Monday, 30 May 2016

The importance of the current US Presedential race

Forward: In this post I have used the term social action, as it encompasses the social justice on the left as well as the social justice from the right. However, as social justice is usually referred to as a liberal trait, I decided to use the term social action instead.

The current US presidential race is probably the most important and entertaining political conversation that has happened in recent years. Regardless of what you think about certain candidates, what has transpired during the race for the nominees of the two main parties highlights fundamental problems facing societies today. So, let me share with you my opinions on what i think is a truly remarkable and I hope turning point in politics and society at large.

The candidates.

On writing this, there are three candidates left in the race for the White House, i.e. Bernie, Donald and Hillary, however I may mention a few more as they are relevant. Bernie Sanders as Donald Trump in many ways can be mentioned in the same breathe, as what they represent is the change that many voters are looking for. I say this, as in reality there is no way Bernie Sanders can become president on a socialist manifesto, just as Donal Trump can not be elected to the presidency on his lack of understanding on global and national issues. In a positive light, both of these candidates are talking about issues that people are interested in, and if they could only bring their policies and ideas into line with reality they could actually be elected.

I should perhaps mention here, that it may seems like Donald Trump has a chance to win. Asylum seekers should start flocking to Canada as soon as possible. On the other hand, just accept that if he becomes president that he will get nothing done while wrapped up in red tape. So basically four years of nothing, but maybe better than no president.

Hillary Clinton, hate her or really hate her, the fact is that she is the only candidate that has the credentials to be commander in chief. Yes, she is not perfect but really what else is there? When Rubio and Bush (yes, I said it) were still candidates there were other choices, but they are gone. The other options were Bible Thumper Cruz, who wanted a theocracy! John Kasich who did not know when to quit, and Rand Paul, who wants ...... well thats a good guess.

On a positive note, at least we can see that the US is not so delusional with Christianity to think that Ted Cruz was a good candidate, perhaps all those secular nation debates have payed dividends.

All in all, the debates and the rallies have shown that politicians need to start listening to their populace. although to marry the two extreme sides of the populace is going to be very difficult. In general society nowadays is going to either extreme, with the middle ground being held by centrists. Interestingly these centrists are usually known as liberal or right-wingers depending on who is addressing them. Just this simple observation by centrists shows one of the major problems with society.

The issues

People are disillusioned with health care, immigration, gun control, taxes, and so much more. However, due to Trump and Sanders rhetoric this election cycle, a lot more disillusion has come to the fore. There is more talk about crony capitalism, public education, illegal immigration, etc. Now while these are important issues, the way they are getting talked about by the candidates and the supporters has not helped at all. All we see is social action rage on the Internet and endless Twitter battles. Twitter battles? its a 140 character limit, this is not a debate its lunacy.


And now a secret for those that think social action on the Internet works.....guess what? politicians don't give a shit. What has certainly been disturbing is the amount of violence that has erupted during this election campaign. I think this will get politicians talking about issues, but so far all that has happened is a stricter police presence and the violence has continued. Perhaps the biggest issue that needs to be addressed is that people need to realize that anyone can vote for whom they want. Its sad to think that this violent behavior is being demonstrated by people who consider themselves part of the electoral process for electing a future world leader.

Lastly on issues, and why I believe Trump cannot or should not be President of the USA. This is not just Climate Change denial, this is bullshit conspiracy theories on the likes of David Icke and Alex Jones.

The Cognitive Dissonance

One rising problem that I see more and more often in debates on any issue these days is the rise of cognitive dissonance. This election cycle is a perfect example of that, with some Sanders supporters saying they will vote for Trump in a general election. Clearly they can do what they want, but by taking this vote they are showing that cognitive dissonance is a major problem in society. Trump and Sanders are nothing alike in terms of policies, while Sanders and Clinton are.

Cognitive dissonance is observed in many issues in social action as well, with people holding opposite views when either the persons race or gender changes. So in many ways I suppose it is to be expected that such dissonance will carry over into the election, but should it in such an important vote?

On a side note, it is remarkable that the same people that are calling for an improved future are the ones that are engaging in mob violence against free speech.

International viewpoint

The world is laughing at this election, while also being very entertained. To make matters worse, one of the leading candidates knows as much about foreign policy as Sarah Palin does. Perhaps Donald Trump think he will get other countries to pay for the US military stationed there under threat of a nuclear attack. The reality is that most countries will happily let the US troops go home, as they cause trouble and are undesired in many countries. The problem is the US needs these bases around the world to protect their interests, and as such Mr Trump will not be asking anyone to pay for anything if he has half a business brain he claims he does.

In many ways this election can be be summed up as follows, the elections represents the failings of social action versus the realities of societies that work.

Disagree? Let me know in the comments.