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US Presidential Campaign Hurting Nation’s Reputation – OpEd

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The present US Presidential campaign by the candidates and their followers appears to be reaching a new low everyday.

While many Americans may feel sad about the style and standards of the campaign, those abroad who admire the US for it’s freedom and progressive democracy are shocked — and they wonder whether they should reappraise their views.

Donald Trump started the vituperative campaign, which at times has looked like a hate campaign against Asians, Muslims and even women. Many justifiably thought as to how could a person aspiring to be the president of US make such observations and remarks in his speeches, which really looked like that of a lowly-rated politician. Some even suspected that Trump, a successful business man, wasn’t aware of the damage that he could inflict on his reputation by conducting such vicious campaign, and yet he persisted with such methods that drew media attention and ultimately made him the center of the campaign.

In the recent days, Trump appears to have mellowed and has made some speeches that are comparatively softer and more inclusive. However, this cannot undo the damage to the quality of campaign he already caused.

In any case, Trump has successfully defeated his rivals in the Republican party and the Republican convention, has nominated him as the Republican candidate for the Presidency.

Opponents of Trump no better

While Trump has such a record, his opponents in the Republican party and in other spheres conducted themselves no better. Trump was been heavily abused and confronted by sharp comments, liberal use of abusive language and insulted by impolite remarks by his opponents with questionable tactics. Several nicknames were given to him that did not look like healthy jokes, but only reflected hate and enmity.

US media notneutral

Additionally, the US media has not conducted itself as a neutral force, but has taken sides and several of the leading newspapers and journals have willingly, openly and readily lent their support to the hate-Trump campaign. Many newspapers in US today are no more impartial and objective in their observations, while discussing about the merits or otherwise of Presidential candidates.

A new low

A perhaps even a new low to this campaign happened when over one hundred nude women stripped themselves and posed naked with mirrors in Cleveland, answering a photographer’s call to blend art with politics and portray Donald Trump as unfit for the White House. They gathered on the eve of the Republican National Convention that would anoint Trump as party’s nominee for President.

In this light, is it not a surprise that the Republican National Convention was off to a chaotic start as delegates opposed to Donald Trump and pressure from the Republican National Committee resulted in protests, showing that the campaign of the Republican party itself has not been on healthy lines.

Is Hillary Clinton any better?

While the above is the story of Donald Trump, the campaign of Hillary Clinton has been marked by vague views and uncertain observations that have failed to create confidence that she can be a worthy President.

Apart from her lackluster campaign style — that has not created particular enthusiasm even amongst her followers — the allegation that Saudi Arabia is a major funder of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to become the next president of the US has caused deep concern for many Americans.

So far, Hillary Clinton has not convincingly denied these allegations.

Both are responsible

What is very obvious is that both Trump and Clinton have not been able to elevate their campaigns for meaningful, productive and knowledgeable discussions and themes. Today, it looks that the entire Presidential campaign is centered only on immigrantion, racism etc.

The latest is that Trump has said that if elected, he will “declare war” on the Islamic State. While there is lot of anger about the ISIS, many people are not sure about the appropriate way of neutralising iSIS. By his rhetoric, many suspect that Trump could even make the terrorist scenario more difficult and more horrendous by handling the issue without care and caution.

U S image hurt

All said and done, the chaotic Presidential campaign has certainly hurt the image of US around the world as a progressive and well-structured democratic country. The fact that the political system in America cannot throw better persons as Presidential candidates is a cause of concern for international observers.

One can only hope that both the Presidential candidates will understand that such a widespread world view about the quality of the campaign has thus far been negative, and as such they will settle down for a more proactive and civilized style in conducting their campaign in the days to come, so that the campaign that was until recently carried out may be overlooked as an aberration that does not reflect the basic conditions in the US.


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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

5 thoughts on “US Presidential Campaign Hurting Nation’s Reputation – OpEd

  • July 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm
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    I disagree completely with this view. Both candidates will be remembered for their valuable contribution to reveal the true nature of American society as a whole not to mention their corrupted to the bone, political system. The assertion that the rest of the world is shocked by the spectacle, assumes a level of ignorance on the realities of US life and customs, that does not exists. Any half educated people abroad, knows this to be the case. This only confirms it.

    Reply
  • July 21, 2016 at 2:23 pm
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    …”hurt the image of US around the world as a progressive and well-structured democratic country”

    When was the last year when the US was a progressive and well-structured democratic country? It has been an imperialist despot and hegemonic oligarchy for decades! What does the rest of the world expect of us? That we are civilized? We don’t have civilization, only competition. The sooner the rest of the world learns what the US is really all about – and this election cycle it became painfully apparent – the better. Maybe it will finally end the delusions and illusions that the polished rhetoric of Obama left behind to make up for the ruins in so many countries and the millions of dead the US left behind since WW2.

    Reply
  • July 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm
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    Saudi Arabia is a major financier of Hillary’s campaign – that is the price for the $12b in weapons permitted by the US government. In addition, the US now considers China a threat and can’t really ask it to finance the US debts anymore – so Saudi Arabia has to do, starting with Hillary’s billions of dollars campaign and the Clinton machine necessary to rig the election. How could she win without rigging a bit? It worked wonders in the primaries!

    Reply
  • July 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm
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    If Trump’s campaign looked like a hate campaign against Asians, Muslims and women, it is a view shaped by erroneous thinking. Trump is a serious candidate. He understands how those voters would react. He understands how the ‘real’ white voters think, even more. He is a practical thinker not a racist. That’s how he had gone about defeating the Republican Establishment. It is a different battle now. There is nothing that Trump needs to do to get himself elected; Hillary will do that for him!

    Reply
  • July 21, 2016 at 10:54 pm
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    The article assumes that the country still has a reputation worth saving. This would come as a surprise to many looking at all the shootings it has, and all the mess it illegally created in the Middle East. These jokers now seem to be typical of the place, confirming its reputation as the home of ultra violent kick-ass megalomaniacs.

    I know that reputation is unfair, as I have been to the USA and once inside I have found it to be very different from that reputation. Show me a place without ultra violent kick-ass megalomaniacs, and I’ll show you an uninhabited area. But since when have reputations been fair and balanced? They are the subject of this article, not the truth. Perhaps when it starts convicting the war criminals it harbors and still nurtures its reputation may improve, but I don’t know how it could before that happens.

    Reply

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