Come November, Americans will vote for the 45th President of the United States. After months of grueling campaigns and debates, the stage is now set for two surprisingly unpopular candidates. For a start, the Democrats had Bernie Sanders, a junior state senator from Vermont who won the hearts of ‘Internet America’ with his call for socialism and relentless fight for the real ‘wolves of Wall Street’ to be punished, yet, they chose to field another candidate, the more popular and politically-experienced, former First Lady, Hillary Clinton. For the younger generation, Clinton is known for being the Secretary of State during the tremendously chaotic foreign policy under Barack Obama. This includes various operations, sanctioned or not, on Middle East territory and deliberate destabilization of governments there that eventually led to an attack on the American consulate that killed ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, otherwise famously known as the Benghazi Attack. The Republicans are not having it easy too. The most likely candidate to win the nomination is a man whose biggest claim to fame was to fire people on reality television; infamous New York billionaire and self-proclaimed celebrity, Donald Trump.
For many foreigners, including novice political pundits and observers in Malaysia such as me, Clinton seemed most likely to win. One can imagine the surprised when the data and numbers show that Trump is having his chance at White House too. Arguably, Americans everywhere are feeling confused. How? Why? When? Who? The answer lies in the less talked about, the rarely showcased nor paraded side of America that has long lurk behind the shadows of the glitz, glamour and illusions of Hollywood. The great number of White population of America who felt displaced and shortchanged by the coming of migrants from all over the world to America and became more successful and intelligent than they would imagine themselves to be. The mysterious, perplexing crowd from the Southern states that couldn’t fathom nor benefit from the multitude of benefits from living in a melting pot of cultures and talents. They are showing their support for Trump as he took advantage of their emotions and gullibility to point that ‘They are stealing our jobs!’ and ‘Make America Great Again’, ‘We Will Bring Jobs Back to America’. Rhetoric: in every sense of the word. The kind that works in political campaigns and would serve as a case study for years to come.
I’m sure by the time this little observation gets published; the new American president would be voted into the White House. Whoever the more than 234 million eligible-to-vote Americans decide on, he or she would have a daunting task ahead of him/her. The global economy is dwindling, nations are fighting among themselves and peace seems further than reach with every passing year. Malaysians should also take note of the American Presidential Election as an open book of lessons and guidance happening in real time. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from what befalls the once great empire of America.