US In Historic Presidential Election

us-in-historic-presidential-election


After more than a year of acrimonious campaigns, Americans are set to elect a new president in a few hours.

It is a historic election in many ways. It is the first time a woman is elected presidential nominee of a major political party. Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and former Secretary of State, broke the glass ceiling when she was elected Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.

The race is between her and Donald Trump, the billionaire Republican candidate who defied every prediction to win the nomination of the Republican Party. His abrasive and vulgar personality, which has never been witnessed in any US presidential election, unnerved many; including members of his party during the months the campaign lasted.

Trump, who has never been a politician, was until now, a ‘successful’ business man and billionaire, running chains of businesses around the world; no one gave him a chance of making it even to the Republican primaries.

But by the time of the primaries, Trump was the last man standing out of more than twelve Republican candidates that indicated interest.

This year’s campaign is probably the most polarising campaign ever in the history of the country. There is a huge racial division in the country, and the Republican candidate has successfully exploited that to his advantage.

This election has also witnessed what many analysts believe has been the dirtiest campaign ever in the US, characterized by name-callings and mudslinging.

Donald Trump speared no punches against his opponent, calling Clinton names like “crooked Hilary”, “liar”, “Criminal”; and even threatened during a presidential debate to jail her if he wins the presidency.

Clinton, described by Trump as a fighter who never gives up, had also hit back at the Republic candidate describing him as “unfit” to occupy the oval office. She called him a “bully” and a “racist” on numerous occasions, and a man who can be “baited with a tweet”.

Both candidates have been involved in series of scandals ranging from Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server to communicate important, classified information during her time as Secretary of State, to Trump’s tax evasion, which saw him rake-in billions of dollars in profit without paying a dime in taxes, as well as his obscene and vulgar comments especially about women.

But after months and weeks and days of bitter campaigning, the real battle – which has already started in many states – is less than 24 hours away.

A record number of Americans – more than 46m – have voted early by post or at polling stations.

Not a few political analysts and scholars in the US and around the world agree that a lot is at stake in this election.

Trump, for instance, has always criticized the US’ approach to the crises in the Middle East which had triggered massive immigration challenges across Europe.

He has openly stated that United States, under his watch, would not accept any migrant from Syria or Iraq, describing them all as Islamic extremists.

The Republican candidate also vowed to deport all illegal migrants in the US, and build a wall across the US-Mexico border. He also said Muslims would be banned from entering the US once he becomes president.

Clinton, on the other hand, has promised a more inclusive government, where everyone would be carried along, Muslims, Christians, Hispanics, Latinos, African-Americans and Migrants alike.

“America would build bridges not walls,” she usually says at every campaign rally.

Both Clinton and Trump have been holding rallies in the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan; Clinton urging voters to support a “hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America”, and Trump telling his supporters to vote for a change so as “to beat the corrupt system” and “drain the swamp in Washington.

Various polls by different media organisations in the US gave Clinton a four-point lead over Trump, and there are signs of a high turnout among Hispanic voters, which is believed to favour the former American first lady.

At a star-studded event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Clinton was joined on stage by celebrities Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi as well as her husband Bill, President Obama and his wife Michelle.

Her final campaign stop will be a midnight “get out the vote” event in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is due to feature Lady Gaga.

Earlier in a radio interview, Clinton had said that if she won she would call Trump and hoped he would play a “constructive role” in helping to bring the country together.

However, at his rally in Scranton in the same state, Trump insisted the momentum was with his campaign.

He had earlier told supporters in Florida that he was “not a politician” and that they were his “only special interest”.

He described Clinton as the “most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency”.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, tried to launder his principal’s international image in a BBC interview on Monday.






     

     

    She said criticism from abroad “does not reflect why Donald Trump is running and who he would be on the global stage”.

    French President, Francois Hollande has said the billionaire made him “want to retch”.

    Trump has, among other things, been accused of stoking xenophobic sentiment after vowing to ban Muslims from entering the US, describing Mexicans as “rapists” and saying he would build a wall along the US southern border to stop illegal immigration.

    However, Trump seem to have a strong admirer and supporter in Russian President, Vladmir Putin, whom he had pledged to “get along well” with if he becomes president.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement

    Recent

    - Advertisement