Thursday, October 11, 2012

The grand debate

Be it Brit or American, any author worth his salt, or if at all he wishes his name to be seen on NY pulp fiction best seller list, there has to be a novel on the US govenment and particularly involving the president, be it his romantic escapades or attempts on his life or the run up to the presidency. Many of Jeffrey Archer's novels, my favourite author and my English teacher to a large extent, are based on these premises. And almost all of them are blockbuster hits. My favourite picks are "Shall we tell the president" and "Prodigal Daughter". The first one deals with an insider's plot to assasinate the incumbent president while the latter traces the rise to the top post of a Polish immigrant's daughter. I strongly believe, Archer was in love with that character, Florentyna Rosnovski, for the way he had shaped the story is so special and is probably even better than his master piece "Kane and Abel". Being a conservative, he somehow has a preference for Democrats i guess for most of his "presidents" are from that party. In this novel, he details the electoral process and behind the scenes activities of a presidential election. In fact there are so many elections being described in that novel, it almost feels like a commentary transcript of US elections. But only Archer can make them sound so interesting and spellbinding.

I've always been fascinated by the US elections. Mostly because, the novels i read always spoke about them and those novels were my first peek into the world of politics. I learnt about primaries and electoral colleges more from his novels than from my civics text book. Never in my life did i imagine that i would be in this very same country and even more surprisingly when the elections are happening. I am fascinated by debates and even the biased shouting matches on national television in the name of multiparty debates used to fascinate me. But more than being a truthful and interesting discussion it would be more like, you cant question my mistake for you have done it even worser in your term. People would go out of their way to justify their party and very few honest responses will be there to see. When i heard the news that there is going to be three rounds of debates between the incumbent and the challenger, i was super thrilled and was eagerly awaiting the telecast. It was a totally different experience to watch Obama and Romney slug it out face to face. I always root for the incumbent and underdogs. Since Romney, i felt, was neither, i was naturally supporting Obama. But it was Romney who stole the show. He spoke like a president. His body language was like a president. He portrayed the typical aggressive American to T and no wonder he stole all those points over Obama, who was more like a school kid who had forgotten his homework. Hope the remaining rounds see a fair match. Though at a basic level, all politicians are rotten cases, the pretense that they pose around is funny which ever the country they are from. Especially in a country like US where every single second of their public and private lives are under so much scrutiny that even if you poke your nose in public it becomes discussion topic. Indian politics and US pose such a stark study in contrast. Whatever is held sacred here is torn to shreds and dissected in detail and viceversa. In the name of press freedom the Americans go over board on everything and at times it feels the politicians are more afraid of the press than even their own justice system. Mistakes are mercilessly published and blown out of proportions and bigger the celebrity you are the more the press enjoys and celebrates their fall. In this country, as much as success even failures also sell.

I had to say, the debate was nothing like, how it was glorified on the novels. It was a touch disappointing but the experience of having seen it in real of what i've been reading about in books is something i would really cherish. One more ticked off from the bucket list :))

Be it Obama or Romney, may the man who support India's cause win :D :D


Suganya said...

I had a different thought. Obama was not on his pitch. Huge shocker when comparing to his previous presidential debate. Is he the same person was all I was thinking during the debate. Romney had come out with good points. Obama was gradually sulking as the debate progressed. Definitely not a good sign. But I felt Romney sounded more like a typical sales man. Sure enough, he isn't a natural.

Ramesh said...

Enjoy the raving and ranting. So much hot air is being generated that global temperatures should have surely shot up by 2%.

The partisan fighting is an accurate reflection of American society. When we criticise politicians we must be conscious that they accurately reflect the views of their constituents - no tribe is so tuned to their customers as politicians are.

Asha said...

You are on bucket list ticking spree. Good.Enjoy the experience and share with us.

Agree with the last line.

BTW.. "shall we tell..." read the book in the year 91 while waiting in the lobby for my personal interview call in the IB office. the mention reminded me of the incident.