By Mohammad Mazhari

It is not new that U.S. supports autocratic rulers: professor

October 18, 2020 - 16:14

TEHRAN – An American professor thinks that the U.S. backs autocratic rulers in some countries and it is not something new.

"It is clear that the U.S. also supports autocratic rulers in some countries," Professor Robert Y. Shapiro tells the Tehran Times. 
Shapiro, a professor and former chair of the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, also says, "The U.S. has become detached from multilateral relations and diplomacy, and this has been one of many election issues." 
The following is the text of the interview:

Q: How do you assess Trump's policies? Is the U.S. isolated because of Trump's impulsive decisions?

A: Yes, the U.S. has become detached from multilateral relations and diplomacy, and this has been one of many election issues, but not the most important one compared to the economy and the pandemic.

Q: What is your analysis of American society toward the presidential election? Are most of the mass media against Trump?

A: The country has long been divided into a state of caustic partisan conflict.  Overall, the media are more negative than positive toward Trump, but that is associated directly with what says and tweets, and does.

Q: Which factors do determine U.S. elections? Media or money?

A: Media and Money matter in the current election in terms of how they can affect voter turnout in the key states for the electoral vote.  At this stage, it is what the parties and candidates do to mobilize their voters. And there is the controversial issue now of the use of counting of mail-in votes.

Q: Do you think Trump will push the U.S. towards civil war if he loses the November 3 elections?

A: There is the perception of the possibility he might take actions that could provoke his supporters in that direction.  If he does, he will have crossed a line that will cause a wide backlash against him.

Q: Suppose Trump refuses to accept the election results if he loses and takes the dispute to the Supreme Court, which most of its members are conservative. Give your comments, please.

A: It depends on what case he takes to the Court. The one key controversy will be if state legislatures act to replace the electors elected by state voters with other electors or if vote counts are stopped-- which would lead the Democrats to go to Court. Then the Court would matter.  If the votes are counted, and electors are selected, and Trump loses, he has no case to take to Court. The Court will not interfere with existing state and federal laws and rules.

 Q: The U.S. claims that it supports democracy all around the world. So, how can we decipher its close ties with the tyrannical regimes like Saudi Arabia?

A: Then it is clear that the U.S. also supports autocratic rulers in some countries; this is not new.
 

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