The American presidential polls every four years is an event keenly watched, and not just in America, for there is nothing in the lives of people and governments from across the world that is not unimpacted by the US policy and presidents, particularly a new one. There is also nothing like the US presidential primaries anywhere else when it comes to the long and costly pre-poll primaries, though some nations are trying to measure up — but they too cannot match up.
Ahead of US presidential polls in November 2016, the US primaries have thrown up a surprise, as nothing else in recent years and decades. The emergence of the unconventional and ‘ultra-nationalist’ American in Donald Trump as the current front–runner for the Republican ticket has upset the American GoP establishment as much as it has unnerved friends and adversaries of the nation, across the world.
It’s possible for the first time since the emergence of Independent candidate, Ross Perot, as a possible challenger to the conventional American political establishment in 1992, that someone like Trump has shown up, almost out of nowhere. But unlike the other, Trump is not an also-ran independent of any kind, big or small. He is seeking Republican nomination, and is not unlikely to make it, too. This has lessons for all America-watchers, in the country and outside, to ask themselves: What is happening in and to America and Americans?
It is thus not only about Trump obtaining Republican nomination, if it came to that — or making it to the White House. It’s also about what new generation Americans want and ask for from their leaders.
The discussion will be led by Dr. Sridhar Krishnaswami.
Sridhar Krishnaswami was the Special Correspondent at The Hindu and later Press Trust of India in Washington DC. A keen US–watcher, Dr. Krishnaswami currently heads the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at SRM University, Chennai.