This is how I feel about the United States of America. I’m happy to be a foreigner so I don’t have the option of going to vote. But by Apollo, like I said after the election of Duterte in the Philippines, it’s a sad day when we find that the best candidates people can find to lead the country are those who are running for president in the USA (and still have a chance of winning).
Disclaimer – I’m no bipartisan
First, I have to admit, I am from one of those countries with many political parties, and having to choose between only two is completely alien to me. It also seems utterly unrealistic to me, because who could possibly think that there are only two ways to run a country? Surely there are many more, so why is there no stronger call in America to pluralize congress? The answer to this question eludes me.
Disclaimer – I’m from public richness
Secondly, I have to admit, I am from one of those countries where there’s quite a bit of public money going around. The effect of this is that we have relatively few really poor people, and also relatively few excessively rich people. Those who can’t fend for themselves due are kept alive by those who can; and it’s the government that organises this. This means fairly high taxes (52% for the top income bracket, 36% for the bottom income bracket, 21% VAT), but we get a well organised country in return for this.
As far as I get it, the USA is at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to The Netherlands: it’s a country of public poverty and individual richness. This baffles me, and it doesn’t compute how anyone who desires the country to be sustainable for the future would want to organise the country this way. Sure, keeping people poor makes them easy to control (poor people are easily scared, and if you scare them in just the right way, they want anything you want them to want). But this is as sustainable as a pre-French-revolution class society, and you’ll miss out on a enormous economic impulse if you give the large poor crowd a little more to spend. Decreasing the income-gap increases not only economic stability, but also lets a country tap into an enormous reserve of intelligent solutions for the problems the world is facing. But hey, for that you’d need education… If the USA (or many other countries by the way) were to increase their education budget (currently $56 billion) to the level of their military budget (currently $371 billion), the generation growing up now would surely be able to bring peace on earth. But that, surely, can’t be the plan.
By contrast, by the way, The Netherlands spends 7.9 billion Euro on it’s military, and 33.8 billion Euro on education; I think this is the way a country can truly help itself.
Disclaimer – I’m from a dwarf
Thirdly, I have to admit, I am from one of those tiny countries the size of Delaware. I therefore have no idea what it would be like to be politically engaged in a giant country like the USA. I have no idea how to provide the right situation for those living in Buford, Wyoming, and in down town Cheyenne at the same time – and then I haven’t talked about San Francisco or Miami. The lives of those people surely differs more than people living in Amsterdam or Saaxumhuizen. It’s a complex game I wouldn’t want to be burdened with, even if I were born in the USA. But there are a few things about government, I truly believe are universal: the government is responsible for security – real security, and not creating a false danger, the government is responsible for economic opportunity for all – and not only for those who already have money (to invest), the government is responsible for a good infrastructure – and not only in the rich neighbourhoods, but in the whole country equally, and the government is responsible for education for all – and the ideal there must be, equality. And in order to facilitate all that, the government should not tell people who can’t work (for whatever reason) to go f*ck themselves, but take care of them – give them some money so that they can eat, live, and educate themselves and their childern to increase their chances on new work. And oh, before I forget, the government should make sure that everyone can get the health-care they need; regardless of income.
More undecided voters!
So, having stated not only what I believe to be important in leading a country, but also that I’m aware that I probably don’t understand what’s going on, I would like to point out a few problems I see with the upcoming election. I realise this is not going to help anyone making a choice between the two lead characters – or perhaps no choice at all. If this posts creates one new undecided voter, my mission is accomplished.
Rich to broke in 8 years
Looking at the past, Mr. Clinton increased the public budget. The United States were relatively rich when he left office. This should in my humble opinion have led to increased spending on social security and education (above I’ve explained why this is good for the country as a whole). But thankfully for the rest of the world, Bush jr. took this budget and donated it to the military and tax-cuts. When he left office, the United States government was broke. I think I remember the government closed down for a few days without pay. Just to make ends meet. Why is this good for the rest of the world? Simply because a broke United States government is much less powerful than a financially viable United States government. Bush jr. – in all his wisdom – helped China rise in power and increase its global influence. He didn’t do so because he wanted to help China; he didn’t sponsor China, I believe. But if you help the most powerful country in the world slide down from the mountaintop, you indirectly help another country move up…
Now, it appears, the United States government is no longer bankrupt. It hasn’t regained much power from China, but you can only feel this when you are in Asia. In Europe, China’s might isn’t too tangible yet, and I’m sure it’s not in America either. However, if you see the changed stance of the Philippines government, you should realise that there’s no coincidence there. China rules Asia, China is gaining power quickly in Africa and even South America. Which in a way is worrisome, but that is something for a whole different blog post.
Moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Now, it appears, the United States have two different candidates for president that seem to have any real chance to make it. At this point, I don’t think I need to introduce them; if you don’t know who they are, you have been living under a rock, and your rock will probably stay where it is no matter who moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I’ve listened to a lot of things each candidate has said, and I’ve had a look at the candidates’ respective track-record in politics, and at either candidate’s website. I’ve come to the following conclusion:
Hillary has a lengthy track-record in favour of unequality, often in favour of the bankers that back her (not really surprising, that one).
She’s said that she should become president because she’s a woman (and while I agree it would be good for equal rights for women, I do find this a bad argument; equally pointless as saying Trump should become president because he’s a man; call me post-feminist, but the gender of the person should be unimportant, and this argument is not in favour of Hillary alone, you might just as well vote Jill Stein).
And lastly, here website is chaotic. You would need a huge working memory to organise everything she wants for the country – topics are not clustered together, so to get a good overview is a heathen’s task (Dutch proverb). But what I did see is that she stands for everyone paying his/her fair share of taxes. She does state quite a few good plans on her website, to do with this extra cash, such as increased spending on education, better infrastructure, equality in health-care. But like I said, I don’t have the memory capacities to keep an overview when I sift through her checker-board website. That surely is my shortcoming.
Trump on the other hand has no track-record in politics. I’ve come across people who say they will never again vote for a career politician, so vote for Trump. I can’t find anything in favour of this argument (and neither did these people); I mean: you wouldn’t want an inexperienced linguist run a high profile law-firm, now would you? Why would you want someone in charge of a system who has no clue whatsoever how the system works? Especially one as important as your country?
As for what he’s said, I think he’s going to be just as entertaining as Bush jr. I mean, “It’s freezing and snowing in New York, we need global warming” is just as dumb as it gets, isn’t it? Well, already there’s a long list even before the election. Most of the other things he’s said are just emotion. He says what the people think their problems are, and what they fear, and tells them he will solve the problems. But not how. He says his opponents are evil, but not really why. He speaks as charismatically as Hitler did: while you listen it feels like a great speech, but when you read it back and think about his arguments and line of thought, it turns out to be nothing special. Hitler too, was immensely popular at some point. And no, I’m not saying Trump is Hitler (although he wants Muslims to decorate themselves like Hitler demanded the Jews did). Trump is not going to kill anyone, Trump is going to build a wall, and let Mexico pay for it. How he’s planning to get that done is anyone’s guess.
As for his website, it’s nice and tidy and to the point. Categorized in understandable segments. And what I get from it is that he wants tax cuts for everyone, and increased government spending on many – admittedly good – projects such as increased spending on education and child-care. In other words, he’s going to run the government the way he did his bankrupt companies – into the financial ground.
Hillary for Status Quo, Trump for China
So here’s the choice the American voters have to make: Hillary – for the status quo, where the banks are in charge, the bankers are the royalty who can do whatever they please, and the poor people are fucked beyond anything you’d wish on your worst enemy. Trump – for a powerful China (due to a bankrupt government, reasons explained above), where the banks are in charge, the bankers are the royalty who can do whatever they please, and the poor people are fucked beyond anything you’d wish on your worst enemy.
That’s not really a choice is it: unless you’re a top banker, you’re fucked. Unless perhaps you look into the alternatives, but I’ve not looked into them. I can’t vote anyway, so why bother.
One last not I want to make… I’m not a very emotional person. I truly believe we should strive to keep emotion out of the government. The government should be run by facts. What do the facts show us, and how should we react to that? How I feel about that should have no place in government.
However, I do understand that rational argument is not going to sway anyone. It’s boring as hell, and emotion is not. So if you feel that I’m boring as can be, then my article is reflecting how I feel about government: it’s factual. Only in the last few paragraphs have I tried to enter some emotion, but it’s not very well done.
I call on all of you: leave emotion at home, for your friends, kids, and especially your spouse. Just let the facts speak for themselves when you decide on who should be president of the USA.