Who will win, Popular Belief or Nationalism?

The battle for the American presidential crown will begin soon. Every day all the prospective candidates begin with their tasks of wooing the voters in order to win the candidacy of their respective parties. Whenever there is any news about the primaries, all the lime light is generally hogged by the two democrat candidates Mr. Barack Obama or Mrs. Hilary Clinton. This is the first time that the competition for the candidature is between a woman and a black man. I don’t know if it is because of this reason that the two are getting such huge amount of media coverage, but sometimes it seems that this US Presidential election is not between democrats and republicans, but between the two democrats itself.

It appears that the day you win the democratic candidature, you are the next president of the United States of America. The political pundits, media, and the people all are very much sure that this time it would a democrat sitting in the Oval office. Everyone is of the opinion that the resentment which people have against the current president Mr. Bush will cost the republicans dearly. Everyone is convinced that the infamy which he has earned from his not so famous war on terrorism, is working perfectly in favour of the democrats.

I totally agree to what all say. It is very true that people are not very much happy with the policies which Mr. Bush followed. Neither they wanted to be dragged in war, nor do they like the idea of US army being a peace keeping force in a troubled area. Moreover all the economics attached with the war, and how dearly it costed to the US acts as catalyst in bringing his reputation down. All this is true, but then this was also true at the time of last presidential elections.

It was in the march of 2003 that Mr. Bush started with his Iraq invasion, which drew the worst criticism any politician can face. To add to his dismay 2003 was the election year. A year which by far any means was the worst for a politician, a year in which everyone was sure of a Bush defeat. A year in which against the popular belief and against the predictions of political pundits Bush won the election.

The year 2007 is not at all that bad for the republicans as 2003 was. Still the pundits have written them off blatantly. Moreover the republicans had started the damage control way back in 2004, so nothing can be said for sure. The idea which republicans have always sold to the Americans is that of security and national pride. And when the question of security and safety arises, nobody wants to take any chances.

It might be true that Americans do not want war. They are very concerned about the human rights of war prisoners. They openly condemn Bush’s policies, and they hold their demonstrations against harsh steps taken by the administration. But when it comes to choosing a leader, everyone wants a strong one. They want someone in the Oval office who can guarantee them that they are safe in their homes. They want someone who talks to terrorists in the language which they understand. Asking of the death penalty for the culprits of September 11, reassures their belief in a strong leader. And this goes for all, not just Americans.

No matter how much we criticise Mr. Modi, but when he talked about safety and security, nobody was able to stand against him. The conviction, with which he assured people their safety, was second to none and just for this assurance they rubbished everything which was being said about him. When anyone talks about nationalism, we feel related to it. We are ready to put all our petty differences aside for the sake of our nation and when the question about the security of our land arises, then we do not want any kind of compromises to be made.

Republicans know this, BJP knows this and by now everyone knows this. This is the reason why congress backfired so soon on BJP’s allegations about internal security. This feeling of nationalism and security got Bush re-elected against popular belief. The same feeling here in India overcame the anti-incumbency and the huge criticism of Mr. Modi against popular belief. Why will this feeling not help Mr. Advani to become the next prime minister of India or for that matter John McCain the next president of US?

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