Monday 22 June 2015

The 2016 Presidential Race and The GOP Nominations

I’m Canadian. If you listen to Fox News and the rest of the Conservative ilk, I live to the north in a bastion of socialism. Canada, a country which has had universal health care for decades. Canada, a country whose banks did not collapse during the 2008 financial crisis. Canada, whose life expectancy is 81 years as opposed to 78.7 south of the border (OECD Better Life Index). And I ain’t a socialist. And Canada is a democratic country. And Fox News knows Jack s**t.

Why am I writing about American politics? I have American relatives. I have American friends. And last but not least, your politics are so goddamn funny. America, land of the brave and home of the free. The complete spectrum of all that the world has to offer: the best and the brightest and the worst and the dumbest.

Back in 2011 and 2012, I followed both the GOP nomination process and the presidential campaign. My take on the whole thing can be summed up in two words: Sarah Palin. As I wrote back then, this woman should never have been allowed in the building, never mind on stage. The Conservative end of the political spectrum is no longer funny, it is now full out bats**t crazy. The belief system of the right is no longer of the right, it has moved to the far right. It has become more and more extreme, more entrenched in ideology than logical debate, more based on faith than on fact. The truth is no longer relative to the conversation. Fifty percent of the time I’m right and fifty percent of the time you’re wrong. By repeating over and over again misinformation, distorted statistics, and even outright lies, you can convince the populace of anything. It is no longer a question of doing what’s right; it is a question of winning. But if you win, then what?

If the Conservatives get elected:

* Global Warming doesn’t exist.

* There is no gun problem.

* Racism doesn’t exist.

* Dismantle Obamacare. Universal Health Care is bad.

* Abortion should be outlawed.

* Abolish Gay marriage.

* Tax breaks for the rich. Those lazy poor people can just pull up themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Seriously? This is what the American people want? This is the “right” direction for the United States? No wonder Jon Stewart has decided to retire from The Daily Show. How do you keep your enthusiasm up for mocking the Right when the idiocy keeps going on and on and on?

We are watching the slow and inevitable collapse of the United States. China’s star is in ascension. If England was lord during the 1800’s and the USA commanded the 1900’s, the land of the Far East will take over the 21st century. While credit must go to China, part of the blame is clearly on the shoulders of the Americans. Ever since Reagan, a movie actor not an economic genius, started the country down the path of delusional management, capitalism on steroids, profit before all else with no checks and balances, the Wild West mentality has become more and more pronounced in the political debate. Help your neighbor? Socialism. Compassion for the less fortunate? Those lazy good-for-nothing. Regulations to control the excesses of industry? The market will regulate itself while ignoring how the government subsidizes industry either directly (the 2008 bailout) or indirectly (Wal-Mart pays a pittance and the government through food stamps, welfare, etc. makes up the difference so people can live). There’s an ever-present disregard for other people. I’ve got what I want; to hell with everybody else.

Will I once again write during the GOP nominations, this lead-up to the 2016 presidential race? Like Jon Stewart, I feel disheartened. The debate isn’t exactly funny. I pick up a newspaper and there is always something so outrageously stupid, it defies belief. The new far right GOP is derailing any honest political debate by the insanity of extremist views. And that extremism is either ignorance of the facts or a deliberate disregard for the facts.

Salon - Dec 20/2014
7 things Americans think are more plausible than man-made global warming by Matthew Rozsa
  1. 77 percent of Americans believe in angels.
  2. 55 percent of Americans believe that the Founding Fathers established this country as a Christian nation in the Constitution.
  3. 1 in 4 Americans believe the sun revolves around the Earth.
  4. Only 60 percent of Americans believe in evolution.
  5. 51 percent of Americans don’t trust the Big Bang theory.
  6. Only 44 percent of Americans are confident that vaccines don’t cause autism.
  7. 48 percent of Americans think the Civil War was about states’ rights, while only 38 percent of Americans believe it was over slavery.
The GOP panders to the ignorance and fear of the nation. That is how they have gotten as far as they have. That is how they may win the White House in 2016. And that is why some people listen to Sarah Palin as though she is a bonafide political visionary. Is it funny anymore? It certainly is disheartening.

The Political Process
Obama is bad. Obama has not lived up to his promises. Obama this, Obama that. Obama failed to deal with Iraq. Why did Bush go into Iraq? Obama got out of Iraq. Bush signed an agreement to pull out. Obama has created more debt. Reagan started the folly of reducing taxes under the mistaken idea trickle-down theory works. Obama is a failure. Obama has tried to do various things but has been stymied by the Republicans. Is he a failure or has he been stopped from being a success? One Republican strategist – Karl Rove maybe – said their tactic was to derail anything Obama undertook so he would fail. Think about that for a second. Your own countrymen would sink the boat in order to make you look bad. Do they not realise they are on the same boat?

A president inherits his predecessors: what they accomplished; what they didn’t accomplish. And I would add, he inherits their mistakes. Saying that Obama is responsible for the debt ignores everything that has gone on since Reagan started the ball rolling down the hill. An avalanche starts somewhere.

Hillary Clinton made an impassioned speech about racism and white privilege after the Charleston church shooting. A Facebook commentator said, “Check out what happened to arms/gun sales under Clinton. It surged - it helped the U.S. economy but thousands died. I don't trust either one of them.”

In the political process, one must make compromises. We can blame Bill Clinton for arms/gun sales, but if he didn’t compromise, he might not have gotten anything done.

The Lesser of Two Evils
Do the “right” thing? The right thing might be to immediately convert all automobiles to electric in order to reduce carbon emissions and stop global warming. But we must recognise that such a draconian course of action would bankrupt the nation. So we must compromise. Chemotherapy literally poisons the patient. We hope we cure the cancer before we kill the patient.

The above Facebook commentator went on to explain that she preferred Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. While I think Mr. Sanders is a good man with good ideas, I think he doesn’t stand a chance in 2016. Hillary is the only viable candidate. Even if I think Bernie is the best choice, I see his chances of winning and change my vote to Hillary not because I think Hillary is better than Bernie, but because I don’t want the Republicans to win. I’m not voting for somebody so much as I am voting against somebody else.

Final Word
I’m Canadian. What you Americans do in 2016 is your business. Unfortunately, considering you are ten times bigger than my country, when the elephant rolls over, the mouse better jump out of the way. We survived Iraq. (We didn’t join the coalition.) We survived the 2008 financial crisis. (Our banks didn’t fail.) You continue to believe good health is a privilege you pay for while our stance is that good health is the right of all citizens. (We’re not perfect in this area, but we’re still doing a heck of a better job at this than you.) I guess we will survive the GOP nomination process and eventually the 2016 election. I’m not sure how much I’m going to be laughing during this period as opposed to shaking my head in disbelief. I am less amused and more disheartened.


Wikipedia: Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016
The Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016 will take place within the Republican Party prior to the 2016 general election. In anticipation of the primaries, the Republican National Committee began polling email subscribers in January 2014 as to their choice for the nomination among 32 potential nominees, telling its supporters, "The battle for the White House has already begun."

Wikipedia: Republican Party presidential candidates, 2016
This article contains evolving lists of candidates associated with the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries for the 2016 United States presidential election.

Wikipedia: United States presidential election, 2016
The United States presidential election of 2016 is expected to be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. It will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Voters in the election will select presidential electors who in turn will elect a new President and Vice President of the United States. The incumbent president, Barack Obama, is ineligible to be elected to a third term due to term limits in the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Besides the woman in the foreground, look at the guy in the background.
Rick Perry! He's number one! (Info on this photo: Daily Kos - Sep 21/2014)


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