US Elections Enter Final Stretch (6 August 2020)
US Elections Enter Final Stretch (6 August 2020)
Why in News:
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the United States is all set to vote in the upcoming presidential elections due in November.
The elections are a direct contest between sitting US President and Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who was vice-president during the Barack Obama presidency.
Earlier on July 30, through a series of tweets, President Trump sparked a political firestorm in America after he suggested that the upcoming presidential elections should be delayed on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though, he later clarified saying that he does not want to delay the election, but expressed apprehension that counting of mailed ballots could take weeks and hamper the results, leading to a compromised poll. His suggestion was immediately criticized by leaders by the opposition Democratic Party. Meanwhile, Biden’s supporters have also announced a launch of outreach in 14 languages to influence the Indian-American community.
Summary of the Debate
Factors likely to influence the US election:
- The coronavirus and the pandemic have really affected an outreach in terms of real campaigning that used to happen in the traditional manner.
- The three vital issues going to figure this election are firstly coronavirus, secondly the economy and thirdly foreign policy particularly as regard to China.
- The healthcare of the USA is wicked in many ways.
- Both the candidates have been going hard at China because it does matter to convey that they are prepared to be tough where China is concerned.
- There is a growing concern that China has taken away American jobs and China has adversely affected the American economy, China is playing a negative role in global affairs. So it does seem quite relevant for both the candidates to take a tough line towards China at this particular juncture.
- About 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to be voting this year and they are in a sizable presence in some of the biggest states of the USA like California, Texas, Florida, New York, etc. That is why the Indian-American community is watching with great interest.
- The Indian-Americans make up only a very tiny voting or electoral group. However, this is one time where they will be more influential and their voice will be heard more and it will matter more, because of their increasing ability to support financially candidates and voice out their preference digitally as well as through word of mouth.
- Indian-Americans are stuck between a rock and a hard place during this election. On the one hand they align with the values espoused by the Democratic Party like freedom, liberty liberal values, etc. And traditionally they voted a democrat. Almost 80 percent of Indians usually vote democrat in a previous couple of elections.
- But in recent time in the democratic party even on Biden’s official election manifesto, his sort of what he wants to do for the Indian-American community is somewhere at the very very bottom.
- There has been a divide between Indian communities regarding the US election.
- Both countries have witnessed a relatively good relationship for the first two years of Trump's presidency.
- In the first half of 2019 the relations went off the track after the US terminated India's Generalized System of Preferences which allowed India to send certain goods to the US duty-free.
- In most of Trump’s campaigns, he has emphasized the “America First" policy and criticizes the migrants of other counties for the Americans employment.
- The democratic candidate Joe Biden in his campaign laying out his foreign policy vision stated that the US had to reach out to India and other Asian partners to strengthen ties with them.
- But ahead of US Presidential election Biden has criticized the Indian government’s decision on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and has also asked New Delhi to take all necessary steps to restore rights of the people of Kashmir.
- Whether the India factor will play a role in this election or not remains to be seen but the China factor will because China is increasingly regarded by American politics as a menace and both the candidates Trump and Biden is going very hard on China.
- The largest democracy in the world and the oldest democracy in the world ought to work together, so one way or another both India and the USA need to take this relationship further.
- The results of this upcoming election in the US matter greatly for the future of the United States. They matter greatly for the future of India-US relations as well.
Important points made by the Guests
Preity Upala, Political Analyst, California
Prabhu Dayal, Former Ambassador
K.V. Prasad, Senior Associate Editor, The Tribune