05 November 2016 ~ 0 Comentarios

Hillary, Trump and where U.S. strength lies

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

El tercer debate y el final de TrumpFew hours remain before the U.S. elections. Trump might win. As the end of the campaign approaches, the two candidates move notably closer to each other. That is why journalist Andrés Oppenheimer wrote that on this occasion, when votes will be cast passionately for or against, with the heart or the liver, the Hispanic vote could be decisive to defeat Trump. Many of the Hispanic voters don’t feel any special sympathy for Hillary but deeply detest Trump.

Two of the undecided states with great weight are Florida and Pennsylvania. If Trump loses them, he’s finished. The estimate in Florida is that 70 percent of Hispanics prefer Hillary, but that percentage rises to 85 when it comes to Puerto Ricans. Traditionally, most of the pro-commonwealth and pro-statehood parties — the island’s largest ideological sectors — prefer the Democratic Party. Clinton’s strategy is to intensely cultivate the political loyalty of that ethnic group.

In Pennsylvania in 2012, Obama won by 5 percent of the votes. Later it was learned that the Hispanics accounted for 6 percent of the vote and that 80 percent voted for him. Hillary Clinton is hoping to achieve the same results. The machinery will try to urge them to go to the polls, along with the women, the blacks, the LGBT community, the Jews, the college crowd and all the groups of voters that the surveys show to be leaning mostly to Clinton.

That is why it is so difficult for Donald Trump to win the game. Those who in the United States are called under-educated whites, the blue collars, the rednecks, the religious fanatics of the Bible Belt, the unionists, the racists of all kinds who ride Trump’s bandwagon are many — maybe too many — but are probably not enough to eclipse a woman candidate who tries to represent the United States’ complex social reality today.

What would happen if Hillary Clinton won? Likely, her government would resemble her husband’s, but because she’d arrive in the White House conditioned by Bernie Sanders’ support, and because her voters would demand it, she would increase public spending and would be less responsible on fiscal matters than Bill Clinton, a Democrat who substantially reduced welfare spending and managed the odd miracle of maintaining, for several years, a budget surplus.

And what would happen if Donald Trump wins? In my opinion, the greatest damage would be done to international relations. Why? Because of his statements against the Mexicans and his strange sympathy toward Vladimir Putin. Because of his rudimentary understanding of winning or losing transactions between companies and countries, typical of a pre-modern mercantilist mentality. Because of his lack of understanding of the role of the United States after the end of World War II. Because we’d see him destroy the extraordinary job that Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated at Bretton Woods in 1944 and Harry Truman one year later, when he became president and created NATO, the best instrument to preserve peace in Europe and the world.

Trump could be the classic bull in a china shop. There’s something spooky in a person who thinks he’s going to restore U.S. greatness without realizing that his country has never been as rich, or as powerful, or as useful to the rest of the world as the United States is today. With 24 percent of the world’s GNP, the most creative universities, the most innovative businesses, the strongest army, and a population that is healthy and reasonably young, what is Donald Trump reaching for?

In any case, neither candidate will be able to derail the United States. U.S. strength does not lie on its economy, its creativity or the power of its guns. The secret lies in the functioning of its institutions, in the orderly transfer of authority and the voluntary subordination of the whole of society to the rule of law. These are the intangible factors that uphold the miraculous experiment that began in 1776 and will strongly support whoever occupies the White House. Fortunately.

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