EVEN AS pundits see the race for the White House narrowing noticeably following the renewed FBI probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails, US entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank F Islam asserts it would have no impact on the outcome of the US presidential election.
This is because, argues Frank, Donald Trump’s campaign has been in disarray and displayed little logic and even less of a focus on key issues. “Trump’s campaign was never well organised. There has been a lot of turnover at the top. His campaign has not had much of a ground game and it’s been out-manned in most of the critical states,” the civic leader and a key backer of the Clinton campaign, told Qatar Tribune in an exclusive interview.
Frank says the presidential debating rounds were crucial and he cites three key takeaways: “Hillary Clinton demonstrated her knowledge, competence and composure and was always cool, calm and collected.
“By contrast, Trump was anxious, agitated and aggressive with very little subject matter expertise.
“The polls show that Clinton won all three debates. Trouncing Trump in the first, beating him soundly in the second and letting Trump beat himself in the third.”
One of the key concerns for Clinton supporters has been the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities, and hovered around the issue of immigration. So what could be the outcome in the event of a Trump victory?
“That’s hard to imagine. I would say I personally believe that would be a very bad thing for America and all Americans and not just racial and ethnic minorities. I would not want to speculate on what Trump would do as President. I would only say, consider his attacking and antagonistic words. If his actions align with them, his agenda would not be a kinder and gentler one, replied the Indian-born Frank, in the email interview.
While he says he cannot speak for the Indian in Diaspora, he believes the overriding issue for the community would be forging stronger bonds between the US and India and building upon the strong foundation established by President Obama and Clinton while she was Secretary of State.
There are a number of important areas for collaboration including economic development, education, climate change, security in Southeast Asia, and world peace, says Frank, who blogs regularly for The Huffington Post and hosts his own TV show ‘Washington Current Review’ on MHz Networks, and is often called upon to speak on a variety of business, education and non-profit forums.
On the other hand, he points out, “Secretary Clinton is a friend of India. I would expect her to build on the Obama foundation and make the alliance between India and the US one of the best in the world.”
Frank, however, admits the current campaign may have reached the nadir in terms of the discourse and rhetoric. “I think for many voters, the candidates’ character and personalities took precedence over matters of policy or substantive issues. This election cycle was a sad one for American democracy. In my opinion, Donald Trump’s negative attitude and style contaminated the entire process.
“Enough said on that. I am looking forward to November 9, the day after the election, and seeing Americans of goodwill coming together to unify America,” says Frank.
(This article first appeared on the Front page in Qatar Tribune on November 3, 2016. Below please find the web link and the PDFs of the page)