US Presidential Race & Establishment

By M. Tahir Khan.

We have heard a lot about establishment in Pakistan, but the interesting fact to know for all of us is that in United States of America (USA), the world’s largest economy also has one establishment within their own system. The US establishment is not only powerful within its own political system but also has the ability to support their national interests.

The current political race for Presidential Elections in US has highlighted the role of establishment as it was never before. The establishment this time came into limelight in all newspapers, international foreign relation magazines due to its interventions and remained under discussion at political forums and in presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Historically, it was said that in United States Establishment always used to align itself with Republicans, whereas Democrats remained ones who opposed the policies being formulated by Republicans and supported by powerful US establishment. If we look into past three decades, whenever Republicans came into power, America engaged itself into different wars around the globe, whether it was the Gulf War or Afghan War; however democrats remained reluctant to open new fronts of war.

In last 32 years, Republicans remained in power for 16 years and both times it was Bush family (George W. Bush and George Bush) who ruled White House and they led different wars as commander in chief of armed forces. However, both Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama avoided further conflicts. This can be evident from history chapters that whenever Democrat Elected Presidents tried to pursue their own party goals of non-interference, the US establishment came into it as a hurdle.

In the popular case Clinton vs. Monica Lewinsky, Clinton felt the heat for not supporting establishment policy line, whereas President Barack Obama signed first executive order for the closure of Guantanamo Jail in Cuba but his commitment has not been yet fulfilled but he tried not to extend further battle fields for US forces and even withdrawn major chuck of US Armed forces from Afghanistan and Iraq.

However, in current Presidential Elections, US establishment seems to have withdrawn its support from Donald Trump, the Republican Presidential candidate, the only reason to withdraw support from Republicans candidate was the policy outlined by Donald Trump not to enter into new wars and criticized the earlier war fares being entered by US forces in different regions. In the earlier Republican Party contests for presidential nomination, establishments has always supported the candidates including Jeb Bush, the younger brother of George Bush and second important candidate Ted Cruz, were not able to stand in front of Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s success as Republican nomination happens to be the major cause in the shift of establishment’s support from Republicans to Democrats.

This not only marks the shift in establishment’s alliance from Republicans to Democrats but also refers the extensive support granted in favour of Hillary Clinton by bringing forward sex scandals of Donald Trump and maligning his presidential campaign. In the last one month time, over eleven cases have been forwarded against Donald Trump, and additionally we have also seen that US forces have also entered into new war in Mosul, Iraq against Islamic State. US government by entering into a new war on one side is trying to show US military muscle and on the other side democratic government has also shown their support for establishment irrespective of Democrat’s three decade old narrative for not entering into new wars.

Finally, it is now an open discussion in US and other western media that shows US establishment has shifted its support from Republicans to Democrats, and how Democrats have changed their decades’ old policy of no more conflicts. However, near future will decide how US politics will create impact on the changing dynamics of the world.

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