The White House Marathon
An analysis of the position of United States’ presidential candidates
In a glance at the history of democracy in the United States, we will find out that it has been formed after two centuries and basedon principles such as capitalism, constitutionalism, and secularism etc.
Each ofthese goals features have been attained through a taxing process. Although thecontemporary United States enjoys economic, technological, political, andinternational achievements, and has recorded great victories in the history, itis currently facing serious crises in domestic affairs, national, andinternational security.
In his “Democracy in America”, De Tocqueville, thewell-known French philosopher and sociologist who had lived in the United Statesfor years, states that social protests in Europe and some other countries turninto social revolutions, but in the United States social protests are manifestedin elections. These protests can be now seen on the global scenetoo.
The other important point is that in the last twodecades and following various developments, it has become clear that Americanslook for reform and transformation in their domestic and foreign policy. Beforewe move on to different social layers in the United States and have aninternational and outside look on the country, it is important to know that 4thof November 2008 is one of the most momentous political days forboth the United States and the world and we should know that what demands, whether domestic or foreign, ballot boxes face.
What is important inside America includes issues such aseconomy, health and medicine, employment, and national security. Of course thepriorities differ in each state. For example, immigration is a matter of concernfor some states while for other states, with more educated population, abortionand stem cells are overriding.
The United States’ foreign policy is involved withmatters such as trans-Atlantic ties, ballistic missiles, Russia, China’sflourishing economy, democracy crisis in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, Arab-Israeli peace process, Lebanon, Iran, and Pakistan, each of which canaffect the presidential elections of United States, as noticeable in the case ofIran which has been influential in election of Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clintonand Bush Jr.
Here I do not want to discuss about the United States’ electoral system, college delegates’ vote etc, but I want to draw economic, political, national, and global security issues forward and analyze the currentstate of the elections
Since 7 or 8 months ago, Bush has decided to focus hisattention on economic affairs instead of the matter of Iraq, and state thateconomy is America’s key priority. Meanwhile, 73% of the Americans believe thatthe country economy is not currently in good conditions. The leading candidatesof elections, i.e. Clinton, Obama, and McCain have focused on cutting taxes, creating new jobs, and reducing expenses of the government in domains such aswar.
But the most important thing about this election is theunique situation it has put the Americans into and two historic events; one thecandidacy of a woman, and the other, the candidacy of an Afro-American, both ofwhich are welcomed by people.
Obama’s slogans are accepted by people. He believes thatfundamental, and not superficial, changes must occur in Washington’s out-datedpolicies. His successive victories, especially his recent victory in Washingtonconvey distinct signs.
Hillary Clinton’s position compared with Obama’s is alsoa special one. She is using her husband’s card, who was one of the most popularpresidents of the United States, and she has a high chance of success. On theother hand, in Republicans’ camp, McCain has defeated neo-cons and he knowshimself as the representative of a group of conservatives.
He, too, has won massive vote and also he has gained thesupport of George Bush, which is also a rare event. I don’t want to predictwhich candidate is going to win the election, but I believe that every winningparty has to substantially change its strategies if it aims to sustain friendlyrelationships with American citizens.
The presence of a young figure like Obama with hiseloquence, high skill in communication, high political intelligence, andopposition to the war has made many to believe that he has a strong chance towin the election. When it comes to a choice between Obama and Clinton, Americanevangelists will choose Obama.
Although McCain possesses half of the votes of electors, but since he is a supporter of war, gay rights, and abortion, he’s got opponentseven inside the party and they judge him as a liberal politician. The otherconcern about him is the military background he and his family come from, whichmay reinforce America’s military tendencies. His hawkish attitude towards Middle East affairs doesn’t head off chances of military conflict in thisregion.
Some call him a warmonger president and believe that hisexperience and records relate to the period he served in the army. In case ofhis victory, there’s a possibility that the number of American troops in Middle East increases.
As it has been said about the Democrat candidates, thevictory of any case will set a new record in history and American citizens willnot oppose any developments. The Harvard-graduate Obama, a former lawyer, hasbeen more successful than Clinton in raising campaign funds.
While Obama and Clinton have managed to raise 100million dollars so far, last week they raised 32 and 13 million dollarsrespectively. Obama has a charismatic character, he has been against wars inAfghanistan and Iraq, and now he holds the winning card, claiming that theprevious politicians have not acted successfully. First, they must put an end towar in Afghanistan and then, they have to find solutions for problems in Iraq. He thinks that today they are observing the dangerous consequences and realityof the war.
Hillary Clinton, taking advantage of her husband’spopularity and support of the Jewish lobbies, has managed to attract the supportof the states of California and New York.
From the total votes counted so far in 13 states, Clinton has gained 1104 votes and Obama 1085. Other surveys reveal interestingresults: 44% for McCain against 47% for Obama 47% and 46% for McCain against 41%for Clinton.
In another survey Americans had been asked about thecandidate they favor. The results show 58% for Obama, 51% for McCain, and 52%for Clinton. On the candidates they disfavor the answers are: Obama 31%, McCain 36%, and Clinton 44%.
A survey conducted among Caucasian Americans, revealedthat McCain polls 56% of the votes, against 41% of Clinton. In general, Obamahas a better situation compared with Clinton, but Hillary Clinton has morepolitical influence because of the political background of her husband andherself.
Obama, who believes that he can band the Americanstogether, has challenged his contender both in foreign diplomacy and economicaffairs. This may be a cause of people’s inclination towards him.
Anyway, there’s a shoulder-to-shoulder contest amongthree candidates from two parties: McCain, Obama, and Clinton. But it can not besaid with certainty that which Democrat candidate can defeat the other. Republicans are pleased with having the vote of Caucasian Americans and thosewho oppose the idea of a female president, but at any rate it seems that theDemocratic Party holds a better position than its opponent, due to theRepublicans’ policies.
Since the candidacy of is almost certain in theRepublican camp and the Democrats have a long way to select their candidate, through which the Obama and Clinton weaken each others’ position, theRepublicans have more time to promote their candidate’s plans among Americans. However, we can’t have a certain judgment currently.
[This analysis has been based on data collected upto 12thof February