A day ahead of the Presidential elections in the United States, Pune-based US citizens stand divided in their support for the candidates. While a majority of them favour Hillary Clinton, others call Donald Trump “a non-politician who doesn’t worry about being politically correct”.
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Talking to The Indian Express, those interviewed said they had cast their ballots using the postal service days ago and are not waiting for the November 9 results. Freelance writer Monika Patel said, “I voted for Hilary and I hope to see her as the US President. I am keeping my fingers crossed. From the last few days, Donald Trump seems to be narrowing the gap. I find him divisive, arrogant and completely unqualified for the post. On the other hand, Hillary has given more than 30 years to public service.”
Sandy Mehta, an American citizen currently staying in Pune, said he stands firmly behind Trump as an “anti-establishment candidate” and opposes Clinton who, according to him, represents status quo.
“I’m aware that my view is a minority among the Indian-Americans, a lot of whom are rooting for Hillary. I expect Trump to win despite what the ‘pro-establishment’ media is saying as he a people’s candidate. He’s not being supported by any establishment, media or even his own party. His campaign is purely driven by people’s support. I think that a lot of Americans are supporting him for the same reason as Indians who supported Modi here. He’s seen as non-corrupt while his opponents, the Clintons, have a lot to hide and are being investigated by the FBI for the same,” said Mehta who is based out of Boston.
When pointed out the criticism Trump is facing for his reported sexist remarks, Mehta brushes them of as “locker-room banter”. “He may have said something but hasn’t done it. A lot of people joke about things in private. Not to forget that there are a lot of scandals on the other side too,” he said.
Renowned architect Christopher Benninger, who has been living here for the past 45 years, said that each candidate represents two distinct aspects of America. “The pessimists and the optimists. Trump is a classic bully, with no sophistication or culture. He uses fear to motivate the masses. This is a very dangerous way to motivate a democratic society,” said Benninger, adding, “Hillary represents a more rational side. Hillary needs minority voters… and they are traditionally least likely to vote.”
Rohit Arora, a registered voter in New York who lives in Pune, said that the Americans have been faced with “poorest choice in many years” as both the candidates are flawed. “I believe Hillary is more likely to win, but definitely Trump too stands a chance. Among the too, I favour Hillary as Trump seems completely unsuitable for the office,” he said.