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Virginia polling station Photo: AFP
Virginia polling station Photo: AFP
 
 

America doesn’t dream anymore

Op-ed: Winner of US elections will be president of a divided, disillusioned nation

Orly Azoulay
Published: 11.06.12, 23:12 / Israel Opinion

The US will not only be choosing a president today, it will be choosing a world view: It has been a long time since the American voter was asked to choose between two conflicting paths that collide in every aspect of life.

 

A white, old, rich man with will be standing in line at the polling station with an African-American or Hispanic woman who his still paying off her student loan. Red America will try to defeat blue America today. The polls clearly show that more women and young people with diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds will vote Obama, as will the coalition of Hispanics, blacks and Asians who support a liberal platform with compassion for the have-nots and a foreign policy of global reconciliation. They will be facing a coalition of conservative businessmen who worship capitalism and want to see America play the role of the world's tough sheriff.

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The America that will vote today is much more polarized than the America of four years ago. In these elections, America is no longer dreaming, and it has lost that enthusiastic sparkle in its eyes: The harsh economic situation and the unemployment rate that will not shrink have taken their toll, and the Americans have sobered up.

 

In 2008, a euphoric America elected its first black president, who was perceived at the time as a prophet and savior. But it didn’t take long before the optimism was replaced by the sadness of those who had lost their homes, and Obama's request for another term to complete what he had started fell on suspicious ears.

 

Today's America will not follow Obama like a cult, and it will not really applaud Romney either; America will say that the president did not live up to the expectations and that the Republican candidate is not promising enough. The victory it will grant Obama or Romney will be a very small one.

 

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Should Obama lose, the Democrats will claim that racism won or that he brought it upon himself by losing the first debate in Denver. Other will say that he lost for a noble cause: He provided health care for the masses, and by doing so dug his own political grave.

 

If Romney loses, the Republicans will blame the Superstorm Sandy effect; they'll say that he was a weak candidate to begin with; that he made a mistake by presenting moderate opinions while his voters wanted Tea Party-style rhetoric.

 

Whoever wins the US elections will be the president of a divided nation.

 

 

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