Saturday, September 22, 2012

Political Air Turbulence

It is no secret that the United States of America is holding its
presidential election in less than two months. In a world of many
hostile players, it is no secret at all. This nation, in spite of not a
few difficulties, remains the central player in the world economic,
military and political communities. The president of the United
States and his administration's policies are key factors in how other
nations, large and small, ally or enemy, behave.

For these reasons, it is not a surprise that so much happens in the
world just before an American election for president. The current
eruption of demonstrations and violence in Arab and other
countries against the United States is not accidental. An obscure
extremist video which has been available for more than a year, but
hardly anyone watched, is suddenly translated into Arabic and
shown on Middle East TV.  This was not a coincidence.

Individuals, groups, and foreign interests, most of whom have little
understanding of American society and its politics, traditionally use
the American campaign season to get some international attention
and somehow try to affect the election. What they say or do makes
sense from their perspective, but almost always fails to achieve their
desired affect because they do not really understand how America

Nevertheless, between now and the U.S. election day in early
November, expect a series of unexpected international events,
“unexpected” by most Americans, but they will not be “spontaneous”
or otherwise unplanned. They will have been, in most cases,,
premeditated and timed, to disrupt American public opinion and
conduct as the U.S. prepares to vote in its national elections.

The same is true on the domestic side of politics. The recent one-week
strike of teachers in Chicago was timed to put pressure on the mayor
of Chicago, a Democrat and confidante of President Obama. The
public showing of a months-old video intended to embarrass Mitt
Romney could have been released by the Obama campaign when it
happened. Instead, it was held to maximize its impact on the closing
weeks of the campaign. Likewise, the timing of Mr. Obama’s old
interview revealing his desire to “redistribute wealth” in America
was calculated to have impact now as the presidential campaign
reaches its most critical stages. It can be presumed that both
presidential campaigns have material "in the can" and ready to use as
both offense and defense resources in the "warfare" of a contemporary
national election. Items such as the last-minute revelation of
then-Governor George W. Bush' s old DWI incident in 2000 (which
did not change the outcome) have begun to emerge in 2012. There
will, almost certainly, be more of them.

The presidential debates begin on October 3. That is likely to be a key
moment in the 2012 election for president. The nation’s voters will see
and hear for the first time the two nominees side by side. Each of the
candidates brings strengths and weaknesses to this now-traditional and
momentous confrontation. Voters will compare the two performances,
and many of those who remain undecided will then make their choice.

The truest direction of voter opinion, and the polls which try to measure
it, in fact, might begin to take a meaningful shape when that evening is

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry Casselman.  All rights reserved.

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