On the 3rd of November, 2016 our association organised a round table discussion on the topic of next week’s presidential elections in the United States of America. Aside from the disquisition of the presidential candidates’ chances, the purpose was to examine the future expectations and the effects of the possible outcome of the elections.
The invited presenters – Dr. Tamás Magyarics, Head of Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Economic Relations; Sándor Nagy, US expert; and Károly Pintér, Docent at Pázmány Péter Catholic University – guaranteed the event’s high standard by their professional knowledge and the access to different aspects of the presidential elections.
The presenters went along with the fact that democrat Hillary Clinton seems to be the winner according to the latest surveys; nevertheless, they acknowledged that her advantage of 2-3% is not enough of a safeguard for her to be the next president. They highlighted the national support alone is not enough due to the US electoral system, as well as, because of the demography, the elections will be decided by the 12 swing states, where Trump has less possibility of error than his rival. In the 2016’s elections, there is an unusually big attention for negative campaigning that makes the chance evaluation more difficult. This can demotivate the non-aligned voters, and it can lead to apolitical attitude. The substantial majority of the US thinks their country went wrong and they have never had as unpopular presidential candidates as now. This clearly shows the dissatisfaction with Washington.
Donald Trump makes the best of people’s desire to see any change at whatever cost. He makes a campaign without policy and appeals to emotions. Thanks to his American millionaire image, he looks genuinely the hero of the ordinary people that creates a serious advantage for him. Furthermore, there is another benefit for him that he is not a career politician, thus he reserves his popularity against his scandalous statements. In contrast to him, Hillary Clinton is a professional politician, of whom most citizens already made their opinions before the presidential elections, thus she is not trustworthy. Because of the campaign’s advanced period and the election’s imminence, it is hard to say which newest scandal is going receive more attention, and what kind of effect will it have on the electors. Based on surveys, we can be certain of the competition’s tautness.
In the second part of the presentation, we discussed the social changes before and during the presidential election, and the possible effects of the new president’s personality. The invited experts have highlighted that the disappointment of the electors helped the emergence of the “trumpisme”, as well as the fact that an increasing number of people think that the current system is corrupt. The retreat of the quality press and media, the large-scale dissemination of the mass communication also favours Donald Trump, something that contributes to the drive of the presidential elections Another source of dissatisfaction is that the real economy did not grow in merit. These problems remain after the presidential elections too. Furthermore, the American politicians will have to count with the “trumpisme” as a phenomenon, because we cannot relate the phenomenon just to Donald Trump’s personality.
To the question of how much will the US change after the presidential elections; our presenters declared that we do not have to be in fear of the American policy changes, thanks to the bureaucracy and the system of checks and balances. During a possible Clinton administration, the continuation of the “Obama policies” is the most possible outcome since Clinton herself was part of the Obama administration too.
Overall, we were able to take part of a gripping and useful presentation, while we could investigate the presidential elections from different perspectives.
With this summary of the event it is also our distinguished pleasure to express our very special gratitude to our honorary presenters and guest, while not forgetting our appreciation to the organisers.