Friday 20th October 2017,
The Transcript

Electing a new president with no right to vote

By Urvija Rishi, Transcript Correspondent

“When Uncle Sam sneezes, the whole world catches a cold” — and this election is nothing if proof of that.

The entire world is waiting with bated breath for the decision of the American people and their stake in this election is not purely for entertainment, but a significant interest in who will hold the most powerful political position arguably in the world.

In the 21st century, with the U.S. at the peak of its political, economic and military power, one does not need to be American to be invested in America.

I do not envy the American people in the choice they have to make.

Unfortunately, a racist bigot and a corrupt manipulator are not ideal, although I understand both their appeal and lack thereof.

On one hand, Trump represents the anti-establishment desires of the American populace and he has successfully preyed on the fear and xenophobia among the grassroots of the population, and enhanced the isolationist predispositions of American civil society, but the fact remains that his credentials to serve as president or in any public office are deeply lacking.

Having said that, I recognize the flaws in the alternative and perhaps Hillary Clinton has not made herself beloved to the masses despite her many attempts to be relatable or “chill.”

But her experience in politics is staggering and her credentials are merit-worthy.

More importantly, when Clinton talks about policies, she has some sort of viable idea or plan for execution, perhaps because she actually has the legislative and policy experience.

While buzzwords like “emails,” “Benghazi” and her pattern of corrupt behavior are deterrents and deal-breakers for many, I think the fundamental question that the American people must ask themselves is whether they need to like their President or whether they need to respect and trust them and their opinions.

I could endlessly wax lyrical about the unrealistic nature of most of Trump’s proposed policies and his blatant use of pseudoscience and rhetoric as a persuasion mechanism. For instance, a trade deficit cannot be used to make sweeping qualitative generalizations about the economy, and a regressive tax system is based on the failed idea of trickle-down economics.

Even in terms of foreign policy, Trump’s eloquent solutions of bombing the Islamic State and advocating for war crimes leave much to be desired, not just in terms of comprehensiveness and practicality, but just general standards of minimal humanity.

To be fair, both the candidates are seemingly quite trigger happy in terms of involvement in war and Clinton’s track record is questionable at best, but who would you want negotiating and representing American interests in the international system—a former Secretary of State who has diplomatic experience or a self-proclaimed businessman extraordinaire who has the “best words”?

Unlike Trump, I do not have the best words to describe how real the fear of him having access to nuclear codes is, but I believe I may be part of the global majority who does not want to leave the fate of all of human civilization in his stubby-fingered hands.

As an invested spectator of this election, the thought of a Trump presidency used to fill me with horrified amusement which slowly turned into genuine panic as I observed the support he garnered by spewing senseless, hateful rhetoric.

If anything, this election reflects the profoundly entrenched prejudices within American society and despite decades of championing liberty and equality, the fact that the American people willingly elected someone who wants to go against everything this country stands for is perhaps more fearinducing than him actually being president.

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