America’s big decision over leadership

  • “These dead shall not have died in vain...”: the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, centre, with no hat, is shown in the crowd during the dedication of the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as a national cemetary on November 19, 1863 (Photograph by Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress/AP)

    “These dead shall not have died in vain...”: the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, centre, with no hat, is shown in the crowd during the dedication of the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as a national cemetary on November 19, 1863 (Photograph by Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress/AP)

The midterm elections in America in less than two weeks’ time will be a crucial moment in that nation’s history, as a strong message from the electorate will be a statement to the world as to whether they approve or reject the highly controversial Republican administration.

Under Donald Trump, the country has been plunged into divisiveness reminiscent of the ugly bitterness and hatred that preceded the Civil War. These midterms are vital for America’s future because they are taking place amid the most complex investigation into alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, which is seen as an attempt to dismantle the nation’s democratic system.

The situation has sparked some of the most heated clashes between Democrats and Republicans, and a political crisis that has much of America wondering where the nation is headed.

Trump is viewed by many as the chief instigator of divisiveness that is loaded with the potential to ignite civil unrest, which could not only weaken the nation, but also result in global concern over the stability of the world’s most powerful nation.

Much of the blame for this political mess is attributed to Trump, who feeds his supporters with rhetoric and insulting statements about anyone who opposes his brand of leadership.

By labelling the media as enemy of the people, Trump clearly showed his disregard for those Americans who are committed to seeking truth — whether it involves Republicans or Democrats.

It is amazing that prominent Republicans appear reluctant to stand up and openly condemn Trump’s tirades and bashing of people, especially women. Veterans of the American political scene have openly stated that what America is experiencing at present is a meltdown of values that form the heart of the nation.

Although Trump has supporters who rave over anything he says, and who are committed to whatever he does without question, there are millions who want him removed from office for failing to uphold the values of respect, along with principles of democracy that so many Americans gave their lives to preserve.

They also see Trump as overly obsessed with his personal image, and lacking in the ability to meaningfully connect with all of the people.

That should be his primary objective, if he truly intends to build a better America. Instead, America seems on the brink of political chaos unless the people, through the ballot box, decide they want better leadership for the nation.

America’s future could be hanging in the balance over the outcome of this election. Escalating divisiveness would be something America’s enemies would welcome.

The political ride from Inauguration Day to this moment of the Trump Administration has been packed with a multitude of controversial issues that have tarnished the country’s image internationally as a champion of democracy.

The relationship between Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin remains a huge question mark, especially since evidence emerged of Russian interference in the election that many believe put Trump into the White House.

While this is still being investigated, it was recently disclosed that US intelligence uncovered attempts by the Russians to meddle with the upcoming midterm elections.

Even with that, Trump is yet to openly criticise the Russians, and this has people wondering whether there is something yet to be disclosed about why the administration tiptoes over the issue of Russian attacks on democracy in America.

It must be remembered that Trump once stated that he wished he had control similar to Putin. In other words, dictatorial power — where his commands could not be questioned. That is an America that no right-thinking person would want to see. However, that is the America that could become a reality if the best and strongest of that nation’s leaders shy away from making it clear that no one person will be allowed to destroy democracy that millions laboured in vain to build.

Reflecting on the many sleepless nights that Abraham Lincoln had in trying to stop a nation from destroying itself over the issue of justice for all makes one wonder whether America really learnt from the bitter price of the nation’s civil war.

People around the world, including Bermuda, have long admired the many contributions that the US has made in helping other countries to develop. Yes, they have had many problems to sort out themselves, and they would be the first to admit that the struggle to improve life for all is never over. Democracy, at least, provides the opportunity for the people to have a say in the type of leadership they feel will best serve their needs.

Irrespective as how these midterm elections turn out for Democrats or Republicans, what is most important is that the ballot box should be the way for the people when it comes to choice of leadership if America hopes to keep the flame of true democracy alive. Although polls are not always reliable, so far there seems to be a greater sense of voter participation in the midterm elections, and the Democrats appear to have the edge if statistics are close to accurate. It will be the outcome that really matters.

America has weathered many political and social storms throughout its complex history, and the hope is that the best of America will prevail in rising above divisiveness, which remains a threat to this great nation.

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Published Oct 25, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 25, 2018 at 8:50 am)

America’s big decision over leadership

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