American Dream : Roman in US

In zori , in Romania , s-au aflat rezultatele alegerilor din America. Previzibil , Obama si-a adjudecat un nou mandat , asigurand o continuitate „reformelor” incepute in mandatul sau. Semn ca electorii americani au inteles ca reconstructia unei tari nu se poate face pe termen scurt si strategiile necesita timp de implementare.

Maturitatea electoratului american a fost oglindita in cozile de asteptare pentru a vota. O imagine ciudata pentru romanii care , din lipsa de un subiect al alegerilor, evita cu gratie sectiile de votare.

M-am intrebat cum vede un roman ajuns in America sistemul lor democratic. Cum intelege diferentele dupa impactul cu societatea americana . Ce motiveaza un roman, din punct de vedere politic, sa plece si apoi sa se intoarca. Macinata de aceste curiozitati , l-am intrebat pe Vlad cum e sa traiesti in America in perioada electorala . Voiam sa ascult povestea unui roman de rand ajuns in tara tuturor posibilitatilor.Am vrut sa vad prin ochii lui experienta numita „american dream”.

Vlad Brad a plecat in USA in 1994 .

Cetatean al unei tari cu o democratie experimentala , ieseanul ajuns in America, caracterizeaza bataliile politice americane ca fiind foarte aprinse:Le-am trait la nivel maxim…eu fiind democrat si cumnatul meu, om cu doctorat luat la o universitate americana, fiind republican. Am asistat la o dezbatere pe temele politicii americane, si in acest context, tratatul NAFTA( Nord AmerIcan Free Trade Agreement) sustinut de Clinton, in Toronto.Bestial!! Claritate, lipsa de ambiguitate, fara promisiuni desarte, cu obiective precise , trasate pe termen lung….superb!! Si participarea studentilor de la universitatea Toronto foarte activa. Sistemul legislativ american, este , dupa mine , un sistem in care alegatorul este mai bine reprezentat, fiind un sistem cu electori…dar , in ultima perioada , se pare ca grupurile de interese, asa numitii lobbisti, inclina balanta in favoarea marilor companii.

Vlad  a urmarit ambele campanii ale lui G.W. Bush, a participat in SUA la greve sindicale si sedinte de sindicat :dupa sedinta de sindicat, la o uzina Ford….le-am spus ca daca mai indraznesc sa-mi spuna ca provin dintr-o tara comunista, ii bat.Mai comunista decit sedinta sindicala de acolo nu am vazut ceva in viata mea.

L-am intrebat in ce termeni vede el diferentele intre sistemele electorale din Romania si SUA. Ce ii face pe politicienii americani atat de speciali si plini de charm. Si cum se vad , de acolo, din USA, campaniile electorale mioritice.

Diferenta intre sistemul electoral din Statele Unite si cel din Romania?

Prea putin spus diferenta.Nu exista alta asemanare decat in denumire…In rest, nimic nu este la fel.

Pornim de la calitatea morala si profesionala a candidatilor.Acolo, in US, candidatul propus , pe linie de partid sau alianta, este in primul rand un om care este cunoscut in comunitate.Este cel care ii ajuta, este cel care le asculta doleantele, este cel care le solutioneaza sesizarile catre municipalitate, este cel in care comuniatea are incredere, este cel care face propuneri catre organele locale , propuneri bazate pe o comunicare deschisa si onesta intre comunitate si organele locale.Si in primul rind, este cel care este constant in convingerile politice,cel care are o lunga cariera in sanul unui SINGUR partid, cel care a sacrificat mult din viata personala pentru idealurile si ideile sale politice, cel care cu argumentul unei vieti oneste si deschise oricarui , se prezinta in fata comunitatii solicitand votul si increderea lor.

Ce pot spune despre toate astea vis-a-vis de situatia din Romania?Nimic! Aici fiecare stie cum este “propulsat” un candidat.De multe ori fara pregatire profesionala sau morala adecvata postului ,oameni fara experienta , dar obedienti partidului,oameni care “in numele binelui partidului” sacrifica comunitatea si nevoile celor care ii aleg,oameni care odata aLesi, nu mai sunt “disponibili” comunitatii sau propunerilor celor din circumscriptie.Oameni care sar de atitea ori din “barca” partidului aflat la putere, ca nu mai stii ce ideal sau convingere politica au…oameni care au o singura grija si un singur ideal: de a fi mereu alesi.

Raliurile electorale americane, de la nivelul de alegere a consilierilor municipali pana la nivelul alegerilor prezidentiale se bazeaza foarte mult pe interactiunea permanenta cu electorii, cu cei ce vor acorda votul si increderea .Intotdeauna este foarte important sa fie cat mai bine inteles mesajul care il transmite candidatul catre marea masa de votanti. Bineinteles ca in cadrul procesului electoral sunt strategii facute pe micsorarea electoratului adversarului.Si aici intervin multe reclame platite in care este prezentata activitatea trecuta a adversarului politic, precum si promisiunile desarte facute .

Ma gandesc la ce s-ar putea spune despre promisiunile facute de catre politicienii romani in campania electorala si rezultatele de dupa.Nu cred ca este persoana majora si vaccinata in Romania de azi care sa poata spune ceva frumos despre subiectul asta.

Rade. Il intreb ce l-a impresionat cel mai mult in campaniile electorale de peste ocean.

Simplul fapt ca am stat acasa, ca a trecut pe la usa mea un candidat, care mi-a strans mana si a stat de vorba cateva minute, asigurand-ma de indeplinirea promisiunilor facute;simplul fapt ca se intereseaza de cum imi este , cu ce mi-ar mai putea fi de folos;simplul fapt ca existenta spiritului civic in fiecare membru al comunitatii nu este mort;toatea astea fac din procesul electoral o chestiune de onoare, de mandrie si responsabilitate.

LIV…Low Information Voter.Votant cu un nivel redus de informare.Votant majoritar in Romania de azi.Votant ce poate fi cumparat cu un bidon de ulei si doua galeti.Votanti ce sunt usor manevrabili de catre autoritatile locale interesate in influentarea deciziilor electorale:mareaaaa masa de romani!Oamenii care spun”nu ma duc la vot, nu ma intereseaza”,oamenii ce ajung la cabina de vot cu o parere si voteaza altceva.Cei care ne influenteaza viata de atatia si atatia ani.Cei din cauza carora avem un asemenea Parlament,cei ce voteaza Becali la PNL…Cei din cauza carora se poate gandi PNL-ul sa il bage pe Becali in liste…Vezi? Astia suntem si ne meritam alesii..noi le permitem asa ceva!

LIV…low information voters in USA.Oamenii care de asemenea nu stiu multe despre candidat si propunerile lor legislative,insa nu pot fi cumparati cu o sticla de ulei si doua pelerine,nu pot fi manevrati in scopul influentarii rezultatelor electorale de catre primar prin amenintarea sistarii ajutoarelor sociale sau a ajutorului de caldura…Aici e uriasa diferenta! 

Il intreb ce ar mai fi de spus in conditiile date. Cum vede el solutia pentru normalitate in Romania noastra sufocata de interese .

„Ce ar mai fi de zis? Satisfactia imensa pentru alegerea unui candidat ? Amaraciunea sincera si promisiunea de “ vom fi mai buni peste 4 ani”..?!Acolo!!
Dezamagirea si scarba fata de compromisul facut in alegera unui candidat ???!Aici! Mana care parca se usuca atunci cand esti “fortat” in alegerea unui “cel mai mic rau”…Dezgust si dorinta de a pleca in alt loc…un loc care chiar daca este si el potrivit a servi scopului unui alt ”boss” decat poporul,macar iti da senzatia de normalitate….!”

Black and White: American Roulette

With a considerable change of time zone, there it began D-Day in the USA.
After an election campaign, which had reduced the distance between the two candidates, Obama and Romney, the Election Day had come, election that will change or not the fate of a country and of the entire world. Because, either we like to admit it or not, the United States chooses every four years the leader of the world.

All the more, the electors have a huge responsibility. The destiny of a geopolitical relationship globally extended is in their power to decide. I’ve no idea if the Americans electors realize this responsibility they have. I don’t know if the selfish nature that’s specific for the American society is also reflected in their political choices, choices that have the mission to change (or not) the world future every four years.

America is a model of an (almost) ideal democracy. It is everything that we, states of the old communist confederacy, haven’t got in the shadow/darkness years. Maybe this is the reason why, more than any other state of the world, we are looking at the ‘All Possibilities Land’ with different eyes, a land that is hard to reach for an ordinary Romanian. But there are a lot of Romanians that arrived and lived in the US. Some of them came back, some of them didn’t. For those who remained here, the wish to understand the American electoral system it’s above any superficiality barrier of journalism. Often, Romanian media analysts are talking about an electoral system of o country they never had the chance to ‘test’.

That’s why today, in the most rousing political day of the American states, we asked Brian Wilkes, American journalist, to help us decode the electoral system, 2012 elections and the fight that decides the world leader every four years.

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.

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.