TAHA AKYOL > Obama’s ‘Hollow Victory’!

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The Turkish media, in an unprecedented move, covered the American elections from the afternoon of Nov. 6 until the morning of Nov. 7. Had it not been for the obstacle of the 7-10 hours of time difference, the Turkish media would have declared the president elect earlier than the American media. It is hard to imagine how the Turkish audience imagined the American elections, after repeatedly hearing about electoral votes and how the popular vote does not necessarily determine the election, political action committees (PAC), the Supreme Court, Ohio, healthcare reform, the national deficit, the auto industry, the Florida scenario and the black and Latino votes.

Let’s leave the “Turkish dimension” of the elections at the enriched media critique, ethnographic research and postcolonial political psychology phase and turn instead to the “American dimension” of the elections. The 2012 election has taken its place in American history as the most expensive, most fiercely competitive election that held the most possibility of varied outcomes.

If we leave aside the so-called “professional courtesy” of the presidential candidates, both Obama and Romney ran 80 and 85-percent negative and aggressive campaigns, respectively. According to one calculation, Obama’s campaign spent $30 a second during the month of October, in line with earlier predictions of astronomic figures for the campaign. Since the Supreme Court lifted the Federal Election Commission mandate of a $2,500 limit on individual contributions to a national candidate, the American elections have become vulnerable to financial manipulations.

Another aspect of the American elections was the exaggerated application of the “2000 Florida Syndrome” to different possible outcomes, the most ordinary of which was the possible establishment of electoral courts in Florida in 2012. The most unusual scenario would have been one of the candidates winning the majority vote (only because a scenario with equal popular votes would be too absurd), while both candidates received equal Electoral College votes. In this scenario, the speaker of the House of Representatives, which boasts a Republican majority, would have to choose the president and the senate would have to appoint the vice president.

This time the U.S. elections, in which two “others” competed against each other, witnessed the “minority other” win in the complicated and archaic electoral system, with a hollow victory compared to previous incumbent campaigns, despite all the advantages having been utilized by the presidency. Obama – who has governed the country for the last four years with great challenges – won a victory against a Republican candidate – one of many hopeless Republican candidates – in circumstances almost completely determined by local dynamics. Nevertheless, when Obama’s campaign was still celebrating its victory amidst chants of “four more years,” the Republicans had already begun debating the legitimacy of this hollow victory.


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US Observer

11/9/2012 8:17:50 PM

While I do believe the Dems once gain had major voter fraud take place, I won't deny the small majority want Obama. He carried like 90% of the Black vote (guess we see who is really rascist) and single women vote (who seem to think I should pay for their birth control). Worst of all, we saw tax payer dollars (auto bailout) sent to Big Labor as a bribe to carry swing States. Wonder what they were promised? No more Right to work? No more Secret ballots?

mara mcglothin

11/9/2012 3:32:33 PM

When 20% of people want to grow the American government BECAUSE they would lose their jobs if government decreased emplooyment, and 20% are too lazy to work and NOBAMA is supporting them with my hard earned tax dollars, and then the idiot Republicans made backward("erdogan like statements" about women's reproductive health) it isn;t rocket science to figure out how Obama won reelection. Very sad day for America. ALEX KADER You wouldn't know a great leader if he bit your butt!

David Cuthell

11/9/2012 3:17:08 PM

Can is certainly correct, no one is questioning the results. However, the absurd and outdated institution of the electoral college really needs to go. It is also worth noting that there was no violence and that the net day politicians are heeding the voters and focusing on the "fiscal cliff". Reform of PACs will follow. Stay tuned.

Eric Martin

11/9/2012 9:37:17 AM

One of our liberal tv talkshow hosts is Cern Dink from 'Young Turks'. He's Turkish and a damn embarrassment for Turkish people. He repeats the same failed economic theories that got Turkey stuck in 3rd world economics. That's why Obama got relected. Mexicans and young people who want money. American economy stinks and Obama is still blaming Bush. What an idiot.

Alex Kader

11/9/2012 9:37:09 AM

“The legitimacy of this hollow victory” Mr. Taha Akyol, do you have any friendship with the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh? You have very similar opinion to that xenophobic, bigot, intolerant voice. If Romney had won, you would have portrayed a real victory. Your article clearly reflects your disappointment; however, it will not have any influence on the peace, joy, and happiness of millions of people. Barak Obama is one of the greatest leader in the world whether you accept or not.

stacy smith

11/9/2012 6:12:06 AM

Well said Oz, simply spot on!

Can Oz

11/9/2012 1:19:56 AM

Maybe a narrow victory (it was more decisive than Bush junior's re-election), but hollow? Even Fox News is not questioning the legitimacy of Obama's victory. For the first time in a long time, Republican party are blaming themselves. Not Obama. Like father, like son.Twisting the facts must run in the family. But then again very few Turkish journalist know anything about the outside world.
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