Alb si negru la Ruleta Americana

Cu o diferenta considerabila de fus orar, iata ca in SUA ziua zero a inceput.

Dupa o campanie electorala, care a redus distantele dintre cei doi candidati, Obama si Romney,a venit ziua alegerilor care vor schimba sau nu soarta unei tari si a lumii intregi . Pentru ca , ne place sau nu sa recunoastem, SUA alege din 4 in 4 ani liderul lumii.

Cu atat mai mult , responsabilitatea alegatorilor americani este uriasa. In puterea lor decizionala sta soarta unei  relatii geopolitice extinse la nivel mondial. Nu stiu daca electorii americani constientizeaza aceasta responsabilitate. Nu stiu daca modelul de egoism specific societatii americane se rasfrange si asupra deciziilor politice, care au misiunea de a schimba (sau nu) din 4 in 4 ani soarta lumii.

America este un model de democratie (aproape) ideala. Tot ceea ce noua, statelor din fostul bloc comunist, ne-a lispit in anii de intuneric. Poate asta ne face sa ne uitam , mai mult decat celelalte state ale lumii , cu alti ochi catre taramul „tuturor posibilitatilor”, greu accesibil pentru un roman de rand. Sunt multi romani care au ajuns si au trait in SUA. Unii s-au intors, altii au ramas acolo.

Pentru cei ramasi aici , dorinta de a intelege sistemul electoral american depaseste bariera superficialitatii jurnalistice autohtone.

De cele mai multe ori analistii media romani vorbesc despre un sistem electoral al unei tari pe care nu au avut ocazia sa o testeze. Analizeaza doar pe baze teoretice si pe opinii culese, nu formate din experienta proprie.  De aceea astazi, in cea mai vibranta zi politica din SUA , l-am rugat pe Brian Wilkes, jurnalist american, sa ne ajute sa intelegem sistemul electoral , alegerile 2012 si lupta care decide liderul lumii din 4 in 4 ani.

Brian Wilkes is a former news anchor, news director, and newspaper editor in the US. He has been covering presidential elections since 1972.

Attempting explain the US Presidential election system for a largely foreign audience …

In 1789, the United States was a reluctant alliance of former British colonies. Since the federal system might not work, each state continued doing business as if it was an independent country. The smaller states – Delaware, New Hampshire – didn’t want to see the larger states dominate the new alliance, so they came up with a system to slow down the process.

State legislatures held most of the power. Until the 20th century, US Senators were elected, not by the people, but by the legislatures. The House of Representatives was and is elected by popular vote.

American voters today may think they are voting for the president, but they are really voting for a group of „electors” pledged to that candidate for a first ballot of the Electoral College, which meets December 17. The electors are chosen and certified by the states.

In some states, whichever candidate wins the popular vote is assigned ALL that state’s electors. In other states, it breaks down according to results in each Congressional district.
On top of that, there is a patchwork of varying rules for voter registration and eligibility, since each of the 50 states sets its own rules.

In my own case, I recently moved from Kentucky, a strongly Republican state, to Illinois, a more Democratic state and President Obama’s home. Because I do not have enough of the right documentation yet to prove my residence in Illinois, I cannot vote here. Technically, I can no longer vote in Kentucky, either. One votes as a citizen of a state, not as a citizen of the United States; we actually don’t have national elections, we have 50 state-managed presidential elections occurring on the same day.

Confused yet? Now I’ll explain why it actually doesn’t matter that I’m not voting.
In Kentucky, Mitt Romney is expected to win by 20 points. My vote there won’t change the outcome. In Illinois, Barack Obama is expected to win by 20 points. My vote here won’t affect that outcome. So I’m sitting back and observing.

One of the cynics of the last century said that America does not have religious freedom, we have an uneasy truce between many faiths, each of which wants to declare a religious dictatorship. One of the most militant historically has been the Mormon of LDS Church, for whom Mitt Romney has been a missionary and bishop. If he wins, he will not only be the first Mormon but the first clergyman to become president.

Mormons have been in armed conflict several times:

§ 1838 Mormon War (aka Missouri Mormon War), a conflict in 1838 between Latter Day Saints and their neighbors in northwestern Missouri

§ Illinois Mormon War, a conflict in 1844–1846 between Latter Day Saints and their neighbors in western Illinois

§ Utah War, a conflict in 1857–1858 between Latter Day Saints in Utah Territory and the United States federal government. In this period, they were also involved in massacres of Native Americans and of wagon trains of settlers crossing their territory to reach California.

What’s strange is that the religious right wing has embraced Romney, although most would also call him a heretic or cultist. Why? They are more uncomfortable with Barack Obama.

Obama is a bi-racial, US-born citizen who spent part of his childhood with a step-family in Indonesia. To hear his detractors, he is a foreign-born Muslim with a secret agenda to impose Sharia law. This election has revealed the depth of lingering American racism, religious bigotry, homophobia and xenophobia. He is racist America’s nightmare: a black man with an Ivy League education, a law degree, who can call in nuclear strikes and predator drones.

The fear-mongers have worked overtime on this election. Two weeks ago, it looked like Mitt Romney might actually win. Then Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, and President Obama’s response demonstrated the leadership some had feared was missing. The governor of New Jersey and the mayor of New York, both Republicans, had kind words and even endorsements. It also brought back unpleasant memories of Republican President George W. Bush’s mishandling of the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and statements by candidate Romney that he would cut or eliminate funding for the very agencies responding to help storm victims.

It will be a close election. Barack Obama can blame himself for that, especially for not prosecuting the Neo-Cons responsible for deceiving us into two needless wars or the banksters responsible for the greatest financial disaster since 1929. Many who voted for him were convinced he would bring them to trial, and felt betrayed when he didn’t.
The tiny village of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire traditionally gathers just after midnight on election day to cast their ballots. Their results are usually a good indicator of the national results. This year, there were only 10 voters, the lowest turnout since 1960 – perhaps an indication of how disgusted Americans are with this campaign. Each candidate won 5 votes.

We hope this doesn’t indicate another long 2000-style battle over election results.
Brian Wilkes, 6th November, 2012

*Aici articolul integral in limba engleza. 

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