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07 November 2012

Obama or Romney: Who is Likely to Win White House?

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[Stop Press: According to latest reports President Barack Obama is heading towards a convincing victory garnering 274 electoral votes so far at the time of publishing of this article. His rival Matt Romney has so far managed to get 201 electoral votes. Good Luck President Barack Hussein Obama to another stint in the White House. Indian Muslim Observer extends its best wishes on your great win. -- Dansh Ahmad Khan, Founder-Editor, IndianMuslimObserver.com]

By Kaleem Kawaja

The very keenly contested election to become the next President of US and the next occupant of White House, Washington DC, the seat of power of the world's only superpower, and considering the divisions in the world at large, the office that carries most power in the affairs of the world at large, is less than two days away. Even people who live very far from America have heard of this hotly contested election between incumbent US President, Barrack Obama of the Democratic party, and the challenger, Mitt Romney of the Republican party.

The American nation of 300 million population, 50 states, and the huge size of a subcontinent that spreads 3000 miles from the Atlantic ocean coast on the east to the Pacific ocean coast on the west, and 2000 miles from the Canadaian border on the north to the Mexican border on the south, has become increasingly diverse, complex and full of internal & external conflicts and contradictions in the last few decades. Even though the office of the US President is most powerful, the ability to get things done is keenly divided between the Office of the President and the US Congress (Senate, House of Representatives) and also the governors of the fifty states.

Today with continuous immigration over the last two hundred years, first Whites from Europe, then Blacks from Africa as slaves, then colored people from South America and from Asia, America has become a real mixture of people of all races, ethnicities, religions and cultures. Thus the American nation that was dominated fifty years ago by the White people who held all power in all walks of life, and still dominate all aspects of the American nation, has to pay attention to the vote power of the substantial non-White electorate.


Partly in response to the upsurge of the colored Americans increasingly asserting their electoral power, a sizeable segment of the White American population has turned to the right wing and conservative policies of the Republlican Party in the last decade. In fact the Tea Party an internal faction of the Republican party has put tremendous pressure on the nation's policies, and on the policies of the Republican party by swaying voters to right wing views. Thus of compulsion, the candidates of the Repubican party, that used to be somewhat moderate even though they were right of center, have turned to mouthing conservative & right wing policies.

The Democratic party that used to be left of center has gone more to the left on some social issues. Increasingly irreligiosity has become a feature of the Democratic party. Thus they find nothing wrong with giving constitutional recognition to same sex marriage or legalizing the proliferation of gambling casinos across US. At the same time the Democratic party appears to pay some attention to the havenots in US and in the world at large. Republicans on the other hand emphasize a return to the days when White people held all power and in international affairs they believe in utilizing the mighty US military to make the third world do what they think is right. Yet, Republicans in general believe more in religious and family values.

Thus there is no clear choice between the candidates of the two parties in either domestic US policies or international policies.

The clearest indication of this sharp division among the politicians shows up all the time as the two sides stonewall each other in the US Senate and House of Representatives, and as they confront the President in the White House. It was the same situation in the 8 year era of President George W Bush. Thus political gridlock is the order of the day in Washington and US government today.

Thus it is no surprise that the 2012 US Presidential election has cost a total of $6 billion! Imagine how much this big money could have helped improve the currently depressed Us economy. President Obama who came to the White House in 2008 on the strength of many egalitarian promises of making positive changes in the country, including the nation's depressed economy, failed to implement most of his promises.

The war in the Middle East is continuing as the war in Iraq ended but the war in Afghanistan mushroomed, and the sirens of another war in Iran are being heard. US policies in the third world continue to be a militaristic display of raw power as the US international image of a champion of democracy and fairness continues to be sullied. The US economy continues to be very depressed as unemployment continues to be near 8%, four years after President Obama took office. The Guantanamo Bay prison continues to remain open. The lives of middleclass and poor class people in US continues to be less cheerful than what it was four years ago. Low taxes of the superwealthy Americans that President Bush inaugrated continue unchanged under President Obama.

Thus a non-aligned observer does not find much cheer in President Obama's record. One may thus imagine that it is time to have another President in US. Yet the same observer fears that under a President Romney the neocons of the Bush era and the right wingers of the Tea Party will crowd White House policies, and the havenots, the colored people, the immigrants will be crowded out of consideration and relegated to the margins.

Today, two days before the election on November 6, 2012 most polling outlets and media outlets are calling the Presidential race between Obama and Romnet a dead heat. Yet Obama is being shown as 1 percent ahead of Romney. The curious US system of electing the President through the electoral college may skew the result by giving more importance to half a dozen of the fifty states, namely, Florida, Ohio, Wisconcin, Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire.

It is extremly difficult to predict with confidence as to who will win the Presidential race. Yet it appears that Obama has a slight edge that may help him return to the White House for another four years.

[Kaleem Kawaja is a community activist based at Washington DC. He can be contacted at: kaleemkawaja@gmail.com]

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