“ Discussing the election of 2012 in the US from a British perspective. „
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So, the Latinos clinched it for Obama, the non white vote decisive in the president's reelection campaign, the good kind of racism. Black voters make up 13 percent of the US electorate, just as they did in 2008, but Hispanics have increased from 9 percent to 10 percent in juts four years. Obama won more than 70 percent of Hispanics and more than 90 percent of blacks. He also maintained his advantage with women, defeating Romney by 11%. If 93% of blacks vote on skin color alone it's not racist but if 63% of white men voted for white man Romney, as they did, it must be racism, right? It was amazing victory for Obama if you consider how poor the US economy is right now and the vote still split pretty much on Civil War lines. The irony is that an extremely racist voting pattern produced a black president. Unless the Republicans can find a credible black or Latino candidate to go up against Hilary Clinton (expected candidate) in 2016 they will be beaten for the next 50 years to come as America Latino community grows and grows, 50,000 new voters a month if current statistics are to be believed. The reality is the Democrats will find that candidate first, as they did on the final two series of the brilliant and cognitive West Wing TV series. I hate to be a cynic but did the Democrats simply sit down in 2004 and decide that a credible ethnic candidate would be enough to win as 87% of non white Americans would vote for them, regardless of his or her policies?
Obama's team was smart and put everything into winning the 11 swing states across the spine of America. The other 39 states were guaranteed for each candidate on historic voting patterns so why waste any of that time and one billion dollars funding was the feeling. He only conceded two states of the eleven after the final count and panned Romney by over 130 seats in the Electoral College. As per normal it was: 'How goes Ohio, goes America', never more true this year, Obama declaring victory when he took Ohio.
The so-called 'October election surprise' arrived in the form of Hurricane Sandy, a catastrophic storm and the largest ever Atlantic hurricane in volume of rain and perimeter to hit America. The insurance companies wanted to keep it as a hurricane as it eventually made landfall in New Jersey as that would trigger a hurricane clause in those householder and business policies to slash payouts. Obama saw that one coming and the weather people announced it was a 'post tropical storm' when it hit land and so that clause could not be enforced. This is believed to be one of the big reasons why the equally big Chris Christie, the mouthy and overweight Republican Governor of New Jersey, 'big-upped Obama' just before the election, the Democrats winning the state by a wider margin than his belly after aid poured in. Obama won every East Coast state hit by the storm. Some Republicans even blame Christie his for the election defeat and think he is making a play to be leader. The fattest ever American president was William Taft at 21 stone so no first there. Chris Christie will never be president. He is an uncouth blue-collar white man of Irish decent, exactly the type of person who can o longer win elections in the New America.
So what now for America and the world? I like Barack and my kind of black guy and I hope the Senate can cut him some slack so he can push through the new budget by January 1st. The deadlock is that the Republicans want tax cuts paid for by public service cuts (which means the loss of black folks jobs) and continue to block Obama's plans to increase public spending and put up taxes to pay for it all. The last time it came up in congress they fudged it until after the election. If there is no agreement in the New Year automatic cuts will clunk and then click in like some rusty old points being changed on the railway track and the steam train will be directed off the fiscal cliff, certainly pushing America deeper into recession it if does crash. This will send the world back into steep recession if not addressed quickly. The west has few levers left to counter another big dip. But if they can sort something out then the economy could race forward and so great for us.
Foreign policy sees Iran back on the agenda. They are clearly building nukes and Israel is nervous, lashing out at the Gazza Strip this week to settle the people's nerves. The Jews have already run war games and put their military on high alert on the plan of attack for Iran but Obama still wavering. Iran fit all the criteria Iraq did for getting their as kicked. Israel took out Saddam's reactors in 1983 and will take out Iran's in 2013. When they do, the Americans, who bankroll the Israel military to the tune of two billion, will be involved. America will have to knock Iran down a peg or two or the Muslim world may well be empowered by Iran's belligerence and so up comes the oil price again. We know from the wikileaks that on the outside America seem to be backing the Arab Spring but from the inside we know different, America wary of these knew governments and regimes.
The coming China crisis is the big issue. There just isn't enough oil and resources to go around between these two and the new Tiger economies in South East Asia and so something got to give. America wont attack China any day soon but these two will use half of the world's oil by 2030 if they continue their greed and so someone else will have to yield their consumption. That could be India or it could be Russia but it has to be someone. War is the way it's always been done over who gets what resources. The island of Japan lashed out in the 1940s, purely because it needed more territories and so their resources to grow their GDP. Japan is also nervous of China and building its unofficial navy fast.
As far as domestic America goes it will become more ethnic and will pull itself apart even more. The ghetto drug wars that rage in their bigger cities are not being fort by whites but disenfranchised blacks. With that huge ethnic vote will cometh expectation from their ethnic leaders to break that poverty cycle. But during Obama's first term the number of blacks in prison passed the number that were enslaved in America's history. One-in-eight- American men has been to jail and nearly 70% of inmates are black or Hispanic. Imagine if they could vote and how many more states would go Democrat?
I am surprised I had to suggest this, I thought this would be quite a hot topic by now with just weeks to go. You might think, it doesn't have an affect on us brits, and that it's not really an interesting or eventful topic to us, but actually as we've seen in recent wars, diplomacy and economic issues, the outcome of the US presidential election has a huge impact on not only America, but the entire world.
Think about it for a second, would we be involved in the Iraq/Afghan war if it were not for Bush's decision to invade? Would America be in such debt if it never happened, and therefore, would the world economy be better? America has a huge impact on the entire world but rather than use the past outcomes as a result, let me use some future possibilities as the result of this election.
I'll start with Iran, those of you who have watched the presidential debates will have heard Mr Romney's typical hardcore right wing American view (about a war possibility) where he said, and i'm not joking, the president (Obama) needs to be firmer in supporting our Israeli allies and do everything he can to stop Iran's nuclear programme. Whereas Obama is more of a sit back, think about it and assess the situation while maintaining diplomatic ties with Israel. Lets not forget bush was cut from the same cloth as Romney, a hardcore right wing American who lets be honest, stormed into an all out war without really thinking it through. So if Romney is elected, I have no doubt we will see an all out war on Iran and as i have written about before on Dooyoo, the threatening of destabilisation in the whole Middle East if not the world.
The future of the world's economy hangs in the balance too with Obama making jobs, trying to cut spending whilst maintaining a brave face every time reports of record poverty levels come in, while Mr Romney would do things differently in the sense that the rich end up better off, spending increases and we have another classic American "do it then think about the consequences later" scenario.
I think the build up to the election has been somewhat interesting with millions spent on advertising and campaigning, all the travelling, and meeting people, the talks and what not, it creates a busy schedule but this also demonstrates to the world what America is like. If you have money and a lot of it, you can make a success of yourself but if you're unlucky and unfortunate, you can't outspend your opponents and therefore you don't have a hope in hell of winning.
Another thing i've found quite interesting are the heated televised debates which seem more to be a cock fight than a debate. The elections are also slightly unfair on the voters because some states can vote early, some can vote with a bigger impact and some don't even count altogether.
So in summary the American voters have the power to change not just the US but the entire world. They don't realise it but the shape of the future is in their hands and that, to me, is what makes the election so interesting, even as a Brit, i keenly await the election results.
And now to round off on my favourite political quote:
Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear.
- Alan Corenk