Successes and Failures of U.S. Elections – Part 1


by Sunil Wimalawansa

( December 18, 2016, Boston, Sri Lanka Guardian) On November 8th, 2016, Mr. Trump, now the President-Elect had a mandate to make “America Great Again.”  With a clean sweep, in the absence of influences from the lobbyists and financiers, and not having to rely on entrenched Washington lobbyist and dead-wood, the “Trump/Pence Administration” has a inordinate opportunity to push their agenda and make their promises real and tangible for the benefit of all Americans.  It is up to him to make this happen.

With the majority in the Senate and the House, Mr. Trump could systematically implement his agenda, focusing on what is best for the country, for which he should say on track.  Unlike Mr. Obama, Mr. Trump should work with the congress; and both parties.  His capable chief of staff would promote his agenda thorough the Congress.  Except as a last resort or in an emergency, he should not exploit the executive power.

For the benefit of the country, he promised to reverse some of the executive orders of Mr. Obama, that have not been made into law.  Meanwhile, less regulations and lower taxes that he promised should kick-start the economy, and create jobs and wealth.  However, the wasteful special tax-breaks for companies or stimulus packages would benefit the country.  Federal money to be spent should do go directly to the cause, such as infrastructure development.

Mainstream media bias and the polling:

During the election campaign, mainstream media being one-sided, virtually lost its credibility.  Following the elections, apparently, many media outlets have witnessed reduction of viewership and advertisement revenues.  It will take some time for the media to overcome from this mistrust.  The mainstream media was and continues with inherent biased and one-sided chatter, but at times has also broadcast false propaganda, innuendos, and slurs.

Meanwhile, almost all the polling pundits got their predictions wrong, in part due to their bias, but more importantly, the use of dated and the wrong models used that were highlighted and glorified by ‘Talking Heads’ in the media.  We the people do not like nor trust media-opinions; when the facts are presented we can make our own opinions.

If the heads of the media organizations want to reestablish the organizational credibility and improve the viewership, they should consider implementing sweeping changes.  Perhaps they should eliminate wasteful polling entities and remove the biased “Talking Heads” that create mistrust and add no added value.  Since media failed with polling, it should let individual political party to carry their own polling, that the public too can rely upon.

During this election, the Clinton campaign was very efficient in fund raising and thus, able to spent eight-times more than the Trump-Campaign did on advertisements and for the ground game.  Even though the latter spent nearly an order of magnitude less than the Clinton machinery, the Trump-Campaign had an edge.  The Republican National Committee under the leadership of Reince Priebus, had a well-established, modern, analytics-based, ground game plan.  Strategically, this allowed them to develop a superior game plan compared to the traditional approach relied upon by the Democrats.

Claims, biases, and the media:

In addition to the unbiased news, entertainment and education, the media has an ethical responsibility to investigate the fats and present balanced and true stories, and newsworthy information to the public.  In tangent, the media usually creates the celebrities for its own benefit, publicity and profit making.  Towards the end of the campaign, the Clintons attempted to exploit tis mock entity¾represented by so-called celebrities.  However, quickly it became apparent to the public that it was a desperate attempt by the Clinton campaign to recover from the downward spiral in the polls.

With the inherently flawed fundamentals in the recent election, there was no way the opposition party with an outside candidate could compensate for the negative media coverage and frequent stories it generated.  It was ironical that many self-promoted celebrities in the U.S.A. and many media outlets endorsed Secretary Clinton and many also paid handsome political contributions.  However, it is not clear as to what motivated these self-interest groups gaining influence from the Democratic party nominee.

Campaigns and reporting bias cannot be compensated by money or celebrities:

The clear majority of the Democratic Party rally-attendees however, were there to see the over-rated Hollywood celebrities and listen to music, and not to snoop to political messages.  There was no indication that such interjections during the last two-weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign had any tangible value or gained additional votes.

The crowds were happy to listen to music, for which otherwise they would have to pay needlessly.  Evidence suggests that hardly any attendees or television viewers changed their minds to vote for the Secretary Clinton, because of these expensive and extravagant events.  New generation voters while (perhaps unwisely) embracing movie stars and songs of celebrities for short-term entertainment, paid no attention to the political messages from the celebrities.

In fact, except for entertainment provided at a cost and profiting out of the public, many Hollywood folks have contributed little to the development or the welfare of people in this country.  Therefore, other than the provision of public entertainment, they should have no special interest to attempt to change the political views of the American public.

Professor Sunil J. Wimalawansa MD, PhD, MBA, DSc. A Physician-Scientist, Social Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Educator.  Author can be reached at



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