The Epic Clash

The Epic Clash

This November 8, the Americans will elect world’s powerful leader. The world is waiting, especially for this edition of elections, with a bated breath. Both the strong Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have locked horns and whoever will win, for sure, will change the policies, which will affect the entire globe. 

This November 8, the Americans will elect world’s powerful leader. The world is waiting, especially for this edition of elections, with a bated breath. Both the strong Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have locked horns and whoever will win, for sure, will change the policies, which will affect the entire globe.

This year’s presidential campaign has been rife with controversies mostly concerning Real Estate Moghul Donald Trump. From building a wall around the US borders, calling Mexicans “rapists and criminals” to banning immigrations in the country – he has made the most outrageous comments.

Recently, a video from 2005 came as a bolt from blue, hampering his chances to get into the White House. In the video, Trump was heard using sexually offensive language against the women. He went on to say that he could do anything with women as he is a celebrity.

After the release of this controversial video, there was a furore among the citizens of the US with Republicans like John McCain deserting him. However, Trump said: “The video does not reflect who I am.”

And brushed the whole incident as ‘Locker room talk’; post the video many women have come forward and accused Trump of sexual assault. He dismissed the allegations by calling the women ‘liars’ and ‘free publicity seekers’. If Trump wins this election undoubtedly it will change the course of American history.

On the other hand, Senator Hillary Clinton too had hiccups in her campaign. Her private email arrangement scandal has damaged her reputation to quite an extent. In a television interview, the Senator said that she could not be punished for that as it was legal at the time and she did not know that she was committing an offence. And, during the second Presidential debate, Donald said that if he comes to power he will put Hillary in jail for that.

Also, there were many questions raised about the foreign donations, which come to the Clinton Foundation. Trump alleged that she pushed back the women, who claimed to have had an affair with former president Bill Clinton. WikiLeaks has also revealed the hacked emails that had a few embarrassing conversations between the members of Hillary’s campaign team.

Mukaram Aziz
A software professional living in the US for the past 16 years shares: “This time the election is on personalities and not on issues. People are not discussing economy, foreign policy, jobs, education, social security, etc. Rather the focus is on personal flaws of the past.

If Trump comes, then it is going to be more rhetoric and theatre. A more right wing approach to politics and in the long term, Supreme Court will continue to be conservative. Hillary, on the other hand will continue major policies of the Obama administration, and Supreme Court will be liberal. And with Hillary becoming the first woman president of the USA it will be a proud moment for the entire country. Also, three major world players will have women leaders: US, UK and Germany.”

Elaborating on the vibe in Indian community about elections, he says, “Election is being followed keenly here. Most NRIs are behind Hillary. And among them are those who support Modi back home. They are having a difficult time to take two opposite positions on typical right wing ideological issues like same sex marriage, immigration, minority rights, nationalism, etc. But, it will be Hillary who can do some good for the Indian community.”

“In one of the more peculiar pairings of this most atypical political season, Trump has unwittingly fashioned a niche constituency in the overlap between the Indian right and the American right, which share a lot of the same anxieties about terrorism, immigration and the loss of prestige that they believe their leaders have been too slow to reverse," he adds.

Srinivasu Veeraiahgari
Who has been a resident of United States for last 18 plus years, has recently acquired US Citizenship. He hails from Silicon Valley, California and is CEO of software consulting and product Development Company, SoftPreneurs Inc.

“Donald Trump will bring changes to the economy and immigration. Trump has been saying he would reduce business taxes from 35 per cent to 15 per cent, and also reduce personal income tax, renegotiate NAFTA agreement, and enforce trade agreements with countries who are violating it. Basically, he will start a trade war.”

Trump wants to bring jobs back to the US and he also wants to go after currency manipulators. “His initial presidency years could be with a little turmoil if he moves aggressively but it might benefit the US in long term. We have to wait and watch. Donald wants to repeal ‘Obamacare’ and replace it with some new healthcare for people who could not afford it.”

“If Hillary wins, she will continue the stabilising US economy policies that Obama has carried on since 2008/2009 recession,” he shares. Senator Hillary has experience in leading the public offices since 1991 and her presidency will be more or less predictive.

“If she wins it will be Democrat’s long-term hold on the White House after decades. Her term will help small businesses. She is going to reform tax codes so that the wealthiest will pay their fair share. She wants to raise the minimum wages so that workers can make more money, and also, strengthen the overtime laws for workers.”

Hillary wants to provide tax relief to the hardworking families so they can afford child care, health insurance and send their kids to the colleges. “Hillary’s New College Compact will invest $350 billion so that students do not have to borrow to pay tuition at a public college in their state. She wants to invest more in public infrastructure and in research,” he adds.

Sirisha Pillalamarri
From Houston, Texas, is a newly naturalised US citizen and she will get to vote for the first time in this election. “The credibility of both candidates is often debated. I feel both candidates won the primaries due to lack of stronger candidates. People are being forced to choose from this lot.

This election will shape the political scenario in the US for next few decades. Ironically, one person embodies women leadership and the other stands for everything opposing an equal opportunity to women. A lot is at stake in this election such as Obamacare plan continuation, immigration issues and world stability.”

Sirisha thinks that Hillary Clinton will win the elections, as she is leading the polls so far and has the most experience in politics and governance.

“If Hillary wins then there will be steps taken towards increased gun control. The Obamacare health plan, most of which is her original idea, will continue to be improved. Taxes will be raised – mostly small businesses will be impacted. Mexican immigration issues might see some light but regular H-1 and L-1 visas will be tightened.

Relationships with rest of the world would improve but free trade will not be expanded.”If Trump wins, she shares: “According to my understanding gun rules will become relaxed, border issues with Mexico will become more complicated, Health insurance will go back to what it used to be where pre-existing conditions were not covered, companies will start reaping benefits and minimum wages will remain the same.

A small section of the people who believe the female population is inferior will get a boost with his win, and will probably continue to make it harder for women. Any positive steps taken towards protecting the environment will be undone.”

“If Hillary wins then there may be some improvement in workforce about how women are perceived in leadership roles. Minority and women representation in the corporate workplace will increase. In the end, she can only bring legislative changes that affect women, cannot change people’s mindsets.”

About the vibe in the Indian community, she shares: “Most of my friends that I talk to say that this election is a joke. That it’s the worst ever. They probably would have felt better about it if both parties had different candidates. They perceive this election will bring a huge change to American politics. Many people have started focusing on municipal and state level politics.”

Sasidhar Gundepudi
Has been living in the US for the past 19 years. Sasidhar and his wife both work in software companies. He took US citizenship in 2007 and is voting in the US elections since then.

“These elections are very crucial for US and other countries. There is so much unrest going on all over the world. There are terrorists threatening many countries. The US economy is doing well, but it has to sustain its growth so that other countries can export and have healthy economies for themselves.”

Sasidhar feels that a Democratic president coming to power again is good as there is a lot at stake. “Republicans have a tendency to go war at the slightest provocation. US cannot sustain another war. The infrastructure has become very old, like roads, bridges and public transportation.

Only a democratic president can push investments in infrastructure, science and technology and funding for public universities.” “Affording college tuition for children even in public universities is almost impossible for the average wage earner.

College students have to take huge loans to go to 4-year college. Republicans do not have a good idea about common man's problem. Their main concern is to start a war and feed huge defence contractors and defence suppliers,” he adds.

He says that if Trumps comes to power it will be a huge disaster.“Trump lacks knowledge about the economy, foreign affairs and does not know how to handle conflicts with Russia, Iran or North Korea. His tax proposals give a lot of tax benefits to top 0.7 per cent of the US population. That will benefit his family businesses too. It is going to be like George Bush Junior's third term.”

“Trump will also reverse the effects of affordable health care act and leave more than 80 million Americans without any health insurance. In the US 35-40 per cent bankruptcies are due to catastrophic health care bills. That will easily surpass 60-65 per cent during his presidency.”

And what change will Hillary bring? “Secretary Hillary Clinton will reduce the budget by rolling back tax cuts given by Junior Bush presidency, invest more in public university funding, in science and technology and fund a lot of infrastructure projects.

She will provide paid family leave (maternity leave), which is not there for women in this country. Increase funding for schools and for after school programmes in poor neighbourhoods will reduce crime in such neighbourhoods. She will be more hawkish than President Obama with terrorist organisations like ISIS.

She will also improve legal immigration situations for high-tech workers like doctors and software professionals.” He says that majority of the Indians settled in the US support Hillary Clinton because of her record, and pro-immigration policies.

Basith Mohammed
Originally from Hyderabad, Basith Mohammed, is now a US Citizen living in America for almost 18 years. He is an environmental health and safety regional manager managing over 150 employees in seven US States and 11 offices.

“This is a unique election for the first time in almost two decades that I've lived here. There are serious political problems with the Republican Party - solely due to erratic and immoral behaviour and actions of the Republican Party Nominee.

With the turmoil in the Republican Party, it's an obvious and a perfect "stage" set for the Democratic Party's nominee Hillary Clinton to win with practically no contest. A stage set to facilitate the election of the first ever lady president in the US,” he says.

Basith feels that it will be a definite win for Hillary. “Trump won't and should not come into power. Even if he does, there will be no change at all. It will be more of the same but with US moral platform and ideologies will be badly defaced due to an erratic man, who is full of malarkey.

He will change the comfort levels of all other religions practiced in the US starting with Islam, and carrying that over to others. It will possibly be the leadership style of the white supremacist movements once again, on the lines of Hitler's ideologies.”

He also thinks that Hillary will not bring a sea of change either; however, the US will have a dignified woman leader. “It is confusing to see the disarray in the two nominees running this time around for the highest office; especially on the grounds of a bigoted Republican nominee that could potentially cause great harm to the immigrant Indian community here. Harsh immigration enforcement is expected if the Republican nominee were to win. It will be great result on immigration for Indians if Hillary were to assume office,” he opines.

Padmaja Yalamanchi
President of Twin City Expat Association Organisation, Hyderabad, feels that the election is turning out to be very interesting towards the end. “It is exciting and Hillary will definitely win this election. Because she seems stronger as I think Donald does not have much support now, even within the Republican Party. Even I am a Republican and it looks like there is no hope for me.”

“If Donald wins, he would do whatever he said. Once he gets into the office I am sure he will make right decisions because when he becomes the POTUS he will not be able to talk what he is talking now, and will become the leader of people.”

Trump many times said that the elections are rigged; however, Padmaja has a different opinion. “No, I don’t think so. He is just creating panic among the people.”

She says that Hillary will create history by becoming the first woman President of the US. “It is history in making and it would have been good if she was a Republican but now we have to go with the Democrats.

But in the end, it does not matter whoever it may be; it is good that the US will get a woman president. My daughter will be going to university next year and when Hillary comes to power, college tuition fee will be accessible and reasonable,” she shares.

The scales are evidently tilted towards Hillary Clinton as far as Indian-Americans are concerned. We shall wait and watch until November 9 to see if their prediction comes true.

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