By Said Leghlid
By Said Leghlid
Morocco World News
Bounou, Ohio, November 6, 2012
On the day of the most important decision Americans make every four years. The long road to the 2012 American election has come to the most important day of the endless marathon campaigning by President Obama of the Democratic Party, and the Republican nominee Mitt Romney. On Tuesday November 6, 2012 the dizzying rallies fraught by endless back and forth exchanged jabs on all matters of form and substance will be decided by voters. Both campaign itineraries by President Obama and candidate Romney look so exhausting in how much territory they cover day in and day out to energize audiences across the politically relevant vast American landscapes.
Along the way both candidates intend to build or defend electoral firewalls, and in between find time to do high donor fund raising where single dinner plates could be on average, equal to the salary of an upper middle class citizen somewhere between 75K and 100K Dollars. No matter how one wishes to think about the elections in America as a democratic process where voters decide, without loads of money, or has it become the paradigm, running for high office in the U.S. without green backs would be virtually impossible.
The crowning of the next president of the United States takes place today with a price tag unmatched by any election in the past. The non-partisan think tank Center for Responsive Politics estimated this election to break all previous historical spending records. Some 5.4 Billion was spent in the 2010 election. That year was a dream year for conservatives. It caught Democrats by surprise and ushered in a new wave of noise making politicians commonly known in American households as the TEA-Baggers movement propelled into office by desperate voters scared by the financial crisis of 2008. The TEA party was also known as radical conservatives in their approach of how they interpret the American constitution from a biblical perspective. TEA has overshadowed mainstream Republican Party, and has pushed many politicians to identify with their brand rather than the classic bipartisan politics known to be the norm in American politics of the past…
This 2012 election could top 7 billion dollars. This unprecedented spike in spending on elections is mainly due to a US Supreme Court ruling which made it possible for U.S. corporations to inject colossal amounts of money into election campaigns and their surrogacy therefore swaying votes of unsuspecting or un-informed voters one way or another, and creating an uncharted territory in political campaign spending. The Supreme Court Ruling is being weighed by many Americans as being excessive, and renders the votes irrelevant. Contributors could spend millions of dollars on an election to either party and remain virtually unknown. Some known political players who stand to win from their contributions such as the billionaire Koch Brothers, billionaire Las Vegas Casino owner Sheldon Adelson, and Carl Rove who helped put George W. Bush on the political sphere and masterminded his two terms wins. Carl Rove continues to play a pivotal role in who gets elected, and also playing an indirect key role in trying to defeat Obama. On the left, contributors such as Soros continue the battle for a social agenda that favors the American middle class
This is a far cry from early political finance laws related to political campaign contributions. Countless attempts at reforming election finance laws fall short and have been aimless at best. According to National Public Radio tally, a breakdown of how much money is spent on TV ads may exceed 1 billion Dollars and currently standing at $982 Million. This is particularly a huge windfall for TV and frenzy for all other media including internet, radio and newspapers. The NPR tally stated that Americans were carpet bombed with over 1 million TV spots. The race in Ohio will turn out to be one of the most expensive in US history. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown was bombarded with over 45,000 ads. The word Super PAC has become mainstay staple in American politics. Ohio is the most strategic battleground state that could mean the control of the senate and is the State responsible for electing the next President of the United States.
This is arguably an election of monumental consequences for Americans who, by virtue of their votes, will either uphold the presidency of Barack Obama by giving him four more years, or reject his policies in favor of Mitt Romney, the republican candidate whose policies remain unclear and now reflect a pivotal reconciliatory artificial agenda aimed at garnering votes. Romney was trying to reflect the conservative values where republicans clash head on with Democrats, and in the process alienate both sides. Most Americans who are known for their passive approach towards elections happen to be following this election with an unmatched intensity. If electing a first Black president in 2008 was the intensity, the 2012 election is more about policy issues that have traditionally polarized Americans along ideological fences. For the last four decades since the rise of the conservative movement of the 1980’s under Paul Weyrich and the silent majority of Jerry Falwell who injected an energized political religious dimension into political campaigns, and by proxy making religion the centerpiece that guides elections decisions.
Let’s look at some socio-demographics: The 2012 election has seen an increase in Latino voters which up to this point have been un-courted by Republicans due to the stereotypical view that when it comes to votes, Latinos are not significant demographic players in American politics. The US census Bureau of 2010 expects Latinos to be a majority in the U.S. by 2050, and American whites to be a Minority. In light of the numbers, one would expect a favorable switch in American immigration policies in the future as Hispanics emerge on the political scene. While American Black youth between age 18 and 35 represent 18% of the overall votes, this important demographic has not been tapped by Republicans. The Republican Party is growing progressively white and older. This brings to the forefront some issues of importance that have been pushing button issues for both parties such as Immigration, Social Security, Medicare and Abortion. Among other issues being voted on in 2012 in different states are same sex marriage and legalizing marijuana. The political fault line themes that have divided Americans for a long time will also continue to influence how voters decide on November 2012.
Obviously a strong case for Obama’s achievements on his first term can be seen as likely cause for Americans to reelect him. Among such achievements: Equal pay for women, ending the war in Iraq, averting a financial collapse in 2008, stimulus package to restart the economy, credit card reform, healthcare reform, integrating gays and lesbians right to serve openly in the military. Another underestimated power the next president will hold that may change the political landscape of America is that the incoming president will appoint incoming Supreme Court justices. With two possible vacancies, some famous cases such as Roe-V-Wade could be overturned.
One could concede that foreign policy does not have the coverage it requires when it comes to national politics, despite what is happening in the Arab world with the Arab Spring and currently Syria’s civil war; America has a lot on its plate. Hurricane Sandy, Universal Healthcare, Infrastructure, and Education reform will perhaps consume American politics for months to come, and Obama is viewed as the favorite to handle diplomacy with a steady collaborative approach with America’s allies.
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