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Is It Slump Real for Trump Or Lead Of Hillary Just Vapory? My View As An Indian
Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? A SWOT Analysis from an outsider from India, Friend of USA ever
“The Seven Social Sins are:
Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.
From a sermon given by Frederick Lewis Donaldson in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 20, 1925.”
― Frederick Lewis Donaldson
THIS BLOG WAS DRAFTED OVER A PERIOD OF ONE MONTH ALMOST AND HENCE COVERS A WIDE RANGE OF OCCURRENCES DURING THIS MONTH. WHEREVER NEEDED, BLOG WAS UP DATED..
This is a brief attempt at presenting my own views from outside USA, from a country that is slowly distancing itself from NAM (as per the latest indications from power corridors) and tilting heavily pro-USA. Views expressed here are not intended to influence even one voter this or that way, though I feel happy if I can influence even one voter this or that way. Being outside USA I have no stake in the polls.
As on the date of drafting this blog, Hillary Clinton is leading from anywhere between 9 to 15% in national polls and is leading in major swing states.
The Contrast and Bloopers:
Adding to the discomfiture of the GOP leaders, Trump refuses to endorse Paul Ryan (did it later), antagonizes veterans, calls names of many Republicans, appoints all his friends and associates on his Economic Advisory Committee (all super rich), giving middle classes who are supporting him a thumbs down, says America will be safe if aligned with Russia, slams NATO, retracts on statement that he saw a Video of $400 mn being paid to Iran among other bloopers. He says Japan views TV if US is attacked. Says even legal immigrants are a danger to America. (What is his wife? Legal immigrant, no?) He rubbed salt on the wounds of immigrants saying even legal immigrants are a danger to US. This is breaking the smooth path that US has been pursuing. No nation in the world is bad. There are bad elements everywhere. It is unfortunate that every one in the world is tagged with the same emblem, "unwelcome".
His "Second Amendment People" comment received widespread condemnation. But again he said, "all controversies are beneficial for him" (he might or might not have meant what the Media, Gun Control activists, Democrats tried to read in his comments. Who knows what is in his mind?)
Another out-of-the box comment was that Obama founded ISIS and Hillary was co-founder.
This Tweet amply reflects his mindset. On speculation, he seems to be creating a vote bank. Is it right?
"Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton's hacked emails."@RealDonaldTrump
This was denied as mere speculation and political talk. He might have said it allegorically. But choice of words was not right in a politically charged climate. Each word is x-rayed carefully.
Huffington Post in its Head Line dated 16th August states that about 100 GOP officials are likely to circulate a letter the contents of which are damning. They want the GOP to disown the Presidential Candidate and concentrate on the Senate and Congress. They fear that his unpopularity will drown all. A part of the letter published in the paper is reproduced.
“Those recent outrages have built on his campaign of anger and exclusion, during which he has mocked and offended millions of voters, including the disabled, women, Muslims, immigrants, and minorities,” it reads. “He also has shown dangerous authoritarian tendencies, including threats to ban an entire religion from entering the country, order the military to break the law by torturing prisoners, kill the families of suspected terrorists, track law-abiding Muslim citizens in databases, and use executive orders to implement other illegal and unconstitutional measures.”
Likewise there were many bloopers from Clinton campaign. Her stand on the e-mails needed a lot of explanation. She might not have lied but she should not have appeared lying. A thin line divides the two. Hacking of mails, purportedly by Russians is another issue she is facing flak on. Media reports suggest that her over-reach to disgruntled GOP leaders is not liked by liberals. In a politically surcharged climate, each action is scrutinized minutely.
"Dishonest" say many people who say they do not believe her as per Washington Post news. "Corrupt" is an allegation on her that is repeated time and again by the Trump Camp. As an avid Social Media follower, I find many tweets with this theme. Especially Indians living in India and those who are interested in US politics believe this. Is it material, philosophical or psychological corruption? A thin line divides honesty and dishonesty. And the decision makers in Public life are answerable to actions taken even in the best interests of the nation. For, no decision is fool proof. As times change actions come under scrutiny. It is better if Hillary Clinton answers these allegations with her version of how it happened Brushing such sweeping allegations under the carpet is not healthy political strategy in the long run.(sic)
After I drafted this particular aspect about Hillary Clinton today Huffington Post reported this, justifying exactly what I said.
“Give a man a reputation as an early riser,” said Mark Twain, “and he can sleep ‘til noon.” Hillary Clinton finds herself in the opposite situation: She has a reputation for venality — the merits of which we can set aside momentarily — that forces her to a higher ethical standard. Her inadequate response to the conflicts of interest inherent in the Clinton Foundation show that she is not meeting that standard, and has not fully grasped the severity of her reputational (sic) problem.
Paul Manafort Resigns As Head Of Trump Campaign- Huffington Post
The honesty/dishonesty debate takes another turn. The thin line that divides the two comes to the fore. If we take Media reports, he might have been dishonest. But who knows? He might have performed his duty, just as Clinton did hers. My point is proven here to some extent.
So, before it explodes it is better Hillary Clinton offers explanation for her "faux pas", that I do not call "fraud" unless proven.
After all, both should realize that "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion."
P.S. The Author does not vouch for the veracity of the above statements/bloopers/comments. Some were heard by the author on TV and others were taken from the Press. So, if the Press is right, I too am. If not, I too am not.
How I view all this poll as an outsider
My interest in US polls is as an outside observer. As a political commentator resident in India, I took interest in US Polls this year. I am politically "Right Leaning" in India. I do not appreciate Communism, neither the Chinese model nor the Russian Model.
As a neutral observer, my views in this blog are impartial. They are mere observations.If my views can tilt the opinion of a few voters in US I am glad. If not, I will draw satisfaction that I presented my view.
Since the days of my youth, going back four decades, I had great respect for the democratic values that America stood for. I still have the same kind of respect and I shall retain it till my last breath. The reason is not as much in the way I view it, but it is in the way that despite many road blocks America retained these values that are based on humanity and the larger issues that ensure maximum welfare to the maximum number of citizens. The freedom of voice, the freedom of choice, the freedom to live respectfully, the freedom to voice one's opinion without fear or favor stand on the highest pedestals of democratic values in America. At a time when majority of nations, world-over, are struggling with internal strife, stooping political values, skepticism running in their blood, brother killing brother for supremacy; at a time when xenophobia is on the rise, people are assessed by their race, nation of origin etc., paranoia spreading fast about their survival if foreigners come into the nation as legal immigrants, America stood the test of times. But for minor irritants here and there, it is only in America that people of around 100+ nations live in harmony, greet each other with affinity, do not interfere in cultures of others and to my observation Americans love immigrants more than they love themselves.
Six years back I was in USA as a visitor. As me and my wife were walking on a trail, a Police Van coming opposite slowed down. I was surprised when the Officers in the van greeted both of us and said, "Enjoy your walk!" This is a courtesy most Americans follow. Even now, during this visit, we found many who are driving, slowing and wishing us. Morning and evening walkers make it a point to greet us with a smile. This is a land of smiles. A land of opportunities. A land that embraced different communities, different cultures and still retained its originality.
When, an African American Barack Obama contested for nomination of Democratic Party and later for President few gave him the benefit of being the right choice and few in the world bet their money on Americans voting for him. But it was Americans, not as much as African Americans that voted him in droves. That shows the political maturity of the Americans and their interest in the welfare of all, rising above jingoistic tendencies. Back here, in our country, though it is difficult to accept the hard reality, even educated and elite voters vote on the basis of caste, creed, religion and place of birth. No one is bothered for the welfare of all, as Indians. I am sorry to state that Indians settled abroad, large numbers in America, still continue to live in the nasty backwaters of caste and creed. We have our Temples based on caste there. Do Gods have caste? Sorry, friends! That is the reality.
As I am updating, I was flabbergasted to read this news in all Indian News Papers. We are more bothered about the caste and gender of a rare Olympic winner than her great feat. I never saw an American searching for nation of birth, origin, race, religion for the number of medals they won. (In my next Hub on "the Perennial Pain of Caste in India" I will discuss this with quotes from scriptures)
PV Sindhu’s caste highly searched on Google, reveals ingrained biases of India
But the purpose of this blog though, is not Indian elections or Indian ethos but the US elections of 2016. One wonderful treat for political observers is that the 2024 polls in India and America coincide. The present incumbent Manya Narendra Modi, who is doing all that is capable of a statesman to bring India on par with America, as far as welfare of all is concerned, will face double incumbency, as he is sure to be a second time PM in 2019. By 2024, I am sure, he will ensure that Indians will be politically as mature as Americans and vote not for their caste but for their nation. As in India, the President-elect in US will face double incumbency in 2024, as history shows Presidents get re-elected for a second term to ensure continuity. For political observers like me (spanning five decades, I started too early in life) it will be a double treat, to observe polls in two of the greatest democracies in the world, America (always first) and India (Hopefully it will overtake America by 2024).
What makes this 2016 American Poll far different from the other polls? One is Hillary Clinton, the first ever woman to be nominated by a major political party to contest elections. The second is the entry and nomination of Donald Trump, an absolute political novice as the Presidential choice by the GOP. I am not a particular fan of any of these two, but I felt it imperative to make a SWOT analysis of both the candidates. I recollect that particular chapter of the famous novel by Charles Dickens "THE PICKWICK PAPERS" wherein he presents a thought provoking and fun-filled description of a provincial poll in Eatnswille, near London for filling the vacancy of a representative in Parliament. I will reproduce excerpts from the Chapter (in future Hubs) before I embark upon the present American poll. I felt the need to reproduce the chapter, in view of my observation that the present poll in America till now, is more about personalities than about issues concerning its citizens. I think in the remaining two months, the debate crawls back to the time-tested debate on issues more than on personalities. I hope the Media, the ubiquitous dictator of political fortunes of leaders the world over, will adopt a positive attitude in discussing the strengths and weaknesses of candidates as far as their knowledge of issues is concerned and not on their personal or business lives. After all, people tend to forget personal idiosyncrasies but will never pardon if their welfare is ignored.
I am skipping this part "Excerpts from The Pickwick Papers" By Charles Dickens because of the length of the Blog. In my next Hubs I will quote.
I saw live telecast of both the Donald Trump nomination and nomination of Hillary Clinton. What an "ocean" of contrast in the approaches of the candidates for Presidency, 2016? Speaker after speaker in the Trump camp went on creating a sense of "paranoia" in the minds of voters. Clinton camp concentrated on the positive work she has done during her four+ decades of public service. This is expected. Trump is a novice. He had no previous record of public service nor of any charity work as a businessman. As we move forward to make a SWOT analysis, this aspect plays a larger than life role! Let us move on.
While this reflects vividly the contrasting styles of the campaign of the two leaders, one totally negative and appealing to the emotions in a human being (Hitler did this, Mussolini did this and many other dictators did this) based on xenophobia, racism, fear of attacks and a phobia that someone is out there to steal one's food. The other is a campaign based on positive aspects of having a populace living in harmony, none disrespecting the other, sharing the common goals, values, the wealth and miseries alike. Certainly Hillary seems to be envisioning a society where children of all races, nations and colors live happily so that America shines better in future.
One of the speakers in the DNC, Philadephia called Trump a megalomaniac. He may not be, but he may be having a streak of megalomania in his temperament.
The other contrasting feature of the conventions was the Trump convention was all about his family members. Party honchos had little voice or no voice at all. This shows the dynastic streak in the family. Hillary convention was all about her good work over the years.
All this does not make one candidate the better than the other. Further probe is a sine qua non. Let us get into it.
Let us first take up the campaign trail of Hillary. She has been more than positive in her approach. Having been in public service for more than four decades, being a Senator, a First Lady, a Secretary of State she knows the do's and don'ts in the Presidential Campaign. She is not overly emotional to go on the edge of stupidity or border on idiocy. If we look into her Social Media reactions to her rivals, she has been pragmatic. Her reactions are measured. She never crossed the "boundary" what we in Indian Mythology call "Lakshmana Rekha" Hillary is always in her limits. Her USP is her hard work over the years and her experience in the administration. This stands her in good stead. But she is not free from negatives. Let us make a SWOT analysis of Hillary Clinton.
SWOT Analysis of Hillary Clinton
By far her greatest strength is her experience. She has been in public service for more than four decades. She has been an Attorney at Law, a child rights activist, an activist who has defended the rights of women, the disabled and immigrants and blacks, she has been in the forefront in getting health insurance cover to the hitherto uncovered, she has been a Senator, wife of New York state Governor, First Lady, Secretary of State. When 9/11 happened she has been on the ground and helped the families of the victims of the worst human tragedy. Through out her life, she has been in active service of the downtrodden and disabled. As a First Lady she maintained the maximum equanimity when a minor trouble arose in her family life. She defended her husband in public, never denounced him and showed the world what family values are.
Her greatest strength is Obama and Michelle Obama. Then, next comes Bernie sanders with his revolutionary ideas that attract youth and his skills at oratory. Of course, Bill Clinton tops them all with his oratory, the good work he has done, his humility on public platforms.
She is not a great orator when compared to the likes of Obama. She does not include in her speech "inflaming" metaphors as Trump does. She is not able to adjust her style of addressing to the style of Trump, who uses punches, appeals to the emotions of sections of the public and makes them take a stand almost immediately. That is the reason Trump supporters have taken a solid decision while that of Hillary are still vacillating.
The biggest weakness in her approach to the polls has been her "mysterious mischievous" behavior as far as her personal e-mails are concerned. One fails to understand how she was ignorant of the fact that the White House server could not be used personally! Yes! It was done. She should not have deleted them. Deleted. At least she should have kept a back up file for scrutiny. She might not have committed any breach of law. But hiding behind facts gave enough ammunition to the rival camp to accuse her of committing a fraud or a misdemeanor. She could have avoided it. Even now, it is not too late. If she has nothing to hide, she can come out clean even today, which she is not doing, adding to the speculation about her intent.
Her strength unfortunately metamorphoses into her great weakness. That is, her forty years of public service. There is a saying the bull that plows gets the beating. The one under the roof of the shed avoids getting beaten. Those in public service, though they do a lot to serve the interests of nation commit mistakes either intentional or otherwise. One such great blunder she committed was using White House server for personal uses. As an outsider I can not judge the correctness but she is receiving a lot of flak for that.
One more weakness was she could not respond with equal vehemence the taunts of Trump whether on Muslim ban, Mexico wall etc.,, Her response was tepid. While he appealed to the emotions of a section of voters, she could not arouse emotions of the other sections with equal vehemence. Most of the times she was apologetic, which Trump never was. He stands by what he said, giving him a slight edge with emotional voters.
The biggest opportunity is that Hillary is the first woman candidate to have been nominated by a major party in the US. If elected she will be the first woman President of US, a feat never achieved by any one. So, the possibility of women voters of Democratic Party solidly supporting her, a few Republican women voters too possibly backing her and mostly the unattached women voters voting her is a very good possibility. Added to this the video of Trump mocking women may tilt the the balance further. This vote will be substantial, for, in many families women tend to be opinion makers and men give value to womanhood more than anything else.
The second best opportunity is the solid backing of the party. The unconditional support of Sanders is the best opportunity for her to increase aggression.
The support of Obama and his reported intention to aggressively campaign for Hillary along with the first lady is the best ever opportunity. Obama, as all know is now liked by more Americans than ever. His ratings are the highest in eight years.
The biggest threat is the deleted e-mails. No one knows what kind of information, true or not, will be leaked out. During election time, no one cares about the truth. And these issues can not be brushed under the carpet. Even if she tries to speak the truth, the emotionally charged electorate try to ignore her. This happened in polls in many countries. She should be on guard.
SWOT Analysis of Donald Trump:
The greatest strength of Trump is that he is a novice. He has no political minus points till now. He is a fresh face. Many voters like a change, a fresh road to tread on. They do not bother what lies on that road. They are the vexed lot. The lot that is vexed with staus quo. "Let us try him this time" attitude drives them. And a fresh face in politics attracts the youth segment. There is a reason. Youth has many aspirations. They feel the existing system has not addressed their problems. They may not know what the new face does differently. "Let us see" attitude drives them.
The other strength that Trump has is he is obstinate. Whoever tells him, whatever be the reactions of others including Media, he does not budge an inch from his stated position. Instead, he repeats the same. This is liked by some sections of old voters and mostly youth. This obstinacy has an emotional appeal among these sections. They feel that their leader will tackle their problems with the same obstinacy. Radical Islam being on top off his agenda, people tend to believe that he will have his own way in dealing with the menace. They believe he will not care for the tested and tried establishment in dealing with the problem. That gives him immense potential to garner votes.
His main strength is his opponent. She is a woman. Her experience as a servant of humanity or as a leader, first lady, Secretary of State exposed her to few reportedly above-board decisions and actions. Trump took maximum mileage out of this. He turned the election into a personal battle rather than between two established parties with different plans of action, ideals and ideas. He does not start a tweet or speech or interview, without saying "Crooked Hillary" That is his strength, as he can sway minds of voters.
He talks his mind. It is his adviser. He does not wince in saying what he thinks is right, whatever the consequences of that be, positive or negative. He gives an impression that he means business and that he is his own God. People, at least few, tend to believe that such a radical thinker does what he wishes to do and he is telling them what he intends to do much to their comfort. That is a positive strength in him. For him ends justify means.
Weaknesses outstrip strengths of Trump. His obstinacy is his weakness as good as it was a strength. By not budging from a stated position despite adverse impact on party leaders and cadres, he remains obstinate.
Trying to justify the slip-ups as publicity is another weakness. It gives an impression that he is justifying a lie.
Distancing his own party leaders is another weakness. An electoral battle like a war is a collective affair. He loses sight of it.
Many of his bloopers (I am not repeating them as they are in public domain) cost him a lot.
His main weakness is his family. One can rely on family advice but making family only as advisers will boomerang soon. It is part of world history.
(He has basket full of weaknesses. As they are all in public domain, I am refraining from mentioning here)
His already acquired support base among public is the best and only opportunity he has.
Division in his own party which is vertical is the biggest threat. More bloopers as his mind commands, will be further threat.
Me and My View:
All said, I am an outsider with no stake in US Polls. But US is world leader. Democracies learn a lot from the US model of polls. So, I too am interested. I am a regular political blogger in India. My blogs are published in my site. They cover Indian elections and politics. Many on-line papers pick up my blogs and publish them.
I am a Post Graduate in Journalism from an Indian University.
But whoever wins, there is strong hope that the time-tested democracy in US will survive.
In a nut-shell, I will formulate a table comparing the two candidates.
Hillary : First Woman Candidate
Trump: First Novice to Politics
Trump: Fresh Face
Hillary: Talks with caution
Trump: Throws caution to Winds
Hillary: Loyal to Party
Trump: He is the Party
Hillary: Knows Constitution
Trump: No proof he knows
Hillary: Avoids emotional issues
Trump: Thrives in them
Hillary Agenda of Unity in Diversity
Trump Divisive Agenda
Hillary Has support of incumbent
Trump Lost it totally from GOP
Hillary Party solidly behind her
Trump Half of it opposing him
Hillary Donors are positive
Hillary Convention helped
Trump Convention spoiled chances
Hillary As a student she showed Political acumen
Trump His background sketchy.
Hillary She treads Obamanics in Economy
Trump Confused to the core
Hillary She paid 35.7% Tax
Trump Fighting shy to release Returns.
P.S. The above points are from my observation. This has nothing to do to the broader political views voters hold. Others are free to differ.
Given a preference I will vote Clinton for the above reasons, rather than Trump. Anywhere in the world, Democracies do not survive on dramatics but they survive on ground work. Hope US chooses the better among the two.
This does not mean I am personally against Trump. I chose the experienced instead of the novice, whose temperament does not suit to politics yet.
We all love United States of America, the land of opportunity and Humanity! World looks for the nation to thrive and prosper. As an outsider with no connection to US, that is my wish!
Trump gives a call for a "SAFE AMERICA". I also feel the entire world is looking for a "SAFE AMERICA" only. And who says America is not safe now? It is one of the safest countries in the world today. Hope US voters will vote sensibly and that America will be safe as always it has been. Is it not? Radical Islam could attack anywhere but not in the US, post 9/11 attacks in New York City! That tells a lot about the America that is safe. Whoever wins, Radical Islam must be tackled with an iron fist. That does not mean Muslims as a whole should be branded bad. This again does not mean that appeasement politics does not bring peace. It only creates a pampered community of population. To strike a balance between these two is the duty of the next President-Elect.
"An Appeaser Is One Who Feeds a Crocodile, Hoping It Will Eat Him Last" Winston Churchill
Let USA not fall into this trap.
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
Let us all hope that USA proves it otherwise this time again.
A poll shows Donald Trump leading by +2 points over Clinton. Another shows Clinton leading +8 points over her rival. So, in conclusion, the race is still open! HAIL AMERICAN DEMOCRACY!