29 November, 2020

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U.S. Election Result – Of What Significance To Us?

By Rusiripala Tennakoon –

Rusiripala Tennakoon

The victory of Joe Biden, the Democrat, in the election against the hard headed Republican Donald Trump, has brought the world to stand gazing with a sense of complacency with fingers crossed. U.S. politics continued to be dominated by two parties, Democrats and the Republicans since the American civil war period. While dominating the American political landscape with blurred separating lines in their economic policies, these two parties show varying ideas and great divergences in their ideals and philosophies on several matters. Republican philosophy leans more towards individual freedoms, rights and responsibilities and supports a pro-business platform, with foundations in economic libertarianism, and fiscal and social conservatism. In contrast, Democrats attach greater importance to equality and social/community responsibility. The Democratic party has consistently positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party in economic as well as social matters.

However, because of the underlying common Americanism, both candidates are ‘much of a muchness– hard to choose between.

The victorious Democratic party was founded around 1828 by Andrew Jackson and is recognized as the world’s oldest active political party. During its history 14 Democrats have served as Presidents of the U.S. starting with Andrew Jackson as the 7th US President elect, in 1829. The last, before Joe Biden was Barrack Obama, the 44th US President from 2009 to 2017. Now Joe Biden is in the cock pit from 7/11/2020.

There have been 7 U.S. Presidents from the Democratic Party in the 20th Century, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F Kennedy, Lyndon B Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Of all the Democrats elected as Presidents only Frank D. Roosevelt got elected for two terms before Bill Clinton (1993-2001) after whom the Republican George W. Bush, got elected for two terms (2001 to 2009). This shows how the pendulum is swinging in American Politics. During the period after the re-election of Barrack Obama for his second term in 2010, the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives and the State Legislatures and lost control of the American Senate in 2014. Now Democrats are back in power replacing the Republican Trump.

It is relevant to examine the policies of Democrats and the roles they have played in the international politics when they were in power. Historically, the party has represented farmers, laborers, labor unions and religious and ethnic minorities as it has opposed unregulated business and finance and favored progressive income taxes. In the 1930s, the party began advocating welfare spending programs targeted at the poor. The party had a conservative and pro-business wing, supported by the Civil Rights Act 1964 after President Lyndon B Johnson. The major influences for liberalism were labor unions and the African American wing, which has steadily grown since the 1960s. Protecting the environment and the environmental rights has been a major activity and concern of their political involvement since the 1970s,

The Democratic platform offered to the voters before the elections by Joe Biden pronounced his policy lines regarding the Foreign policy and International relations. The most significant foreign policy difference between Trump and Biden, as presented in his political platform was that “Trump has practiced an assertive unilateralism” while Biden has made clear he wants to return to an “international, cooperative, pro-alliance” model of diplomacy that was prominent in previous administrations.

In the same context Biden’s statement about defense and troop levels clarified the view point of the Democrats about their military policy. They announced that they call for reducing military spending, a sharp contrast to Trump, who has championed an increase in defense spending and has warned that Democrats will weaken the military! Joe Biden elaborated his stand further stating that, “We can maintain a strong defense and protect our safety and security for less”. Their policy stand is to (according to election platform ), call for annual audits of the Pentagon and an end to what the party sees as the department’s “waste and fraud.”

The concluding remark capitulated the position by stating,- “we also call for bringing, ‘forever wars to a responsible end’.”

American voter preferences

It is interesting to take a look at the voter preferences of the Americans expressed at this election. While foreign policy issues became hot topics of debate between the contestants it seldom became anywhere close to be called a significant issue for the US voters.

According to critics even the Pandemic, the Covid-19 issue, appeared to be of far less impact than expected.

The Research Centers involved in analysis of voter preferences have come up with the conclusion that economy was ranked the most important issue in the poll, with 79% of registered voters saying it was very important to their vote.

The other issues in the order of preference were health care and Supreme Court appointments.

Foreign policy issues ranked sixth on the list, with only 57% of registered voters saying it was very important to their vote.

It is in this context that we have to view the importance of the regime change to us.

Regional concerns (Asia) under Trump Presidency

It was a well-recognized fact that the Presidency of Trump was considered as a disruptive period in the Global politics. The Regional relationships were highly adversely impacted. In contrast Obama administration took an entirely different view about the U.S. engagements in the Asian region. He personally visited several countries in the Asian Region during his two terms and gave very high prominence to Trade promotion and facilitation agreements with the ASEAN countries. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) initiated during Obama leadership was considered as a strategic economic engagement of the region but Trump pulled out of these agreements unilaterally in 2017.

During the South China Sea dispute the involvement of U.S. was friendly, although articulated as important. Obama’s approach to the problem was cautious and careful and appeared to be more seriously concerned to avoid any complicating engagement with China. Instead, he diplomatically continued the ongoing dialogues on other less controversial issues such as climate changes. But, Trump did not hesitate to castigate this position by openly remarking insolently, as, “climate change is a myth for and by the Chinese”.

His era aggravated the U.S.-China tensions which created tremendous pressure for the countries in the region. This posed a big problem to the small countries who were seriously inclined to maintain healthy relations with both powers in a cooperative manner. Trump branded North Korea as a state with nuclear weapons. Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership program initiated by Obama regime, creating a vacuum and introduced his FOIPS (Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy). Republican administration converted the growing tensions between China and U.S. from a simple trade dispute speedily expanding to technology, energy, geo-politics and security.

Previously, countries in the region, accepted U.S. as an important trading partner and as a source of advanced technology in addition to regarding it as a strong security power against the spreading of terrorism in the region. The countries in the region especially small countries like ours are facing a challenge with the tensions mounting between U.S and China, in trying to maintain the principled position of a balanced relationship with both powers. Both China and US are important trading and investment partners to all of us in the Asian Region.

World is need of a new Global Order

No country wishes to compromise its territorial integrity due to intervention of big powers. World needs a global order where rules based on multilateral trading systems are respected and international laws and institutions are upheld. China and U.S. being the two super trading partners in the world should resolve their differences without any confrontation and muscle –flexing, or pressurizing other countries to choose sides.

There are serious challenges faced by the human beings common to all states, big and small., such as environmental threats and climatic changes, health issues, terrorism, disarmament etc. etc. Growing disputes between big powers will seriously undermine the cooperation required to address these complex global issues. Democrats can initiate a culture and hopefully re-establish an era of peaceful co-existence in the region to create a mutual interdependency between big powers, spurring the generation of increased trade and investment opportunities for the humanity to share. The significance of the U.S. Regime change falls within this prospect.

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Latest comments

  • 1
    3

    Thank you RT.

    I am of the believe we Sri Lankans should be able to deal will all others including America as a very united country in all matters that is related to the sovereignty offer Nation.

    It does not matter who/how/where/what/when one is elected/regime change in any other Nation is not our business…but should know how to manage all the fall out afterwards for our National interest.

    There are others around the world du diligently managed the above scenario without falling foul to the known norms of “Security council Activities” pause unrelenting challenges to the developing nations forever?

    We need not define capitalism/communism/Socialism nor do we need all others versions of whatever….we need to develop our own version tailor made for SL. We need to look at type of political parties and their names to start with and perhaps try to understand how Russia and china made their own versions to empower their people….but we have Chinese communist/Carl Marx parties now in SL ? in the 21st century?…nor do we need Capitalism defined by Western Countries either.

    All the UN security council Nations with their capitalism/Marxism/Communisms/Socialism have developed and taken care of their people and doing well yet we in SL still arguing over separation/federalism/nationalism and forming parties on religions/languages mixing with abandoned theories and killing each other using there Armes supplied by the above??.

    • 1
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      Most of us who followed these rather outdated theories (capitalism/communism of various versions) etc without any due understanding as children and teenagers manipulated by the so called politicians and Cold War blocks for their squander now live and work as expats/diaspora and still talk about the same rubbish.

      Not only that specially the ones who mixed these theories with their own ghettos and killed the fellow man and woman have now run off an living in the very countries they did not support/like their system etc…..including the colonialism concept/settlers without any due approval of the respective Nations…such as Canada/America/Australia/New Zealand……..and all other Nations who has to entertain their respective war machines to control the toilet washers supply chain??

      Food for thought for all Ghetto makers (Tamil, Muslim, Sinhala…) in Sri Lanka….because none of us live off perfect settings/currencies/economies (all blood stained)…..so please do not spend you time trying to justify all the crimes you may have committed/participants/just victims etc….time to move forward as everyone knows everything may be not your wife’s/children/grandchildren knows these not sure??

      • 1
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        As per the history America as kindly shared by RT we should make the same history too looking after our people who are the citizens of the island beyond our ignorance/bigotry etc.

        What has not been written here of a Nation barely 250-300 years old the other side of the coin where we can all bench mark our own deeds??? after all is all about humans and their inhumane acts will become all obvious to see that we choose to be oblivious??

        Instead of helping the GOSL to support and deliver progress/development collectively until the next elections I am surprised the amount of political point scoring/democratic surgical precisions??

        I urge CT to write for example various technology selection articles and see how many positive input we receive after we do some research work from wherever we live to help our GSOL departments??

        • 1
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          It was the Republican Party used to be the crusader of end to slavery and the democrats were in the opposite side historically during the inceptions of democracy in America 150 ++ years ago??

          We can learn something from SLFP/UNP the National parties too had to manage post colonial development without the help from the colonial babies FP/American missions?? time for change is what we should learn from other Nations?? connect all those Nations children (without prejudice) to our Nations children and let them flourish…exactly what they have done in Singapore too that we supervise for National Security…all will fall into place.

          • 1
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            So all the Sri Lankans live all around the world please arm your children and your grand children to be the ambassador for Sri Lanka a One Nation without divisional politics?? this is what you are all enjoying in those countries correct??????then please deliver the same to Mother Lanka please.

      • 0
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        “…rather outdated theories (capitalism/communism of various versions)”
        If outdated, why is the world still capitalist?
        If capitalism has outlived its usefulness, what is your alternative?
        Can selfishness and greed be the fodder for economic development forever?

        • 0
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          Dear SJ

          Thank you for the question.

          My understanding of the world of commerce/economies/governance regards to them and the respective evolution of those theories and application as follows without any political science and economics background please note

          (1) I look at all the colonial history/world wars and the ensuing super power politics
          (2) I observed how we were referring to Capitalism/Communisms in our nation
          (3) I followed how the developed (some of them fall under the super powers/military powers/UN permanent security council nation status) and other semi developed countries and developing countries made references and implemented policies
          (4) Then I followed how each parties (in democracies) attacked each other as capitalists/communists/socialists in their policies to gain support/or just to have one over the other
          (5) then I followed how even the so called communist countries applied their version of capitalism for the past 30 years of their developments
          (6) then I followed how the oppressors justified their military ventures to their population as to why they needed to attack/destroy/occupy other nations

          • 0
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            (7) then I followed how the developing countries elected governments were toppled by all the super powers for their squander of some other mans resources under the disguise of various system theories none of them even follow in their own countries.
            (8) So basically the idealogical wars (cover) between the super powers who never fought any wars between each other colonising the world through whatever their chosen excuses and not applying the essence of their ideologies?
            (9) then we all in developing countries loose the plot to develop our own versions that suit us the best based on local needs and lessons learned historically choose to study the same theories and apply/accept someone else’s versions??
            (10) We in developing countries could never get to the stage of civilised discussions/educational materials/assert our own theories because we kill each other for someone else’s theories??

            • 0
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              (11) so when we serve our people we will observe (trail and error) what world for the masses better/fine tune policies that could encompass some good things from exiting theories/some could be new ways of doing things to take care the fellow mans needs….workers rights/distribution of wealth etc.
              (12) Few South American countries they have now started revitalising the dead industries with workers cooperatives away from conventional state owned/private owned to workers owned etc.
              (13) we can not put anything into practice because we are too. busy fighting over trivial matters over someone else’s theories??

              what I meant we should not fall pray to all these definitions and start our own journeys?? to do that we need to get some sense of norm laity back/law and order away from the war mentality.

  • 2
    5

    Well, it is a well known factor that the Democrats are LTTE sympathizers.
    The current Sri Lankan President is an American citizen.
    The Founder of “Pohottuwa” who controls Parliament and country’s finance, Basil Rajapaksa, is also an American citizen.
    They both are power hungry, money hungry, unpatriotic politicians who have oathed to defend the American Constitution and protect American interests. Moreover, their origin is also not Sinhala.
    The 20A, which was formulated by the US Embassy in Colombo, has ultra-favoured dual citizens, including LTTE diaspora.
    What do you expect?
    The coming years will be very disastrous for Sinhalese Buddhists and the sovereignty of our country.
    There is no doubt that Mahinda, Gotabhaya and Basil will betray Sinhalese as they have done through the 20th Amendment.
    Now they are half way to introduce a “new constitution” to Sri Lanka which I guess has already been formulated by the US Embassy in Colombo.
    We, Sinhalese, are very much late already.
    Let’s be united at least to protect what is left.
    In light of above, it is of paramount importance to “TOTALLY REJECT” the new constitution proposed by Rajapaksas and their Muslim Justice Minister. We should not leave any room for them to even discuss it in Parliament.

    • 0
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      Tamils are not the enemies of the Sinhalese. Sinhalese themselves are their own enemies by voting for Rajapaksa Brothers and Children (Pvt) ltd.

    • 3
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      Champa,

      Agree with you with some of your points. But I really dont think that Democracts are pro-LTTE.
      .
      If UNP led govt was in power, today, so called PSEUDO patriots Rajakashes would have gone on days long protest marches today…. showing that Democrats are back to power and srilanken will be in danger… but the very same stupid people would nnot utter a single word, even if AMERICAN citizens become the head of states and the ministers of this country.
      :
      Something very fundemental is wrong with our nation. I am ashamed to call me sinhalaya since Nov 2019. But your stood out very lately on: We warned you think enough… how WIMAL WEERAWANSE would speed up the destruction of this nation. He was very cheap and his RHETORICS were highly instrumental misleading the stupid folks so that Rajaakshes be back to power.
      :
      Today, like or not, believe or not, almost everyone is torn not being able to tolerate the thuggish acts of RAJAPKSHES: Be it regarding people s medicine, fuel or whatever, … they dont talk much… because if anyone woudl raise his or her voice, Rajakashe would le thtem disspeanr or be dismembered to the manner Jamal Khashoggi faced it in that Saudi Embassy in Turkey 2-years ago.

  • 3
    0

    Frank D Roosevelt was elected for four terms.

    Mr Roosevelt was the only person to be elected for more than two terms in USA

  • 3
    0

    1000+ apologies for posting non related comment..I saw news that says 20% of SL population were to be given a COVID-19 Vaccine through WHO ( Figure head of Chinese CCP)…..

    does the people in this country are that dumb….SL health ministry just handed over the lives of 20% population for aUncertified vaccine – as of now there is no 100% safe COVID-19 …what is Pavithara vanniarachci was thinking are they going to Forcefully inject these thing to Sri Lankans ?

    and what if The Vaccine go Rogue 20 % population and the whole country will be in Unimaginable disaster ….

    • 3
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      Proud Sinhala Fascist
      This is an extremely important topic. Glad that you brought it up.
      The COVID-19 vaccine is still in its preliminary stage. There isn’t enough evidence that it is safe and effective to use yet.
      If the WHO wants clinical testing, then they need to ask for consent from individual citizens, NOT the government.
      If the Sri Lankan government has given its consent to this vaccine, it will only be tested on Sri Lankan citizens BY FORCE.
      The WHO’s decision to test the vaccine on Sri Lankan people through illegal methods is against all ethics.

  • 1
    0

    Mr. Rusiripala: A good analysis for students of “Political Science”. But remember America will “DECIDE” as and when situations change and it does not matter if it is “Republican” or “Democrats”. The “President” of America is an “Announcer” of that “Policy” dictated to by the “Top Beaurocracy” and “Business Tycoons”. That is how that country is “Governed”. So don’t rush for “Predictions” and keeping “Hopes”. To remind you of two facts: (1) Who “Adopted” that Bin Laden and made a “Multi-Millionaire” and “Decimated” him and his “Empire” when things didn’t turn in America’s favor? (2) Who “MADE” Sadam Hussain and in the end “WHO” destroyed him and his country? This “RULE” is equally applied even to the “President”. Hope you got that “Message”. Hope your President will also get the message and refrain from implementing “SOFA” and “MCC”, of course at great “RISKS”.

  • 1
    1

    I see any significance to Lanka is only when a person is appointed into cabinet or administration , who is either familiar or passionate about Lankan issues (Lanka as a country is of least significant to US). That person will be Susan Rice, who was in charge for South Asia for years during Obama administration, was considered by Biden as one of the VP option and strongly expected to be a cabinet member under Biden. The talk is. she is being considered as next Sec of State.(which was occupied by Hillary and Condoleezza in past). Rice happens to know Lanka and especially Rajapaksas , like the back of her hand.

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