On the 8th of November the Americans will choose the new President of the United States. But in the US electoral system, the American voters do not directly vote the President: it is the so-called “Electors” to do it. In turn, these 538 Electors are elected by the people according to the electoral lists of parties they belong to.
The candidates of the two major and dominant parties in the American administration are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Republican and Democratic, respectively. The Democratic candidate is now at 47% in the polls, while Trump is at 45.3%, in great comeback. According to the latest survey conducted by CNN, 268 Electors are supporting Clinton, while 204 are voting for Trump; 66 of them are still hovering voters. The situation is so uncertain that someone is also starting to evoke the breakeven hypothesis.
There also are other candidates like Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, former governor of New Mexico. He is the only alternative candidate to be present in the electoral lists of all the States, considered by polls to be at around 6%. He proposes the legalization of drugs, civil unions for all sexes, total market freedom, elimination of welfare and no restrictions to weapons. Then there is Jill Stein, the leader of the Green Party, a doctor and activist, who supports environmental policies but also Snowden and Assange and is contrary to the policies of NATO and Israel. In recent days, Evan McMullin has been gaining notoriety, he is anti-abortion and against civil unions, the American right-wing likes him and in Utah the polls show him as favoured. Darrel Castle, a lawyer, is the candidate of the Constitution Party. He stated that Muslims should be impeded from accessing the Country until more sophisticated anti-terror measures are taken. But there are also other 26 candidates that formally compete to the US presidency. Many of them are found in one same State.
But in these hours US administrations are focused on other concerns: the threat of terroristic attacks by Islamic extremism and of cyber attaks to destabilize the electoral process. There is a risk that the softwares that manage the registers of voters and the electronic ballot boxes which are used throughout much of the Country will be violated. The White House, the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon and major intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA are on alert. Even social networks like Twitter and Facebook are being monitored to block any publications of misinformation and false documents.
But let’s go back to the two realistically eligible candidates. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have unveiled their election manifesto in August, choosing as stage the city of Detroit, the world automobile capital city and now a symbol of the impoverished working class. Their respective programs touch themes as investments to boost the economy and the employment rates, trade, foreign policy, war, weapons, civil rights and national and international security.
Trump is pursuing protectionist ideas lastly embraced by the Republicans in the twenties. He promises tax benefits, debt and deficit decrease, jobs increase and economic growth. Companies of any size will not pay more than 15% of business income in taxes. According to Trump, immigration reform should be about creating a wall to mark the southern border (the one with Mexico), the elimination of citizenship by birth, and the placement of sole US citizens in command working positions. It is precisely on immigration that Trump is aiming to win the elections, relying on social issues related to crime and to the accommodation and health costs borne by the taxpayers. With regard to environmental issues, Trump argues that global warming is only a “hoax”: it would instead be necessary to use fossil fuels to develop the industry and the economy of the Country. One of the promises made by Trump is the dismantling of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), which deals with the protection of the environment and the development of renewable energies. Trump then hardly attacked Obama’s foreign policy during Clinton era as Secretary of State, especially with regard to the war in the Middle East. He wants to prevent Iran from having nuclear energy, and promises to ease tensions with Russia and China, finding common interests despite their differences. He wants to change NATO’s items of expenditure to reduce US commitment and to send troops abroad only if “absolutely necessary”.
Hillary Clinton has decades of administrative experience and has a clearly structured program. She has proved herself to be mainly interested in addressing the middle class, social equality and human rights, particularly the rights of women, black people and children, towards which she has been working in the past, at first as a lawyer and then as a politician. The Democratic program provides a mix of public measures and incentives for companies and for scientific research. First, a federal investment plan on infrastructures: roads, railways, airports. Then a series of incentives for small and medium enterprises, considered to be the most able to create jobs. Simplification of bureaucracy and of the procedures to access public capital should also be pursued. She wants to create a tax reform that encourages investments in America to avoid that companies shift their industries abroad, and is keen on producing massive investments for the development of green energy, with the goal of making the United States the leading nation in solar energy production. Hillary is promoting a comprehensive immigration reform to protect immigrants’ rights which will also be useful for economic growth.
Meanwhile, the investigation conducted by the FBI on the e-mails containing confidential documents disclosed and mismanaged by Clinton is in the foreground. But the risk is that there may be an enlargement of the investigation on the Clinton Foundation, considered to be a money-making machine for the Presidential spouses. For sure it won’t be possible to close the investigation before the 8th of November, and this raises serious doubts about the opportunity and the timing of exposing the issue to the media just a few days before the Presidential election. The exposure of an ongoing investigation is not permissible and is not FBI habit. Also because it is possible that subsequently Hillary’s concrete responsibilities will not be demonstrated.
On the other side, as we read on an article published by The Atlantic, Trump’s most famous ability is self-promotion. According to the American magazine, in fact, the magnate is exploiting the fears and the weaknesses of the population as he offers an immediate magical solution and says what people actually want to hear. Furthermore, following the New York Times, Donald Trump has used suspected “maneuvers” to avoid paying taxes, and there are numerous evidences of some of his actions and thoughts, especially related to the devaluation of the female gender.
Meanwhile, there is a place in the United States where the electoral campaign is not a priority, and that is the reserve of Native Americans in North Dakota. A people who has been massacred by us, West people, and who is now protesting to defend its last piece of land being threatened by new energy multinationals interests: “I still have hope in Barack Obama, he can stop this all with a stroke of his pen” sighs Wayne Carrick, from the Chippewa tribe, while poking the fire. There’s still someone who thinks about the weakest.