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Addustour, Jordan

Five Lessons from
the US Elections

By Batir Wardam

Ultimately, Obama is not Bush and not Romney. He’s one of the better American presidents in the history of the White House, and it’s comfortable for all that he will stay another four years.

Translated By Melissa Gallo

8 November 2012

Edited by Tom Proctor

Jordan - Addustour - Original Article (Arabic)

Logic prevailed in the end, and U.S. President Barack Obama successfully managed to clinch a second term after a fierce competition with Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who received a higher number of individual votes.* Meanwhile, Obama’s win came as a result of his victory in the major states with a greater number of delegates. This paradox is what distinguishes U.S. elections, and it causes some to wonder if the results are representative of actual public opinion.

Those outside America felt a great deal of satisfaction at the win for Obama, who was able to largely clean up America’s reputation after the legacy of George W. Bush and the Republican Party. A survey that took place in over 60 countries illustrated that all voters favored Obama with the exception of Israel, which would have preferred Romney’s election. Obama’s win was also a relief for all the political forces and currents in the U.S. that believe in cultural and religious pluralism. It dealt a painful blow to the political right, which has grown tremendously recently, especially with the founding of the tea party, which poses more right-wing and radical thought than the neoconservatives.

There are five key lessons to be taken from the recent U.S. elections, and perhaps some have effects or implications for democracy in Arab nations.

First of all, there’s no perfect electoral law that achieves equality among voters. It was settled in favor of the candidate who won the influential states with the greatest number of delegates, while Romney achieved a slight victory by the standard of total votes.

Second, the American voter established a trend toward peace and tranquility in international relations by choosing Obama instead of Romney, who had the ability to drag the United States into more global conflicts and damage relations with nearly all the nations of the world. Thus, it was proved that there are limits to the spread of the ideology of racial isolationism in the United States.

Third, the influences of political money, large corporations and even the Jewish lobby no longer have the same power that they did previously. Hundreds of millions of dollars were amassed to support Romney’s campaign through a number of right-wing special interest groups, oil companies and other capitalist companies. But public opinion showed up in favor of Obama, who had the support of civic organizations that believe in solidarity and peace.

Fourth, the elections were held in an ideal environment of respect for others' opinions and a rejection of violence. There was only one recorded case of a Molotov cocktail thrown at Obama’s campaign headquarters, and this is a joke compared to the violence that is practiced in developing countries at election time. Also, there was a quick acceptance of the results by the defeated candidate, who did not push back and incite his supporters toward riots and civil disobedience.

Fifth, these elections depended on ideas, principles, procedures and programs put forward by the two sides. These were defended in debates where each candidate had his own successes. Thus, the elections were a process of educating the American public about issues of priority and the stances of the parties and candidates on these key topics. It was not about origins, birthplaces and identities. This is in spite of the attempts by some [parts of] the tea party to focus on Obama’s origins and religious identity. This led to a backlash and rejection of this racism; it thus contributed to granting Obama more support.

Ultimately, Obama is not Bush and not Romney. He’s one of the better American presidents in the history of the White House, and it’s comfortable for all that he will stay another four years.

*Editor’s Note: The article is incorrect. Obama won the popular vote and the Electoral College.



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