Wednesday 27 July 2016

Oh, America [again]

Periodically I fret about America, that great nation under whose umbrella (or shadow, your choice) we all operate.  So: open thread:  what kind of a choice is Trump vs Clinton?

If you'd like to start with some stats, here's polling overload to fuel you up. 

Personally, the word I can't get out of my head is corruption.   These people are deeply, deeply suspect.  Now money has always spoken in American politics, but generally it's been 'into my campaign coffers, please', rather than 'in my back pocket, thanks, cash'll do nicely', third-world style. 

On another tack - not the weightiest of considerations, perhaps - it's interesting how western nations seem to be moving away from the 'skip-a-generation' kick.  (Some people, *ahem*, find this quite encouraging.)

Over to y'all ...



BlokeInBrum said...

Streetwise Professor has a couple of blog posts regarding Hillary. How any honest person can in good conscience vote for her is beyond me.

Dick the Prick said...

I think the Democrats have suffered from cash, corruption and a power overload - with the Clintons using their significant strength to both populate, threaten and reward the administration of the DNC and the local parties. I used to be the returning officer for a couple of Tory associations and the thought of writing anything down on paper - let alone e-mailing something is comical in the extreme - you're dealing with bastards here. So yeah - as a punter, having such bare faced scullduggery out in the open would put me right off simply because if they can't even rig the vote properly, what hope for the big stuff?

As per Le Trumpster - I think we need to dig a little deeper into the Amerkin psychology and its recent culture. They almost seem to applaud vacuity, bombast, hyperbole and vulgarity. That politics is entertainment has been assigned to them for years but I think, over here, we only get their politics and can't quite understand their entertainment. I remember reading that Two & A Half Men was their most popular 'comedy' show and being bamboozled.

Trump did win fair and square though. It's been mentioned elsewhere that Trump almost represents the original white Amerkan Dream - aspiration, hard work, anyone can make it stuff. I think, with the Tea Party too, any gravitas that we would assign a candidate over here naturally eliminates their chances of being selected.

I don't think they've chosen these 2 candidates on purpose - I think it's been tiny, incremental decsions and movements that have have accreted to form the here and now. I'd go Trump any day but i've started comedy voting so.....

Oliver said...

As has been said elsewhere - whom do you trust, more a billionaire who uses his own money to get elected and face scrutiny, or one who wants to buy influence outside the public eye.

K said...

I think a leader is more about who they surround themselves with rather than who they are purely by themselves.

Hillary has shown to surround herself with people just as corrupt as herself and although we don't know who Trump will surround himself with I think the fact that he does run such a wide array of businesses shows that he at least knows how to delegate (unlike most populists, e.g. Farage).

Plus since I am/was primarily an IT guy I can't forgive Hillary's lack of security. Any other business would have been fined and banned from holding personally identifiable information after so many fuck ups.

Steven_L said...

First up, I have an interest to declare, if Trump wins the bookies owe me £70.

Trump is simply riding the current trend whereby ordinary folk are fed up of their rulers being more interested in what is going on in other countries than their own problems.

I have this at work. Even in a lowly local government department of a dozen or so people, my manager always seems more interested in what is going on in other councils. I think he sees himself as some kind of national strategy manager. It's annoying.

In politics, they all swan off to big international conferences on climate change and other such jaunts. They want to sign up to big international initiatives that appear to be more about solving issues for foreigners.

I'm sure the likes of Hilary mean well, and genuinely do want to make the world a better place for future generations by ushering in a new era of global peace and cooperation etc etc.

But ordinary folk increasingly think it sucks. And they like the idea of building a great big f*** *ff wall along the Mexican border. And they like the idea of having a president who won't trot out the tired 'Islam is a religion of peace ...' line. And for these reasons they are going to elect Trump.

I just wish I'd added to my £20 at 5/2 when he drifted out to 5/1 a few weeks later. Oh, I'm a I glad I never got round to backing CU's 'tip' whatshisname Ryan or whoever he was.

Oliver said...

Steven_L - I know your tongue was planted firmly in your cheek when you said it, but I find myself unable even to say so at the level of humour that Hilary wants to make the world a better place. Her record as a lawyer and as a politician speak for themselves. Her policies on TTIP and future relationship with Russia are to paraphrase Boris Johnson insane.

Anonymous said...

When HRC first appeared on my radar she was a relatively attractive woman. Now the nastiness in her soul has come to the surface. I now see a cunning, corrupt old hag who I certainly wouldn't want baby sitting my kids. Let alone running the world's most powerful nation.

If she makes it to the White House I don't see her serving a second term. Unless as Empress of North America, which I wouldn't put past her scheming. She will end up not only be the first woman president of the USA but also the first woman president assassinated in office. So bad will her rule that be even TPTB will turn on her.

Anonymous said...

Steven_L - I think The Powers That Be are so afeared of a Trump presidency that a 3rd Party candidate will shortly be unveiled, funded by the invade-the-world-invite-the-word globalists who want the GWB Republican Party back. The Republicans (Romney etc) who didn't turn up at the RNC will be involved.

The Democrats already have their invade-the-world-invite-the-word globalist candidate in place.

Blue Eyes said...

Should we mind too much? The President's power is fairly limited as Obama and his predecessors have shown. Obama wanted a spending splurge but what actually happened was a fairly benign fiscal consolidation, for example.

However, it is clear that our cousins still cannot manage themselves properly even after all this time. Therefore I suggest that they apply to re-join the Commonwealth forthwith.

Is it too late for Michelle Obama to run as an independent?

Blue Eyes said...

On the subject of choosing between a nutter and a weirdo, what is the point of Owen Smith? Can he do much better than Corbers?

dearieme said...

"I'm sure the likes of Hilary mean well": don't be absurd.

Electro-Kevin said...

Of the two who will be friendliest to Britain ? So I'm hoping for Trump but not in a good way.

The problem is that the reason for his ascendancy will be forgotten after Republicans take meds and vote Democrat to keep him out. It will be "Yay ! Billary's manifesto really did appeal to the population !"

Quite the reverse of the Brexit rebellion - which would have been taken for an enthusiastic mandate for full-on ever-closer-union had it swung the other way.

Steven_L said...

"I'm sure the likes of Hilary mean well": don't be absurd.

And this sums up neatly why Trump / Brexit / Le Pen etc are doing so well.

When my boss, and his opposite numbers in all the other councils, have endless meetings on the future landscape of this, and churn out reams of drivel on their national strategy to deal with that, I reckon they do indeed mean well. It's not just something to do to crank up their mileage and avoid actually working for a living. They do indeed believe they are important people, doing an important job that protects the public and helps the economy.

Likewise, when the likes of HRC swan off to international summits on this and sign treaties on that, I reckon they do believe they are doing what is right for their electorate, their country and the world as a whole. They do indeed believe they are leading the world and shaping the future and that without them we would all be in a worse place.

But increasingly folk are very cynical of their motives. They are fed up of being ruled by politically correct committees of like-minded 'establishment' figures. They like it when Nigel Farage is impolite and abrasive to MEP's, whereas those who favour the establishment way of doing things cringe at his crude and undiplomatic mannerisms. And so lot's of folk who don't normally vote, because they don't want to vote for 'the establishment' came out to vote against it on June 23rd.

And in December, many of them, and especially many of the 50% of folk earning less than $30,000 a year who never vote, will come out to vote for Trump. Because a vote for trump is a vote against the people they don't want to vote for.

Laban Tall said...

As I pointed out the other day, male wages in the US are less in real terms than they were in 1973 - an unbelievable statistic, as if wages in 1976 were the same as in 1933. If you vote Hillary you're voting for more of the same. The conventional economic wisdom is impoverishing the US and Britain, while enriching a small elite.

A Canadian anthropologist called Peter Frost sums it up neatly:

"In late capitalism, the elites are no longer restrained by ties of national identity and are thus freer to enrich themselves at the expense of their host society. This clash of interests lies at the heart of the globalist project: on the one hand, jobs are outsourced to low-wage countries; on the other, low-wage labor is insourced for jobs that cannot be relocated, such as in the construction and service industries.

This two-way movement redistributes wealth from owners of labor to owners of capital. Business people benefit from access to lower-paid workers and weaker labor and environmental standards. Working people are meanwhile thrown into competition with these other workers. As a result, the top 10% (I'd say less than that - LT) of society is pulling farther and farther ahead of everyone else, and this trend is taking place throughout the developed world. The rich are getting richer … not by making a better product but by making the same product with cheaper and less troublesome inputs of labor."

Which is why ANY political party which wants to stop mass immigration will be treated very badly by very powerful people who are making a lot of money from it. Doesn't matter if you're the 1945 Labour Party (i.e. the BNP around 2005) or Anthony Barber Tories (UKIP today), you'll be called a Nazi.

Sackerson said...

@Laban Tall - as far as I can make out Peter Frost is a writer for the Morning Star and may not be the same as the eponymous anthropologist. Can anyone actually trace the original source of your quotation?

Laban Tall said...

It's the anthropologist. He was actually writing with reference to South Korea, but the dynamics are the same pretty much everywhere.

Blue Eyes said...

I am inclined to agree with SL. Just because lots don't like the policy, doesn't mean that the protagonists don't mean well by it. Also, just because something is popular it isn't automatically the right policy.

Sackerson said...

@Laban Tall - thanks for the clarification/reference.

Y Ddraig Goch said...

RE: Various people above stating versions of "I reckon they do indeed mean well." - I don't see how that helps.

Hilary Clinton is a sexist bigot and a congenital liar who is owned by Wall Street and will say and do whatever her owners tell her with absolutely no thought for the vast majority of Americans. However, let's imagine for a moment that I'm wrong about that. As Laban Tall points out, for a large proportion of Americans, life has not improved in decades, indeed has often become worse. Many more have yet to suffer the consequences of the vast debts being accrued either by the Government in their names or directly as, for example, student loans that buy qualifications that will never, ever pay back. If Clinton (or whoever)
supported all this out of a sincere belief that they were doing the right thing then ... she is just thick. Spectacularly thick. Thick beyond all normal uses of the word "thick". How thick do you have to be to persist for decades with policies that achieve the exact opposite of what you sincerely want to do?

Offered a choice between being recognised as
a) too thick to learn anything at all from decades of failure or
b) a scheming, lying, corrupt bigot
which would Hilary choose?

Suff said...

SL- You raise an interesting point. You may be correct that some council leaders, politicians etc believe they are doing things for the common good. Even if this were true, I believe their viewpoint is tainted and their arrogance/ignorance is astounding. The feedback mechanism is broken. They are surrounded by like minded,self confirming individuals, study groups, specific social media.
The emphasis has changed from public servant to political enforcer. If you doubt this, look how Labour wanted to oust JC after Brexit because he hadn't worked hard enough to get the message across. Not one seconds consideration that they weren't representing their core voters wishes. No the paroles need educating.They have no understanding or empathy for the person stacking shelves on minimum wage (when they're jetting off to Mauritius, for a fact finding mission, on the gender break down of ice cream sellers in Barnsley). Moreover they have forgotten that the private sector is the wealth generator that pays for everybody's well being.
All public sector institutions are monopolies, absolute power in their domain,answerable to no one and whose only income limit is the size of the department. In this environment,politicking and personal gain is the only business to be in and it's not the cream that floats to the top.
I'll stick with my opinion on our political/council leaders being a bunch of corrupt scumbags, based on their decisions on absolutely every
topic.(plus I've been involved with too many and yet to be proved otherwise)
BE- thanks for confirming my political inforcer comment. Right or wrong, may be a point of perspective but surely popular is the whole point of Democracy or are some animals more equal?

Suff said...

SL- sorry got carried away on my rant. In the same way your managers viewpoint is tainted. So is mine. I like everyone else tend to drift to social groups and media that confirms our beliefs . I hate the public sector and politicians because of there ever increasing intrusion into our lives. They do so with a barrage of spin and miss information, "people are asking", our surveys reveal, top scientists have proved, to combat terrorism, in the name of fairness.........
I now have a lead hat as the tinfoil wasn't filtering the BS. My point is I was sat the other day and thought. What the hell do I believe in. Where do I go to get the correct information and how much of my world view is based on knowledge and how much on the opinions of the company I keep
I will stop drinking now

Steven_L said...

I will stop drinking now

Drinking and politics don't really mix. It'll just make you very angry. I try not not to do too much of either these days. Do something active or buy a new gadget, it's much better for your mind than mixing drinking and politics.

I guess in my worldview, robots and foreign people do most of the actual work these days. My job (as a western consumer in our globalised world) is simply to buy stuff.

Dick the Prick said...

@SL - if I meet a Labour voter, i'd advise drinking heavily - maybe it could help take the pain away!

Blue Eyes said...

"thanks for confirming my political inforcer comment"

"I will stop drinking now"

Is less drinking likely to allow you to make more (or perhaps even a little) sense??!

My comment about popular policy not always being the best policy is a basic straightforward common-or-garden logical point.

Blue Eyes said...

I agree with SL's self-help advice. Some of you need to step away from the screen from time to time.

Electro-Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Electro-Kevin said...

Wow. I already find my attitude softening, Blue.