For the first time and thanks to ‘The Young Turks’, youtube web-casts, I’m following the Presidential election from start to finish, caucuses and primaries, debates etc. Most of the informed world that should be bothered by an American Presidential Election, lives in fear for the months running up to it, wondering what crazy bastard is going to be unleashed upon mankind. On my visits to the U.S.A. I was always impressed by the natural beauty of the land and sea-scape, the coast from L.A. north to the magnificent bay of San-Francisco, on the whole I’ve found Americans to warm and approachable but very sensitive to criticism of their country despite its obvious flaws. Perhaps in L.A. and New York things are a little different, more liberal. America is a great country, with flawed inhabitants just like everywhere else in the modern civilised world, despite problems of poverty, homelessness and unemployment, it functions largely as a liberal democracy, struggling to constrain its capitalist masters.
Along comes the demagogue Donald Trump, a lying, fraudster, frequently battling in court to clear his family name, a man who claims to be ‘self-made’ whatever that really means, despite getting a flying start of millions of dollars from his father. He seems to make enemies wherever he goes and so it is appropriate that his line of attack in his Presidential campaign should be to create a straw man argument and claim that America is ‘broken’. His slogan adorning hats and tea shirts everywhere is, ‘Make America Great Again’. With Trump as president that would most surely be more appropriately read as, ‘Make America Hate Again’ or ‘Make America White Again’ and better read, printed on toilet seats and urinals.
In a land where Christian hypocrisy is a by-word for truth, Trump is a devil of a different kind, instead of hiding in the shadows, he preaches to tens of thousands in Nuremberg like rallies, complete with Nazi like salutes and speeches dripping with fear-mongery and hate. The country is broken he rants, I’ll be great, I’ll build a wall, I’ll destroy ISIS, I’ll…..etc. and on and on with no substance, just empty jingoistic rhetoric, designed to appeal to the God-fearing, uneducated Christians who lap it all up.
Lined up against Trump in the G.O.P. remain Trump and Kasich but previous candidates included Rubio, Jeb Bush, Fiorina, Carson and Huckabee. All would be considered bat-shit crazy in any other western democracies’ elections but in America they are more than happy to out do each other, in being as far to the right as possible. Policies range from carpet bombing the middle east, the ending of abortion under any circumstances and allowing discrimination on the grounds of religious belief. If there were one or two G.O.P. politicians with such views that would be serious enough, but so many? The system is owned by rich donors who fund the political campaigns of each candidate, so the politicians dance to the tune of their donors but it is hard to believe that these hard right views are not seriously held by Cruz etc.
From Europe I’m just baffled by the stupidity and hatefulness of these politicians, Ben Carson, apparently a respected brain surgeon, thinks that the pyramids were built as grain storage facilities despite massive evidence to the contrary. Science plays a large part in what he does as a surgeon, yet he is a creationist! Carly Fiorina has time after time insisted a video exists of Planned Parenthood slaughtering babies when that is proven to be a hoax and charges are being pressed against the fabricators of the original story. The thing is, how has a country like America allowed itself to slip backwards into prejudice and self-hatred? There are families armed to the teeth and prepared for the next civil war, the KKK still hold meetings and young black people are slaughtered by cops as an almost daily occurrence. What the hell happened?
I think the rot started with Reagan and really took hold with the last Bush government, a little like Thatcher leading to Blair (a well camouflaged Tory), in Britain. Currently Hillary Clinton looks likely to take the Democratic candidacy from the much better equipped Bernie Sanders. However in the real presidential election she may not beat Trump, I personally think that she will, not because she represents change and something real to believe in but she is at least, ‘the devil that you know’. Trump would be a disaster not only for America but he would seriously cause problems on a global scale. Sanders runs on an anti-corruption, anti-corporation ticket and really is someone to get behind. He seems to be genuine, with positive plans to solve America’s big social problems surrounding health care, education and employment. I don’t often ‘like’ politicians but Bernie is an articulate, intelligent and genuinely warm character who wouldn’t take the bull-shit dished out by Wall St. in the way that Obama has.
So, where to now for America? I really fear a Trump presidency, as a socio-path he really could take the world to the Armageddon prayed for by members of the republican party. I think Clinton would help maintain the status-quo, it would be ‘big-business as usual’, and she may tackle some of the more serious social problems. She’s too corporate for me, America needs positive change, coming from a progressive perspective if it is to play a leading role in world affairs. Bernie Sanders is the flag bearer for a progressive America, let’s hope the American electorate go out and vote in their masses and so increase his chance of becoming President Bernie Sanders.