US election marred by scandal again

Li Haidong

US political figures, presidential contenders in particular, are used to having a powerful campaign team behind them. The team is mainly aimed at ensuring their leaders are unaffected by any negative reporting, helping to get around obstacles on their way to get the supreme power and working against their opponents. Although the candidates ostensibly know nothing about them, dirty tricks are not uncommon. This is worth pondering and adds to the concerns about the transparency of US politics.
The desire for power is often excessively greedy and compulsive in the US politics, and also sometimes in defiance of morality. Past US presidential elections have witnessed scandals and foul play. The e-mailgate and other scandals surrounding Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign have shed light on the murky and ruthless nature of the US political power struggle.
Interestingly, despite being mired in myriad scandals, Clinton has gained the backing of US elites. This is an outstanding phenomenon worth attention. Her experiences as a former first lady, senator and secretary of state mean Clinton knows the secrets of US politics well. Coupled with the fact that she has set up a network by absorbing useful figures into her political camp, she has maintained the support of elite circles.
In the primary, the Democratic presidential contender needs 2,383 votes out of 4,765 to clinch nomination and how to achieve this is by no means a smooth journey. The rules to follow are clear-cut, but unjust at the same time.
US media makes public its stance on which presidential candidate it supports during the election. However, different from the past, the US mainstream media this year almost all stands by the side of Clinton. They rarely point fingers at Clinton despite her scandals, but instead have voiced strong support for her.
There are also many scandals surrounding Donald Trump, however, this failed to stop him becoming the most popular Republican candidate that gained most public votes. Both Clinton and Trump have a great number of non-partisan supporters, who only care about whether the propositions of the political figures tally with their own interests, rather than the actions of the candidates.
The sinister plots during the primaries in fact are a natural reflection of the divides in US society. The political division in the election is an amplification of the deepening estrangement and enlarging gap between different social classes.
When it comes to nation building, society’s function, economic rejuvenation, racial reconciliation, and security, the Democrats and Republicans, as well as different groups within the two parties, hold different propositions and it’s hard for them to integrate with each other.
No matter who wins the presidential election, he or she is bound to lead a divided nation. Although both candidates have made their own proposals about how to eliminate division, they will find them almost impossible to realize. Political systems of all countries across the world are not perfect and it takes time to improve them. The US is no exception in this regard.
[The author is a professor with the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University. Follow us on Twitter @GTopinion.]

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