A lot is changing with every day since the first Presidential debate and Trump getting hospitalised for Covid infection.
There are just about three weeks to go for what many say will be the most “unprecedented election in US political history”. There is no doubt that there is something different about the US Presidential Election 2020.
It is turning out to be the “most fierce and exciting” election, although loaded with personal attacks, not to miss getting “very ugly and abusive”. Amidst confusing poll surveys, conflicting media analysis with “personalised endorsement to the two Presidential candidates”, the cancellation of Presidential debates and both Donald Trump and Joe Biden refusing to arrive at a consensus, in a way make it appear as “posing roadblocks to a normal democratic process”, eventually leaving the voters confused. Nonetheless, the fringe voter sit quiet as they hold the key in, what many political columnists in US media say, will be the highest voter turnout in US presidential history.
Moreover, President Trump’s “battle with Corona” and his defiance against any prescribed health guidelines and his strong insistence on appearances in public gathering just within 10 days of being tested Covid positive, is not going his way. It has surely given a handle to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats to question “his conduct and his state of mind”, and a Bill was put in the House citing 25th Amendment of American Constitution to “argue for his removal on the grounds that he is unfit to administer”.
Do you think Trump will pay any ear to Pelosi’s “tryst with destiny, she has been doing since 2016 to remove this President?” She tried to get him impeached too. But he is standing like a wall similar to the one he built on the Mexican border despite all the protests from the Democrats and fiery columns by the left-liberal US media.
But many like us in India and overseas, who have only engaged with the First and Second Amendments of the US Constitution, must leapfrog to the 25th Amendment, the fine-print of which Speaker Pelosi is out to encash on, temporarily though, as the end purpose of ousting Trump from office as President, will not become a reality. But it will hit the Republicans’ campaign where it will hurt them most. Republicans’ star candidate, President Trump’s health will be in question, confusing the voters further. Coronavirus will again start haunting the voters as it has started since Trump himself tested positive and what followed is equally concerning—scores of White House aides and key functionaries and the entire top defence and security brass. And that seems to be Pelosi’s main move. But she should also understand that the Trump Campaign will not let her go unscathed. There is a buzz that the Trump team is out to dig out more against Pelosi and into Hillary Clinton’s “email mystery”. We have to wait and watch.
The US media is abuzz with reports saying, Pelosi along with Democrat Senators are trying to push the Bill in the House to establish a process to effectively give Congress a say in removing a President from office under the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which allows for a President to be removed from office if a majority of Cabinet members and the Vice President consider him unable to carry out his duties.
Section four of the 25th Amendment also says that if a majority of a body established by law, along with the Vice President, declares in writing that if the President is disabled and unable to do his job, the Vice President immediately becomes the Acting President.
The bill, Democrats say, will create that body to help determine the fitness of the President. The proposal was formally introduced on Friday by Pelosi and Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskind of Maryland.
The US media admits it is designed to heighten the attention on Trump’s condition after his doctors provided limited information about his recovery from coronavirus. It will be interesting to see what Vice-President Pence’s reaction will be to this move by Speaker Pelosi. We know that he’s keen to contest as President in 2024, but that he will do something anything immediate, is far from reality.
The Republicans are already up in arms against Pelosi’s “tactical move to overthrow Trump”, something she has been persistently trying since 2016. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to say on Friday whether extraordinary Constitutional measures should be invoked to remove President Donald Trump from office, saying, “that’s not for us to decide,” even as she threw her weight behind a new bill to give Congress a role in determining whether the President of the United States must be forced out of office because he’s incapable of doing his job.
Interestingly, a lot is changing with every day since the first Presidential debate and Trump getting hospitalised for Covid infection.
From here on, with so many political moves still in play, the elections are set to go any side, says Muktesh Agni, President and CEO of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.
Agni told this newspaper: “Anything can happen in the current scenario due to the Electoral College. At the moment Biden has a double digit lead and no debate works in favour of Biden. Biden was smart on insisting on a debate; the Presidential Debate Commission insisted on virtual and Trump said no to virtual, therefore blame seems to be on Trump not wanting to appear for a debate.”
Aghi, who is in the forefront of Indian diaspora’s involvement in the US elections and is keenly watching every political move, feels Florida will be key and “White House is a hotspot, which does not reflect well for Trump on pandemic strategy”.
He said: “Florida’s 30% of the population is 65 years old and over. They are the most impacted and they are not happy about Trump administration’s handling of the Covid crisis. We can go state by state and it will be the same story. The pandemic crisis is of grave concern for the voters.”
Trump has scored over Biden in terms of economic recovery and the stimulus package, which started to give some relief to the voters. But now it seems the poor corona handling is now again at the forefront due to his own White House turning out to be “super spreader, including himself”. Left with the only option to debate in the open against Biden to deflect attention from the corona heat, he is needling Biden, who’s also playing smart by refusing to oblige. Aghi says, this is a tactical move by Biden. “Trump is hoping, just like the last debate, Biden will come out looking inept. Biden did not make mistakes. In fact, constant interference from Trump made the President look bad.”
Not to miss, Vice-President Pence scored better in his debate against her opponent Kamala Harris.
“Pence did a better job than Trump. He did bring in some sense of sanity in the administration; once the debate was over Trump twitted 52 times in two hours and so far it has been downhill for him,” says Aghi adding, “one should not undermine Harris as she also worked with a strategy. Strategy for Harris was that Democrats have a double digit lead, hence do not make any mistakes. She avoided looking like an angry woman. She was articulate and a clear winner.”
But amidst confusing poll surveys, accuracy is still a concern. Every vote will count and both sides are leaving no vote banks unattended. No wonder, even a 1.8 million Indian American vote bank out of the over 220 million voters in America is also being pampered and well attended by both Biden and Trump Campaigns.
Kamala Harris, who carries the twin lineage—Indian-American and Afro-American—is trying to lap up the maximum from both communities, other than reaching out as a woman to a large number of women voters, many of whom are against President Trump for reasons well known.
Race, gender and economy are set to influence the final results and with three weeks still to go, it seems like it is not ending here anyway. The political filth and personal abuse, even to the extent of digging old files to defame each other may go on till the 3 November election. Who knows, even after that? Anything can happen in this election. That’s why political pundits are silent, sending puzzling signals to American voters!