All my life from the childhood I have been listening to the people giving examples of democracy in USA. Our politicians (majority of them) are crooks and there is no doubt about it, but without even knowing anything about the American political system I always had this image of the USA being a democratic utopia. USA was a world for me where all the politicians were honest, law abiding, subtle, gentlemen and loyal to their country.
It was around 2011 when I started to have my political awakening. It was Imran khan’s boom that let many a non-political youth like me to take interest in politics. As the interest developed I started to follow politics all around the globe.
From 2011 to 2013 internal politics of Pakistan kept me occupied and as you all know the best time for political fans is around the election dates, I didn’t have a chance to follow American elections of 2012.
Then came 2016 when the fight for party candidacy started in USA. I was really excited to know about the real democratic systems and to see, observe and learn from the true politicians. I thought it would open a new dimension for me, I would be able to compare our politicians with the Utopian politicians and would be able to know where in our system the improvement is required. Unfortunately I was utterly disappointed.
During the 2013 general elections in Pakistan I continuously used to observe the following problems in our political structure.
- No accountability of candidates.
- Politicians exploited hate in masses.
- Politics of personal attacks became a virtuous act.
- Less focus on policy discussions and more on personal attacks.
- Big unrealistic promises.
- Cheap language.
- Different media houses aligned with different parties.
Now these are only a few problems that I can recall on the top of my head.
After following the American elections I came to the conclusion that these problems are not unique to third world countries. Let’s compare the above problems in both countries.
In Pakistan you have Shareefs and Zardaris hiding their taxes and in US you have Trumps doing the same.
In Pakistan conservative religious parties blame everything on West, Jews and their lobbies and in US the conservatives blame it all on Muslims.
In Pakistan wives of the candidates are maligned and so are in US.
In Pakistan and US both the debates revolve around throwing dirt on the opposite candidate.
In Pakistan you get the promises to finish corruption in 3 months and in US you get the promise of “the big wall” and total ban on Muslims.
In Pakistan you use abusive language and in US you do the same.
In Pakistan you have GEO channel vs ARY, In US you have FOX news vs CNN.
This all makes me wonder if we really are any different from each other. I have no trust in US politicians anymore, but I still believe that the majority of their general public is more educated than us and they will make a good choice in this election. But at the same time I am also afraid that this last ray of hope would also be lost if they choose Donald J Trump as their president. Because if you learn one thing from the history of the world, it is that hate mongers can never make your future better.