The US is not a Democracy; but the Future is Brighter

The United States is not a democracy. It is a plutocracy pretending to be a democracy. The politicians in the US always emphasise that the US is a democracy, but they protest too much. On an objective level, from an outsider looking in, it is pretty clear how corrupt and plutocratic the US is. And this was true before Donald Trump. The rich and the corporations still call the shots. The future is brighter, however. More people in the US are going to clamour for a true democracy in the future, and they will get it, eventually.

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Poem: What Next for The World?

What next for the world,

What next for us?

What next for the world,

Is it written on a bus?

What next for the world,

What next for the good?

What next for the bad,

What will happen –

What should?

Could,

Would,

Be,

Is it time for us to live the future free?

All Publicity is Good Publicity in US Politics

This opinion piece: http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/kathy-sheridan-the-media-got-it-right-on-trump-but-nobody-cares-1.2877809 is clearly just one angle rather than a comprehensive assessment of why Trump won. This is partly because The Irish Times wants to write more than one article about Trump.

Anyway, the US media made Trump. The Irish Times and the rest of the Irish media are obsessed with Trump – just like the US media.

Of course the media, as a group, want to say they had no part in Trump’s victory, but it’s just not true. What Trump understands about publicity is that all publicity is good publicity in US politics. People, after having a candidate thrust into their faces for a year and a half, forget why they know the candidate’s name but they sure as hell remember that person’s name, and hey, what’s he promising? Change? That doesn’t sound bad to them.

Trump Will Bring Change for the Worse

trump

So Trump is president. This may be like watching a car crash in slow motion. Trump is an empty vessel. But the policies that his compatriots in government will put forward for him to implement will wreak the country. Half of the American people may believe that Trump can bring forth change. However, what they did not consider is that things could change for the worse.

Getting into those right-wing policies though, an example being his plausible pledge to cut taxes. What Americans need to understand is that they need a high level of taxes to provide good social services and to have a budget for spending, in order to invest in the country and improve it. As said by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: Taxes are the price we pay for civilisation.

These tax cuts will most likely be applied to the wealthy and the corporations too. And it should be obvious that the rich need to pay much more to society. However, I’m sure they squirrel away their money away to tax havens in any case. But the symbolism matters.

Four years from now, it may still not be clear to Americans that the economy has worsened. He may get elected again. Who knows. But he may not have brought the change the American people want. They may start to see him as akin to a politician: willing to promise the world to people and then not follow through on those promises.

And a new outsider might appear to promise radical change for Americans (my hunch is that Americans may vote for radical politicians until they get better jobs and higher wages).

In short, Trump may be trumped by another populist, perhaps – and hopefully, a very left-wing Latina.

 

 

 

 

Trump v Sanders

trump-v-sanders

The Trump v Sanders debate is apparently not going to happen. This could have been TV gold. It not completely clear why Trump rowed back on agreeing to a debate. Nevertheless, it’s still interesting to explore the difference between the two candidates.

First of all, you have Trump with his (on the whole) very right wing politics, and Sanders with his left wing politics. I say left-wing rather than very left wing, because while Sanders is very left wing in America, in Ireland he is just left wing. In fact, to us, a lot of his proposed policies aren’t crazy Marxist (or to many Americans, Communist) ideas. Rather, they are seen as common sense. Examples being his policy to make college “tuition free and debt free”, “Reforming Wall Street”, and “Getting big money out of politics”. Such policies could encourage social mobility, economic growth and stability, and move the country towards democracy.

Trump’s own policies include his prominent pledge to get Mexico to “Pay for the Wall” that will presumably prevent Hispanic immigrants from entering America, “Tax Reform” and “Veterans Administration Reforms”. These policies could reduce economic growth, damage social services, but also give better care to veterans (it’s a little bit nuanced). When you look at both lists in their entirety it’s apparent that Trump has fewer policy positions (which may be a help for electability) to “Make America Great Again!”. And what American citizen can disagree with wanting America to be great?

Now, obviously Trump has been racist. But he has also been very populist. And being a massive celebrity and a billionaire helps in the popularity stakes, and helps him get away with racism.

The idea of Sanders getting the Democrat nomination – never mind the presidency –  is unrealistic (and even if he became president he may be blocked by Congress from making any radical change). But his legacy may live on, spurring the US towards societal progress.