There are less than 20 days before the 2016 presidential election. By watching televisions and reading from internet, I can clearly predict who is going to be the biggest loser of this election.
Contrary to most people’s belief, the biggest loser of this election will not be Donald Trump. Even if he loses the election under overwhelmingly reported ethical scandals, he will go back to enjoying his lavish, non-conservative lifestyle, like many of his former celebrity friends who now criticize him. His Trump hotels and golf courses will still have rich and powerful customers. As many predicted, he may open a new TV channel in which he can trash his opponents every day. On the upside, his children have already gotten great exposure in the American media, laying good foundation for their future political careers.
Hillary Clinton will not be the biggest loser either. With cross-party-line support from the political establishment and the majority of the media, she is likely to be crowned as the most powerful leader in the free world. In case a last-minute surprise happens and she fails to win the election, what she loses is just a name in the history: The first female president of America. She will also still enjoy a lavish lifestyle based upon hundreds millions of financial assets, plus private jet and luxury hotels provided by the Clinton Foundation. With no potential to gain power again, her speaking fee may not as pricy as it was before. After making so such money, should she even care?
Unfortunately, the real losers are tens of millions Americans, who do not have a sufficient chance to comprehend what this election means to them, and therefore, are unable to make informed decisions on this critical election that will determine their family’s future. Fueled by the media, both campaigns are engaging in dirty personal attacks, making this election about their opponents, not the American people.
In my opinion, this election should be about America’s future because America is at the cross-road here:
In terms of national security, we have turmoil in Middle East. ISIS has expanded into 32 countries. In America, we have experience increasing terrorist attacks from Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando, to very recently New Jersey. We desperately need to improve our national security and to totally defeat ISIS.
In terms of the economy, on the positive side, we already have economic recovery that generates 9.3 million jobs since 2009. We also see median household income grew 5.2% in 2015 and a low unemployment rate of 4.9%. However, we still have 43 million people (13.5%) living in poverty, and 94 million people out of workforce. Our GDP growth is stagnant at 1-1.5% per year. The big picture is, with jobs moving to overseas, middle class in America is disappearing, reduced from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2014. The income gap has reached a new high: in 2013 top 20% of US household had income of 48% of the total after federal taxes and transfers. In last eight years, our federal government has almost doubled our national debt from $10 trillion to nearly $20 trillion debt. We are borrowing irresponsibly from our children. America has serious economic challenges to be addressed.
In terms of education, our 8th grade was only ranked 27th in mathematics, 20th in science and 17th in reading among 34 OECD countries in the 2012 PISA International Student Assessment. According to former State Secretary Condoleezza Rice, our low quality in STEM education is jeopardizing our national security. Each year, America has to grant tens of thousands of H1b visas to help support our rapidly growing high-tech industries. Furthermore, due to a lack of reform and shortage of resources, the education attainment in African and Hispanic American communities are still below the expectation so that many colleges still resort illegal racial balancing to achieve diversity.
In terms of our state of society, we have a rebound of violence in many inner cities, rapidly growing opium epidemic fueled by drugs pouring from our southern border, and increasingly broken families. From 2012 to 2013, Heroin-related death increased by 39%.
With so many domestic challenges and decreasing American influences in the world, this election should focus on issues matter American people. Unfortunately, driven by commercial interests or ideologies, the majority of our media primarily offers news that demonizing either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. They spent very little time talking about the major issues American people should care about: Which candidate’s policies will make America stronger, safer and more prosperous? Who has better abilities to implement his/her policies? Who will build a better future for our children, instead of borrowing more from them?
When tens millions of American voters are misled by irresponsible media and both campaigns, they will surely become the biggest losers in the critical president election.
In addition to American voters, our mainstream media is another big loser too! Back in 1940s, our journalists intentionally hid the disability of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, because they had a patriotic spirit. Back in 1970s, our journalists fought Nixon corruption fiercely because they wanted to keep our government clean. Media were admired by American people. Today, it is fair for media to report Trump’s womanizing scandals and Hillary’s personal character. However, when the media allow this kind of political soap opera to unevenly dominate the media all day long, they have lost the basic corporate citizenship they should have: being responsible to American people!
With only a 32% trust by American people, the media will lose more if they continue on this path, unethical to American people.
Note: Yukong Zhao is a Chinese-American author and the President of Asian American Coalition for Education. He recently founded yukongpost.com, an online platform that promotes critical thinking and balanced perspectives.