The US presidential election held every 4 years is an event of great importance. Right from 1776 when George Washington became president a American selection has been held without fail every four years. Even when the country is in the midst of a war, a presidential election is always held. Thus during the height of the Second World War a election was held in 1941 and resulted in ROOSEVELT GETTING A 4th term as president. Roosevelt won 4 consecutive terms as US president. This long period of president by one man alarmed many in Congress who resolved to llimit a term as president to just two terms.i.e 8 years. This led to a constitutional amendment bill when Truman was president.  Congress passed the bill which henceforth restricted a incumbent to just 2 terms as president.

The present man holding the chair is Barack Mohammed Obama. He finishes his term of 8 years in January 2017 and will have to make way for a new incumbent. Obama is the first Afro American  to be president of USA. Obama won nomination the first time in 2008 and beat his rival Hillary Clinton.  He belonged to the Democratic party. HisoHisorically America has ha a two party system, with the other party being the GOP or Republican party. History does not allow a third party and though any one can contest an election, the odds are heavily stackstacked against a third party or independent candidate. Thus a winner can only be either a Democrat or Republican party nominee.

This year the contest is basically between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Hillary is the Democratic nominee while Donald has won the Republican nomination. There are 2 other candidates but they are oy in the 'also ran' category and have virtually zero chance of winning. Hillary had lost the nomination in 2008 to Obama, but she has bounced back and is eyeing the Oval office. Her husband was president for 2 terms from 1994'2000. His Presidency is distinguished for a string of sexual encounters in his office in the White House . Hillary was aware of these infidelities but she bore it stoically and is now reaping the benefit by bagging the Democrat nomination. 

Trump on the other hand is the outsider. he was a business man and nobody gave him a chance, but he swept all before him like a steam roller and won the nomination. But he, by statements and action created a great divide in American society. Trump called for a wall to be built on the US-Mexican border to keep out Mexican immigrants and he also talked of racially profiling all Muslims and banning their entry into the USA for some time. This was music to many in the US establishment and also abroad like in India where the Hindu Sena, held prayers for his victory.

Trump is a man of action and his other statements are equally divisive. He has praised Saddam and said that his removal was a mistake and he has also said that Putin is a better president than Obama. Many in America have been offended, but the extreme right wing is his biggest support who see him as a man who is the whites " great hope". Donald started the election  campaign with the 4th estate squarely against him and they manipulated opinion polls that show that Donald was lagging by many percentage points to Hillary. But now some sanity is restored and the latest polls show that Donald and Hillary are neck and neck with each other.

There is also the question of health and gender. Many in America are averse to any mention of gender, but the fact is there is no instance in history of a woman commander in Chief which Hillary will be in case she is the President of the USA. Her health also is infirm and there are reports that she had fainted once. Even a layman knows that a fainting fit is not something to be glossed over. She also had an attack of pneumonia and a whooping cough fit for many minutes at a election debate. These are not good signs and in contrast though Donald is not young at 70, yet he looks fitter and a better bet.

The election is nearing the last lap and very soon 8th November the day of the election will dawn. Both candidates are in a slug fest and passing comments against each other. Tough both are level at the moment there is a good chance that Donald may pull ahead, in that case for Hillary it will be so near yet too far. in case Hillary wins the American masses may have voted in a candidate who is not fit and has a tainted record. One wonders if she could be the Gorbachev of the USA. Time alone will tell what happens , but the great power the USA is gasping and needs a dynamic leader. Who will that be ?

 


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