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The Dead End

I hate to jump on the bandwagon discussing American politics which – let’s face it – is a rather dismal commentary on the democratic system, but after the Iowa vote there are several interesting points I would like to make which maybe aren’t being made elsewhere.

First, Donald Trump did not do as well as expected against Ted Cruz and many people are very happy about this because there has been a lot said about what sort of world we would have if Trump was the president of the US! Well yes, that is a good point.

Trump has no clue what he is talking about, he mixes facts and fiction at will, he changes his mind and denies it later, he uses whatever dirty political tricks are necessary to gain support from some of the most ignorant and bigoted people in the country, and well… he just seems really thick. Like he doesn’t seem to be able to speak sensibly, string logical thoughts together, or do anything else we might expect from someone wishing to be the most powerful person in the world.

But is Ted Cruz any better? In many ways he’s worse, to a significant extent because of his nutty religious views. And the difference is, I think, that Trump just says stupid things for effect. Cruz really believes them. Which is really the bigger problem?

Let’s look at Ted Cruz’s policy points. He is against a woman’s right to get an abortion and would plan to start processes to make that harder (or impossible). He is for tighter control over immigration and doesn’t want to accept Syrian refugees. He has favoured the war crime of “carpet bombing” and “saturation bombing” regions of Iraq and Syria controlled by ISIS. He would repeal Obamacare and repeats the lie that it has significantly increased premiums. He is totally against gun control. He denies climate change. And he is against equality for LGBT people.

So he really is a revolting piece of scum, about typical of what we expect on the far right in America. Is he really any better than Trump? I don’t think so.

So getting on to the Democrats, where it’s a race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Obviously two candidates incomparably more intelligent, sensible, and realistic than anyone on the other side.

Actually, before I go on, I should say that I’m not just anti-Republican. Before it was taken over by crazy religious freaks and other delusional nut jobs it was a great party. Not any more. It’s now just a place of escape for the lunatic fringe (which is a significant part of the US population unfortunately).

Anyway, back to the Democratic battle. I think Hillary Clinton is OK but when I hear her speak it doesn’t sound genuine. It sounds like she has had everything she says put through a gaggle of spin-doctors and that she isn’t sure if even she believes it any more. That may or may not be true, it’s just the way it seems to me. Bernie Sanders seems very genuine to me and I like the way he celebrates being a socialist, even though by international standards he’s barely a socialist at all!

But it’s great to see him do so well and it would be fantastic if he was the next president. That really would give me some confidence that maybe democracy can work after all. But I think he will experience increasing demonisation from the corporate powers in the US (after all, in the US, elections are bought, not won) and will probably ultimately fail.

Even the fact that someone like Sanders can be taken seriously indicates that maybe, after 35 dark years of neo-liberal and conservative domination, we might be heading back to more moderate political policies in the near future.

So the race to be the next US president will be an interesting one. The next president might be one of the most important ever given that the US is beginning it’s fall from world domination. What they do next will be very significant in how that process proceeds.

There’s on thing I am sure of: conservatism and looking back is not what’s needed. No country has ever succeeded that way. Things change and overall things get better, but only by following a progressive agenda. Conservatism is a dead end.

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