Thoughts for Uncle Sam

Hillary is on the Ballot against Trump. Regardless of who wins, that’s already terrible. The two-party system became a one-party system. There is no choice, no democracy.

Everyone should vote for Hillary, even Republicans. Perhaps Republicans even more so. She’s qualified, she’s strong, she’d be the first woman president.

She’s also hawkish and extremely pro-establishment. That’s probably how the first woman president gets there. This is quite sad. We don’t want the glass ceiling to breed another Angela Merkel or Margaret Thatcher. Can we have Elizabeth Warren instead?

Hillary is also married to Bill. She really is very qualified, but are two of the best equipped people to run the country married to each other? How likely is that? How democratic? About as likely and democratic as the Bush father and son team. We have that in Britain, we call it a royal family.

The good candidate was obviously Sanders and the Democratic party buried him. Probably because he had actual New Deal policies. The interesting election would have been Sanders as an idealist Democrat, Clinton or someone like her as a status-quo Republican. We’ve lost that level of sanity.

Trump is a racist clown. At first when he ran I thought he’d be merely a bad Republican, even more incompetent than Ronald Reagan. Since then he went out of his way to insult everyone and paint himself as a racist, semi-facist, unstable guy totally unfit for the role. His behaviour pretty much compels that no-one vote for him. OK, so don’t vote for him!

I wonder if Trump and the Republican party really are tone-deaf dimwits, or if Trump is a calculated bet to force a one-party system. He goes out of his way to test limits, normalise thuggery, and question freedoms so I think the latter. Trump is not playing to win, he’s bringing about one-party rule, successfully.

What is saddest about Trump is not when he says something outlandishly offensive but when he says something sensible. He says a few sensible things, like let’s not attack Russia. Great idea! Only Trump and Jeffery Sachs (an economist, and adviser to Russia during the transition out of communism) dare say this in public. But because it’s Trump, these points which would make a sensible opposition are tainted and buried.

People say that Trump is how fascism comes to America. Not quite so. It’s how crass hatred and bigotry comes to America. Fascism already came to America with 9/11 and George Bush the son. We already have mass surveillance, extra-judicial indefinite detention, and torture. Snowden and Assange are still exiles. Manning is still in solitary confinement somewhere. Flawed heroes? Loony rebels? How we would think of these people if they were Soviet dissidents.

Fascism and hatred are not the same thing, although they often go together. Fascism is the doctrine of the all knowing, all powerful state that demands full submission from its subjects. Intolerance comes with fascism as part of it’s demand for absolute loyalty. Racism and thuggery are second-rate demons that go along for the ride.

Could Trump win? I don’t know. Unlikely, but a realistic chance. I’d give him about a 25% chance to win. Why so high? Don’t underestimate to what extent the US is about supremacy of white Anglo-Saxon men. In its better moments the US tries to be diverse or inclusive, but you have only to look at black America or the Middle East to see how much it’s still about white supremacy.

Supremacy or even existential survivalism. In the 60s this group would rather blow up all life on Earth than accept an inconvenient political system for a generation or two. Pause to think about that, and then ask can we trust Trump with the nukes? In theory the president is allowed to do wth the nukes as they see fit. I hope that’s not actually so, that sane officers in the US and Russia get to stop the apocalypse.

So Trump may start WW3 by mistake. Clinton is on track to start a war with Russia deliberately. Obviously between the two Clinton with her slow, choking destruction of the Middle East and controlled escalation of hostilities with Russia is the better choice. I mean obviously! Who would want to go into such misadventures carelessly… But really? This is the choice we get?

What do I care about the US election. We all live in the Anglosphere to some extent, I feel if you’re part of the culture you get an opinion. But more materially as Europeans we’ll pay a large fraction of the cost of what the US does. We’d rather not go to war with Russia, they’re people like us. Also last summer hundreds of thousands of refugees passed through our town escaping the destruction of Syria. They’re people like us too.

When I accuse Clinton of being hawkish, it’s not her. The US as a system is on a war path, courting a war with Russia as well as stepping up destruction of the Middle east. Japan is belligerent on the US side. Russia has been re-arming for a decade, and China is asserting itself too. Some form of war is ahead. Why? Probably a shift from unipolar to multipolar power balance, with the US resisting to give up it’s exceptional role. Also, a war would reset financial markets and allow a new cycle of destruction and growth to begin.

If Trump wins, and doesn’t blow us up, he’ll be very unpleasant and otherwise he’ll be like Reagan. A foolish king, while some neocon think-tank actually runs the show. After the shift to the intolerant right becomes norm, they may even paint his eulogy as a great president.

Meanwhile if Hillary wins we’ll have a one-party centre-right, meaning for the rich, system but women, gay people, and non-pale rich people will be allowed in. Syria and the middle east will continue to be destroyed. We’ll have the long-planned low-intensity war with Russia. We’ll have our stock market crash and rebound. I’d rather have Hillary lead us into a dark storm than Trump, no question, but into a dark storm we go.

Please go out today and vote for her…

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