The journey towards becoming the world’s most powerful person on planet

Not a single day goes by where there is no mention of the forthcoming Presidential Elections in the United States. From Mr Trump to Mrs Clinton, every candidate is toiling in the sun for possibly the most coveted position on the planet, that of the President of the United States of America. Ever since Barack Obama went ahead with his second term of tenure in 2012, grapevines started talking about 2016.

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What makes a democratic election stand apart from other political systems is that during an election, the citizen is portrayed as more powerful than the state wherein he/she is vested with the power to choose the very rulers of the state. After all, “democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people.” Underlying all the technicalities and procedures behind becoming the President is the ability of the candidate to convince their party members as well as the citizens as to why they deserve the throne. It all comes down to this- to show why he/she is ‘the one’.

Apart from the primaries and caucuses, campaigning is a very instrumental part in any election. This involves appearances on TV shows, fundraisers witnessing the crème de la crème, visits across the country and outside, basically making their presence felt as much as possible. Thus it should not come as surprising if you see Mr Trump with Jimmy Fallon on one day and with Jimmy Kimmel or Steven Colbert on the other. Also, using celebrities as a force of attraction has gained much highlight in the past few years.

A major aspect that has made its impact in the recent elections and especially in the forthcoming one is the inevitable use of social media. Connecting with the people through various micro blogging sites brings the candidate and the people closer to each other. Initiating new policies before elections is a very common instance of garnering support for candidates or trying to make an impact for themselves by Presidents who are bound to leave office. (Now you must have understood why Frank Underwood in the series “House of Cards” was adamant on initiating his program of “America Works” which draws its similarity from Obama’s healthcare program ‘ObamaCare’.

Thus, whatever rules and procedures the American constitution lays down for elections, every effort of the candidates is aimed at raking support for themselves. One cannot help but notice the similarities between Elections in the US and those in India in this regard. Where the rules and procedures of nations might be different, the nitty-gritties so to speak are same for almost all nations that claim to be democratic on paper and in practice.

Nandini Sinha

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