‘US presidential election public display of self-doubt’

Canberra, Nov 3 (IANS) Australian ambassador to the US Joe Hockey has characterised the US presidential election as a “very public display of self-doubt,” saying the “fundamental bedrock of the American republic is a distrust of government”.

“Nothing has been off-limits in this election…the graphic, 24/7, real-time nature” of the presidential campaign had compounded voters’ anxiety, Hockey said in comments published by the Guardian Australia on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

Despite a rollercoaster, fiercely contested and sometimes bitter campaign, the election process had proved that America’s democracy was robust, said Hockey.

In a speech to the US Studies Center, he said that both Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton had been “questioning the role of American values” during their respective campaigns.

“To some cynics, it’s appeared like a two-year reality television program,” Hockey said.

Whichever candidate emerged from the November 8 election would need to address the real concerns of their constituents, said Hockey, with much of the nation experiencing self-doubt about the future of the US and the general mood in the country being pessimistic.

“The incoming president must be seen to respond to those who fear that America and its promise of a grand democracy is no longer working for them,” he said.

Hockey shied away from offering his opinion on who would win the presidency, saying the race was too close to call.