Oil & Gas Editorial: Uneasy Is The American Head That Wears A Crown

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Tim Haïdar

From sea to shining sea, the population of the world’s second largest democracy will be voting for their 45th President today.

For the first time in US history, 200 million Americans have registered to cast their ballot for the individual that will lead the executive branch for the next four years. 

Despite this record-breaking number, it is estimated that as many as 80 million people, the size of the population of Germany, will not make it as far as the polling booth on November 8th. The turnout for the last general election in 2012 was a mere 53.6 per cent. 

Early indications show that the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, will surpass the magic 270 Electoral College votes and clinch the Presidency by a handsome margin over Republican hopeful, Donald Trump. 

In a campaign that has lasted nigh on two calendar years at a cost of some $2.65 billion, the US needs to ask itself some deep-seated questions when the ticker tape has settles and sunrise breaks over the District of Columbia. 

Starring the two most unpopular candidates since Lincoln stood for the Republican Party in an election that would usher in the Civil War, the race to the White House has been blighted and characterised by a thick seam of vitriol and invective, the likes of which has been a shock even for a thick-skinned US audience. 

This has been a battle of the political establishment versus the politically disaffected, run by one “have much” candidate against a “have much more”. If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes the first female President tomorrow, the Oval Office will have been occupied by someone named “Bush” or “Clinton” for 24 of the past 31 years. If Donald Trump clinches the Presidency, a billionaire that has divided the nation with inflammatory rhetoric will sit behind the Resolute desk until 2020. 

Can the country that declared in its birth pangs that “all men are created equal” and subsequently ripped itself asunder over the issue of slavery, now profess that anybody but a plutocrat can run for the highest office in the land? And whoever takes up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January 2017, will they be the inheritors of a house more divided than any other since the 1860s?  

The myth tells us that they offered Washington the crown, two centuries later the sceptered diadem is lined with thorns. 

Tim Haïdar will be covering the US election live on Twitter as the important announcements are made in the key states for the US oil and gas industry. Follow his updates @oilandgasiq