Good luck to Clinton and Trump

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 09 November 2016, 12:00AM

Today is a big day for the United States of America. More than a hundred million Americans will decide on who will lead their country as President for the next four years.

Will it be a continuation of the Clinton family legacy through Hillary Clinton? Or will a billionaire in the form of Donald Trump defy the odds to claim what is without a doubt the most powerful political position in the world?

Either way, only time will tell. 

And by tonight, we should all know who that might be. 

It’s anyone’s guess at this stage. Although the polls have heavily favoured the more seasonal diplomat in Clinton, we cannot completely write off Trump.

Believe it or not, there are many Americans who think he can be the next American President. The thought is not confined to America of course. There are also many people around the world – including the remote shores of Samoa – who are putting their money on a Trump victory.

Come to think of it, these American Presidential elections are the stuff that movies are made from. The plot is always heavy with twists and turns at every corner that will put Schumacher’s driving skills to the test. This election campaign has been true to that perception. It has been dirty, entertaining, confronting, open and at times downright ugly. All this of course has been played out ever so publically.

But that’s what you’d expect from a country championed by the world for freedom. America after all is the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is what makes this particular nation one of the greatest in the world. I mean you only have to watch some of the developments during the campaign to cringe with the thought that such could only happen in America.

To look to the future though, we can never forget the past. 

For the past eight years, Barack Obama has done a stellar job driving the idea of the American dream – not only in America but also an ideal to aspire to by the rest of the world. Contrary to what his critics think, it must be stated that President Obama has proven himself a worthy holder of the Office. Domestically, he has fought hard to ensure wealth; health and all benefits are evenly shared among the population. On the international front, his continuous stance against tyrannical juntas and regimes – many have fallen during his time – has made him a champion of the democratic ideal. He is the embodiment of what a democracy is all about.

Interestingly enough, the questions asked during the last Presidential election seem to have taken on a new meaning with this one.

In 2012, the questions on Election Day were pretty straightforward: Does America want a black man who had transformed their fortunes since the economic turmoil of 2008 to continue as President? Or is it time for a change?

The irony was that in 2008 when Obama defied the odds to become President, the magic word flown around America then was “change.” That’s when the term “Change we can believe in” was coined and engraved into our thinking.

When all was said and done, Americans of course voted for change. In doing so, they elected Obama, the first African American man to be their 43rd President.

It was a huge occasion, one of the most significant moments in the history of that country. Many people said that it signalled a change in how Americans considered the issue of “colour.” No doubt Martin Luther King would have been a proud man.

But as America votes today, we know these questions have taken on a new meaning. For instance, would America rather have a seasoned diplomat in Clinton at the helm or a loose cannon in the form of Trump whose ability to generate headlines is unmatched? 

Based on popularity and publicity, Trump has no competition. He would win hands down. 

Thankfully, that’s not how elections are won. Election winners are not chosen based on popularity, they are chosen based on what they stand for and what they can bring to the table in terms of leadership.

Who do we think is going to win?

It’s impossible to say. We’re not Americans of course so we will not pretend to know what’s best for America. 

Suffice to say, the affairs of the United States have huge ramifications on the world – including Samoa. As the popular saying goes, when America sneezes, the world catches a cold. This is why the democratic world has a vested interest in the good health of American democracy. That country needs someone stable, someone with a vision and someone who will continue the work done by President Obama to advance the American ideals that can benefit the world.

So who would it be? Will it be Clinton’s day or will Trump somehow manage to spoil the party? Are we about to have the first woman President of the United States of America? Let’s wait and see.

God bless the American election and enjoy the drama that it will no doubt become. 

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 09 November 2016, 12:00AM

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