Saturday, November 06, 2004

American Elections

Throughtout the US election campaign, I had this feeling that Kerry would not win. I had seen a similar kind of excitement and fervor at the time of Bush Sr.'s election several decades ago. Hype was built around Michael Dukakis who was to defeat Bush. Finally, as we know, Bush came out a winner.

The same has happened this time around. Kerry didn't have the charishma or was it his jaw that did him in. I don't know. But I guess too much of negative publicity against Bush backfired on the Kerry camp.

On the day the election results were announced, while walking to my office, I was thinking of the parallels between Modi and Bush. In the aftermath of the Gujarat riots, the media painted such uncharitable picture of Modi that people began taking his side. He finally won the election to the chagrin of all liberals and scularists. The same, and more, has happened in Bush's case. Bush won despite Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11. Bush won despite Bin Laden's warning: "Your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida. No. Your security is in your own hands. And every state that doesn’t play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security."

Interestingly, that morning, I read a news about Narendar Modi. Apparently, he was likening himself with Bush, saying...look Bush won because he did the same as I had done. Modi is remorseless about Gujarat massacres. So is Bush about Iraq. It all looked so surreal to me.

What do we expect now? Of course, more wars and more violence. The world is going to be a bloodier place.

I liked this message from a reader in the Outlook Magazine:

"I sat up late on Tuesday night watching election results with shock and awe. As a non-citizen I could not vote but I followed the entire election cycle starting from the Democratic primaries extremely closely.

I was shocked by the fact that people of this great country, when left alone in the voting booth decided that quashing abortion and gay rights of their fellow citizens was more important than economy, jobs, environment and the war in Iraq. I was shocked to discover that people used a euphemism called “moral values” to describe their bigotry. And I was shocked to discover that a president who dodged the draft, who was consistently negative and untruthful in his attacks against his opponent, a self-proclaimed uniter who left no stone unturned in dividing this country for political gains was thought to be morally more upright than his opponent. And I was awed by how the Republican Party think tank played on raw emotions of people to win a resounding majority.

By choosing to vote on issues such as these and by voting for a president that takes delight in belittling international leaders (and I don’t think that there is anything wrong with it – after all people will vote to whatever is more important to them)-I think the US has well and truly lost claim to be leader of the free world."

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