and controversial person assumes the 45th US Presidency – as no one is writing Donald Trump off – the Republican nominee.

There are very real chances that Donald Trump can win the polls. The final rounds of the pre-poll surveys are in and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, only holds a thin edge over Trump – Hillary’s 44.6 over Trump’s 42.4 – according to the Real Clear Politics index that gives us an average value of many polls.

And that is disturbing – until the final figures start percolating in – that show Hillary Clinton is going to go back to the White House.

Because of the person Donald Trump is – because of a reckless business attitude that he wears – because of a ‘profiteering from everything’ motto that defines his existence – because of a life that has nothing credible to inspire people – because of a lifestyle that has been undoubtedly playboyish – because of a thinking process that reeks of sexism, class discrimination and racial superiority.

And because it all reflects in the Presidential nominee Donald Trump!

So, if indeed Donald Trump wins, it will not be bad only for America but for the whole world. A man who openly endorses use of force, a man who openly reviles Muslims, immigrants and racial minorities and a man who hobnobs with dictators like Vladimir Putin can hardly be a good news – for America and for the world. 

Tomorrow will decide that.

Yes, there is always this remote possibility that Trump may emerge as a different, positive person from what he has been so far but we should not forget that it is only a ‘possibility’. 

©SantoshChaubey 

YES, LEADERS CAN HAVE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE POSITIONS

WikiLeaks has released parts of paid (in millions), private speeches of Hillary Clinton that she delivered to audiences like the Wall Street bankers. The dump is part of trove hacked from email of John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign head. These so-called speeches have always been controversial. Bernie Sanders would always reiterate his demand to make transcripts of these speeches public. Donald Trump, though fast losing the race (of popularity and of ratings) with his misogynistic, crude, sexist remarks, continues to do so.

Yet Hillary refused to budge.

On their part, activists were always on the job. They had already flagged some excerpts in January and a comprehensive stuff is out now.

And on their part, Hillary’s team has gone on record to deny the authenticity of these papers, blaming them on Russian hackers who want to jeopardize Hillary’s electoral chances.

But on her part, Hillary doesn’t look so perturbed. Even if Trump mocked her on her answer, she sounded good when she answered why a leader needed to ‘have a public and a private position’ on an issue.

She said, “That was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called ‘Lincoln. It was a masterclass watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment. It was principled and it was strategic. I was making the point that it is hard sometimes to get the Congress to do what you want to do, and you have to keep working at it, and yes, President Lincoln was trying to convince some people, he used some arguments, convincing other people, he used other arguments. That was a great, I thought, a great display of presidential leadership.”

And it seems her explanation has gone down well in the public because now her team looks to own it (even if they will still disown the WikiLeaks trove). Her campaign manager Robby Mook said in a TV show after the debate, “Let’s be clear. I think there’s a distinction between what goes on in negotiations and what her positions are on the issues and have been on the issues.”

Yes, leaders can have public and private positions on an issue. That is only natural. That is human. Ethical politics is all about maintaining a fine balance between what you feel and what is needed.

©SantoshChaubey