The most turbulent and norm-breaking presidential election of a lifetime has led to an extraordinary spectacle in the United States over the past three days: armed protesters gathering nightly outside offices where local workers are counting the votes that will decide who wins the White House.
The confusion over the US election results is damaging the country’s image, former diplomats KC Singh and Rakesh Sood said in conversation with Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express, and senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai, at TNIE Expressions, a series of live webcasts with prominent people. “This is the not the first time it’s happening. It happened previously in 2000 when Al Gore was going to concede and then he took it back. That got very messy because the Florida Supreme Court allowed counting but the US Supreme Court decided to step in and most legal experts say the latter had no locus standi. In the case of the current election, Donald Trump has been delegitimising the votes in the blue wall. He has taken the tension to the streets. He may have realised that postal ballots, which are 80 per cent Democrat favouring, may have swung Pennsylvania or Massachusetts,” Singh said. Sood said the change in the image has not come with Trump and is decades old. “It began in the 1980s... The Republicans have undergone a massive transformation. The party adopted Trump as it suited them even though he was an outsider. In this process, the party has moved far right. During the Democrats’ primaries, you had Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who were centre left but they went with Biden. Internal fracture of parties is happening. Eventually, the two-party system will break,” he said. On the possible external interference in the US elections, Sood said, “It is a reflection of polarisation. Social media with eco-chamber phenomenon adds to polarisation. Everybody has a voice and has supportive audience. Where do you develop norms for democracy to sustain? In different countries, there are different populist leaders who try to create a narrative. There is disregard for science and facts. For 2016, there is evidence that there was interference. For 2020, there may have been attempts but the US systems have been tightened. No evidence (is present) to indicate interference.” On the India-US ties post election, both diplomats said if Trump returns, there will be unpredictability. “The core of ties will grow. The speed it acquires or public articulation is in question... Biden will bring back on the table freedom of expression and speech and dealing with minorities. With Trump, we inherit a chaos,” Singh said. “If Trump returns, we will see an acceleration of disruption in West Asia with enormous implications for us. He will sell us LNG but will put pressure on trade and visa fronts. He will not talk about Kashmir. He could do a deal with China which could leave us high and dry. There is unpredictability. Biden’s priorities will not reverse completely; there will be calibrations. With China, he will find modus revendi while not giving up on trade and tech. India will drop to number five or six on the White House priority list,” Sood said.
Democratic nominee #JoeBiden has won more votes than any other presidential candidate in the US history, shattering a record set by former President #BarackObama, according to a media report.
About 18 election rallies by President #DonaldTrump are estimated to have lead to more than 30,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and likely led to more than 700 deaths, a new study by Stanford University researchers said
US presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris will view India on its merits and New Delhi should also do the same, India’s former Ambassadors to the US Navtej Sarna and Arun Kumar Singh said in conversation with Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director, The New Indian Express, and author and senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai in TNIE Expressions, a series of live webcasts with people who matter. “Harris is on the ticket (running mate) as she is perceived to be black and portrays herself as black. She is politically correct in doing so. Historically and politically America is about white and black….Black women are the Democratic bedrock of supporters. However, she will have an influential voice on India file. She will not budge from her positions and take India on its merits,” Sarna said. Singh said Harris was picked keeping in mind women voters and the Black community. “Her statements since becoming a Senator and running mate have been emphasising her Indian American identity... We saw large numbers of Indian Americans in the Obama administration. This has been taken forward during Trump. For Indian Americans, they would be enthused irrespective of their views of American politics. Harris captures change and progress that is taking place,” he said. On the challenges and changes that would confront bilateral ties if there is a change in regime, the former diplomats said overall, we would be on a positive ground with some changes in nuances. “If we see Biden come to power, the changes will not only be for India; there will be a turning of foreign policy... It will be a change of stance for the US where they will looking back into globalisation, assuring allies, working with alliances, getting back into multilateral organisations like WHO, UNESCO, Paris Climate agreement,” Sarna said. Singh, on the other hand, felt that broadly, we will be at a good place. “The Trump administration has been supportive of us broadly on the issue of terrorism and at the same time they have gone ahead and signed a deal with the Taliban not taking fully into account India’s interests. They have been supportive of us with regard to China and the Indo-Pacific, increased technology sharing and put India on strategic authorisation level-1. They called out China’s aggressive actions in Ladakh but at the same time they have taken action against us on trade issues which did not happen during Obama administration. Then, there are the actions on the H1-B visas…driven by his ‘America first’ narrative and focusing on his own core political base which have not been so positive for India,” he said, and added that each administration will pose a different set of challenges, but broadly it will be a positive trajectory.
Donald Trump said on Sunday that his son met with Russians in 2016 at Trump Tower to get information on his opponent Hillary Clinton, saying it was "totally legal" and "done all the time in politics"
Congress needs to get to the bottom of the allegations against Trump: Democratic Representative Adam Schiff
Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee probing Russian meddling in the 2016 race, said Congress 'needs to get to the bottom' of the allegations against Trump.
"I actually like my speech better without teleprompters," Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina after the device malfunctioned on stage.