Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The U.S. Presidential Election: A Drowning Man Will Clutch at a Dragon

Well, it's done.  The Republican and Democratic Parties have nominated their candidates to become President of the United States of America, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Really? These are the choices? The sociopath who can do the least harm?

In some ways, they both appeal to the same constituency, the super rich.  Neither of the candidates promise to do anything that would upset the unbridled pursuit of wealth that America is famous for.  Why would they?  They are both multimillionaires.  Both have increased their wealth using suspect practices, Trump in the real estate market and Clinton with her dubious charitable foundation.  Given their histories, neither will make wealth distribution an important feature of their political agendas.

Where they differ is in their outward appeal to wealthy Americans.  Trump is the candidate of the military-industrial complex.  Might makes right and in so doing a lot of profits for military contractors.  Hillary, on the other hand, is the candidate of the financial-media-entertainment-technology complex.  Fortunes are now made distributing infotainment and no one knows this better than the Clintons.

Related Blogs

Where they also differ is in which segment of America's rapidly growing dispossessed they can find electoral support.  Trump's appeal is with the down and out of the white underclass, those who have been pushed out of the comfort of a middle class lifestyle and are now forced to compete for jobs in the low paying service sector with people of color, immigrants and Afro-Americans.  On the contrary, Hillary, as a woman vying to be the first female President, appeals to the people of color as someone who has overcome the obstacles that society has put in her way to attain her version of the American dream.

In reaching out to both sectors of America's underclass the Presidential candidates are asking those who are having difficulty keeping their heads above water to reach out and grab the tail of a dragon because after giving either one four years at the helm of the nation, the lot of the underclass won't be any better, probably worse, while whoever goes on to become President will quickly forget the plight of the majority of the electorate as soon as he or she takes the oath, involve America in yet another senseless military conflict, and make sure that his or her cronies are well taken care of.  In other words, same as it ever was.

What makes this election different, however, is the rather large number of traditional supporters of the two grand political parties that don't want to have anything to do with either candidate.  On the Republican side, there are a great many who see the nomination of Trump as the death of their party, prompting former President, George W. Bush to muse publically whether he would be the last Republican President.  For the Democrats, a very large segment of the progressive wing has come to the realization that the Democratic Party is no longer a viable option to advance their political causes and won't vote for Hillary if it means increasing the possibility that the neo-fascist Trump will become President.

In offering these two candidates to the electorate, both parties have shown very clearly the failings of the two-party political system.  Moving forward to November, the media will focus its attention on what promises to be a campaign filled with personal attacks, a veritable tele-reality affair, which might play in Trump's favor, but in the end, regardless of the outcome, the real losers will be the vast majority of Americans.