The ongoing US presidential election campaign has made poll projections unpredictable because of controversies whipped up by both the candidates of two major political parties. Both of them are not maintaining any firm stand on many issues of concern. As days pass by, they make different stands on many issues.
Republican nominee Donald Trump has now changed his strategy with regard to deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants. Instead of wholesale deportation, he has now started speaking in favour of deportation of only undocumented immigrants with criminal records. His present stand appears to be targeting Hispanic or Latino voters. Since a large number of Mexicans have become citizens of America in the last several years, he dramatically visited Mexico to meet President Pena Nieto. The purpose of his sudden visit to Mexico was to impress upon Mexican-American citizens that he has no grudge against them but he remains committed to build a wall along America-Mexican border. The fact, however, remains that Donald Trump during his campaign described them as 'thugs' and criminals who flooded America from across the border. His unexpected visit to Mexico took place at the initiative of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a real-estate investor.
The visit of Trump to Mexico actually backfired. This was reflected in resignation of Texas Attorney Jacob Monty and business executive Massey Villarreal from Trump's Hispanic advisory committee on the ground that he changed his strategy by saying at a public meeting in Phoenix on return from Mexico that all illegal immigrants would be subjected to deportation. The Texas Attorney complained by saying, "I gave Donald Trump a plan that would improve border security, remove hardened criminal aliens and most importantly, give work authority to the millions of honest and hardworking immigrants in the US, but he rejected those."
In the United States, there are 27.3 million Hispanic or Latino voters. Of them, two-thirds voters have been following news about election closely, according Pew research. In 12 battleground states of America, majority Hispanic voters are registered. Of them, Arizona represents the highest number of Hispanic voters. About 24.4 per cent Hispanic voters are in Arizona followed by Florida, Nevada and Colorado.
Donald Trump has also changed his campaign team by hiring Briebart's News executive Stephen K.Bunnon as Chief Strategist while Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager. Meanwhile, chief strategist Paul Manafort resigned as he has been under fire in the press for working for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. On the other hand, Nigel Farage, leader of far-right UK's Independent Party, who recently resigned from the party after his successful campaign to quit the European Union, joined hands with Trump in his campaign for supporting his immigration policy. That has infuriated Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton. Both Trump and the British political leader are on the same boat as far as immigrants are concerned. A number of Republican stalwarts, including Colin Powell, have begun criticising Trump. Colin Powell, former Army General and Secretary of State, has spoken of Trump as a 'national disgrace'.
On the other hand, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is equally facing crticism. The health of both Hillary and Trump has become another major campaign issue now. When Hillary fell ill at 9/11 ceremony in New York, her campaign aides insisted she was just overheated. Her campaign team immediately informed the public about her pneumonia diagnosis when a video showed her fainting as she got into a van while leaving the venue. This simple issue has caused transparency problem for Hillary. The Wall Street Journal holds the opinion that she is the oldest nominee in her party's history. She has a history of blood clots and recently told FBI investigators she could not remember some security briefings in 2012 because she was recovering from a concussion then, as reported by the Journal.
Hillary's comments at a fundraising campaign in Manhattan in New York have evoked severe criticism. She regretted next day for using such words. Her use of emails through her personal server while serving as Secretary of State will Her use of emails through her personal server while serving as Secretary of State will remain a big question mark over her perception of national security..
Since she was facing criticism for not facing a press conference, Hillary Clinton appeared in six news conferences until September 19 held in New York to clarify her stand on many national and international issues while Donald Trump has gone into hiding and has not taken questions from news media. At NBC's commander-in-chief forum on September 07, many columnists pointed out that Trump appears to be the most 'dangerously ignorant major party presidential candidate in history'. The forum was arranged for the two presidential candidates to show off their national security credentials but Trump's most 'disqualifying moment' was his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin in comparison with President Barack Obama.
More than 50 military and security officials have written a letter to Donald Trump to reveal details about his overseas business investments seeking transparency. This request went to Trump after Newsweek published an investigative article detailing how he organised foreign business ties with countries like Russia, China and Turkey, thus complicating handling of foreign relations.
September 26 will show how the two presidential nominees will perform in their first official debate.
The writer is a retired diplomat.