Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Clinton, Trump and the Circus of American Presidential Politics

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

The American elections are a phenomena well worth watching. Without being unduly judgemental one can say that the campaign is both entertaining as well as infuriating at times. Here we, in India are used to semi literate foul tongued politicians like Mani Shankar Ayer, Manish Tewai, Laloo Prasad Yadava, Nithesh Kumar, Katheria, Khejriwal and others. So the comparison can only be of degree and quality. The Congress breed of dynastic fascists have their own brand of invective to hurl against their opponents. The BJP retaliates by launching a tirade against corruption, "Italian Mafia" etc. So we are used to foul language, insensitive remarks and down right abuse. So what is so surprising that we should even write about the endless stream of abuse and insults spewing out in torrents from the mouths of the two important Presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.

The Presidential campaign started  with Mr Trump declaring to the world in general that "Crooked Hilary" is not to be trusted. He raised serious questions about her "ethics" as if ethics has ever been a factor in US politics. The immediate provocation for this rather large charge against Hilary is the ongoing FBI investigation into the use of a private server during the time she occupied, without honor or distinction, the office of the Secretary of State, as the Foreign Minister of US is often termed. Just before leaving office she deleted more than 30,000 emails stating that they were private in nature. Later it was disclosed that she raised more than 100 million dollars for the Clinton Foundation from donors in the Middle East even as she served as the Foreign Minister. Just imagine what would have happened if an Indian Minister had done the same. Salman , the Foreign Minister under the discredited UPA regime is still facing flak for the scandal over his Trust.

Hilary Clinton was not fazed. She breezed through the crisis and the American Media has been extremely kind to her by not raising any awkward question. I always marvel at the utter absence of an adversarial press in US. In India, Freedom of the Press is measure by the adversarial position it takes vis a vis the NDA Government. BJP bashing in general and Narendar Modi trolling in particular have become the bench marks of a free press here in India. Hilary Clinton was not questioned with the same passionate intensity with which Mr Donald Trump is question, over Trump University, for instance. Hilary Clinton thunders against the failed business projects of Trump but does not take any questions over the character, or better still, the lack of it in Mr Bill Clinton. The Monica Lewinsksy Scandal which almost brought the Presidency of BIll Clinton down making him the only President in over a century to be impeached is not brought out to embarrass Hilary Clinton. Imagine the same thing happening here. Impossible. Kumaraswamy, Deve Gowda's son still faces questions over his long term relationship with the starlet, Sandhya.

The two candidates revile each other in a manner that would make bazzar women, exemplars of perfect behaviour. Of  course, I do not mean any disrespect to bazzar women who are certainly better behaved than these two. Crooked Hilary has become the given name of Hilary Rodham Clinton and that has to be said with a vicious smirk. And Clinton cannot be out done: Trump will bankrupt USA like his casinos. The Press does not badger Hilary over her false statement made over the attack on the American Ambassador in Libya but hounds Mr Trump for his Tax Returns and he wards off the searching prying questions by saying that he is under audit, a statement that is at best half true. On the Orlando tragedy Trump has been quite honest even at the cost of political correctness. He has blamed Islamic terrorism for the attack, while Hilary taking her cue from Hussein Obama soft pedals the whole Islamic aspect of the tragedy. Trump has been consistently been saying that immigration from terrorism infested countries needs to be put on hold. And that is certainly a step that cannot be faulted and to make him sound like a dangerous demagogue for stating the obvious is certainly disingenuous.

The American elections are fun to watch. And certainly we hope that the Americans do not vote for another term in which the failed policies of Obama will continue.


No comments: