The election campaign in USA: are there similarities with Greece?
Despite the many differences between the two countries, USA and Greece meet in one point, at least. In both countries, occur aspects of the pathology called the patronage system. Clienteles are different and act differently. In Greece, strikes, marches and occupations, not only hit a record but they are also original, to the extent that recently took the form of “warning” strikes.
In the USA, by contrast, strikes are rare. Coincidentally, two days ago, the strike of Elementary School Teachers of Chicago area, came to an end. It was, however, the first in twenty five years, and moreover, ending with a consensus of the two opposing sides. Marchesarealsoscarce,wecertainly hadtheWall Street “occupation”- but even though, they never block the streets or impede the traffic.
The pressure means are different. The most efficient are those that take the form of donations. There however, differ substantially, the two major parties. The Democrats, mainly rely on many small offers, coming from the constituency. Thus, many contributions that kept on coming until the very end of the 2008 election campaign leaned the balance in favor of Barack Obama, against Hilary Clinton in the primaries and in the final against McCain.
Republicans do not have such connections with the constituency, not counting of course the highly religious evangelists and the “Golden Dawn” of USA, the one that persistently refuses to accept Obama as American and Christian. Therefore, Romney and Republicans, intensify their various appeals to the far right- resulting to the attention given to the issue of abortion. But Republicans mostly rely on the big checks coming from major donors,-billionaires and powerful organized interests (Banks, oil, coal mines etc.).
This, in addition, explains the extreme positions taken, regarding issues such as the shrinkage of the state and its regulatory role, taxation etc. In Europe, as we known, such positions find no resonance because not only thrives a tradition of the acceptance of the state but also because of the importance of social cohesion. In USA, however, there is still the extreme individualism, which probably dates back to the Puritanism and the anti-authoritarian tradition of the American Revolution.
It is in this tradition and the entirely extreme and unrealistic individualism that Romney appealed to, speaking in Boca Raton (literally meaning the mouth of the mouse) to wealthy donors. Obviously he expressed opinions that the few listeners-his guests, were pleased to hear. What he did not realize, was that… there were others listen to him. Misunderstanding, would you say, of modern technology and its capabilities? Surely, but also superficiality that repeatedly exhibited the candidate Romney.
So, Romney showed what the case in the elections of November 6 was really. Not only was a situation of extreme contrast of basic ideology and political views on the economic and social field, but it was also a stark contrast of character and methods, of the two candidates. On the one hand, there is well prepared Obama, who leaves nothing “in luck”, makes his moves in a systematic way, with patience, organization, plan and method-these elements that paid off in 2008. On the other hand there is the obviously frivolous Romney, whose apparent lack of strategic planning competes with the multiple blunders, causing of course a great amount of disappointment to his supporters.