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Odnako, Russia

The Show Must Go On” —
Afterword to the US Elections

By Vladimir Shcherbakov

Translated By Olga Azarian

8 November 2012

Edited by Peter L. McGuire

Russia - Odnako - Original Article (Russian)

What kind of act under the name of "Elections in the U.S." were we shown last month?

Let’s refresh our memory. Do you remember the scandals that accompanied the Romney campaign? There was the publication of a recorded speech in which Romney actually called 47 percent of Americans freeloaders, and his not-always-successful comments on national issues. Let's not forget about the Republican candidate’s income tax return, according to which the Romney family paid about 14 percent of their income in taxes; meanwhile the average American living on a salary pays about 35 percent income tax. To complete the picture, we all remember the scandals during the Republican primaries with voters from Texas and Virginia.

Obviously, with such baggage Romney didn't have a chance to win a fair vote.

As a result, we have some simple questions. What really happened in the last month of the presidential race? Where did these numbers showing almost equal ratings for the candidates come from, if during the last months Romney was falling behind? That is, my friends, what Americans call “the show must go on,” meaning that voters shouldn't lose confidence in the idea that they decide the fate of the country by putting a piece of paper in a box every four years.

An attempt to understand the procedure of the U.S. presidential election raises a lot of questions. For example, here is a comment of independent observers: "The most striking detail of the American elections is that the majority of the U.S. states do not require voter identification. Voters can also vote by mail or Internet, and often it is impossible to know whether a person has voted several times under different names." It turns out that the entire electoral system in the U.S. is based on trust of ordinary voters. This brings to mind an old anecdote about Chapaev and faith on word: "The word of a gentlemen is always trusted! ... That is when, Petka, I started to be on a roll with cards..."*

It is easy to assume that such a system is bound to have some incidents, for example, the change of results after a recount in Florida during Bush's election, or the repeated selection of a president not supported by the majority of the population.

I have to note that in the last month the Western media has repeatedly voiced a theme regarding a change in the U.S. electoral procedure directed toward popular vote, in case Obama will win office for the second time. It is possible that the Republicans will lose in such conditions because their real support is very low.

Let's finish this thought and accept that all this time a real democracy, where majority is supposed to rule, didn't exist in the U.S. For decades Americans have been fed beautiful fairytales and regularly presented with a colorful show.

* Editor’s note: Chapaev was a legendary Red Army commander and Petka was his assistant. After the release of the movie "Chapaev" in 1934, they became Russian folklore characters and are present in many Russian jokes.



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