“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
John F. Kennedy, President of the United States.
That is one of the most famous quotations in American history, made just 60 years ago at President Kennedy’s inauguration. Sadly, today’s Americans have the opposite sentiment ? what can America do for us.
From outside the United States, it appears that our country is deeply divided and falling apart. Democrats and Republicans don’t just disagree with each other ? they hate each other. It is impossible to have political discussions with people from the opposite party for fear of getting into emotional arguments. Marriages and friendships have broken up because of politics. A recent study by a think tank showed that 62% of Americans are not comfortable revealing their political viewpoints for fear of being punished in some way. A Boeing executive vice president was recently fired for comments he made against women in combat, part of an article he wrote in 1987!
We are 3 months away from the Presidential election on November 3rd. If the election were held today, Trump would lose. He is deeply unpopular with liberals and Democrats but also women and moderates. Most of this sentiment is for his rude and boastful personality, but a significant number of people are just frustrated with the daily drama. “Trump fatigue” is strong.
But this is a very unusual election where neither candidate is very popular. In fact,
Biden has been kept mostly isolated in his basement for COVID reasons for months and when he does agree to interviews, he frequently makes errors or outrageous comments. A few months ago, during an interview with a black radio host, Biden said
“if you don’t vote for me, you’re not black.” Just last week, he praised Latino voters as being ‘diverse’ but black voters as not diverse, suggesting all black voters think the same.
Biden is also under tremendous pressure to adopt policy proposals from the far left, Bernie Sanders faction of the Democratic party. These include universal health care (Medicare for all), the “Green New Deal” for environmental actions, more support for BLM (Black Lives Matter) and lately, defunding police departments in major cities.
Protests in Portland, Seattle, New York and Minneapolis have led to violence and rioting, yet the Democrats feel the solution is less support for police.
Trump and Biden are 2 of the poorest choices for President in decades. Pollsters predict the coming election will be a test of the “double negative” theory. Many voters have negative feelings towards both candidates so they’ll vote for the “lesser of 2 evils”.
It's impossible to predict what events will occur to influence the election but Trump could win if voters reject the “defund the police” movement, the economy recovers (“jobs not mobs”, a vaccine is introduced or if Biden or Obama are indicted by the Department of Justice for conspiring with Ukraine or China or for falsifying evidence about Russian influence during the Trump 2016 campaign.
Biden can win if “Trump fatigue” continues to build, Trump is indicted by New York state for some reasons relating to his businesses, the COVID crisis gets worse or the economy crumbles. He could also win with a strong debate performance vs. Trump (they will debate 3 times, with the 1st debate September 29) although Biden has not been strong lately with press conferences.
Advice to people planning to work in the U.S.:
1) Avoid any discussion of politics!
2) If you have a social media account (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
review all your postings or ‘likes’ and erase anything that can be controversial.
Social media has become a huge weapon for employees who are unhappy with salaries, lack of promotions, or just lack of praise or attention in the workplace. If they have a dispute with their boss or colleague, it’s easy to research the social media accounts and find something that might be harmful. For example, if your boss ‘liked’ a Trump tweet, you can use it to discredit the boss with other employees or top management. Companies are very sensitive to complaints about bias from any of their employees and are quick to terminate those who might give them negative attention.
Best advice: Delete all social media accounts while in the U.S.!