Yes it's time for that discussion. Now I know me talking about politics in some form or another is probably not going to surprise anyone, but this is different. I am not going to talk about abstract pie in the sky theories or narrow issues (or at least I will try to tone that down). I am not going to be spewing radical solutions that involve the total reformation of society. I am going to talk about what is going on right now in the USA. Yes, yes, I know, the world is bigger then just the USA, but that's where I live right now and that's mostly what I know. I have also been following events in Iceland quite a bit and may have things to talk about a few other things happening in the world, but mostly this is going to be about dumb American stuff.
Okay first of all, I think a majority of those who are following the US election for the past however long will probably be asking the same question: What the hell happened? How did it come to this? And I am sure everyone is going to give a different answer to that question. But this is my blog so I get to answer right now. So there. Anyway here is my answer.
On the Republican side, what happened was years and years of catering more and more to outrageous reactionary rhetoric and outrage. Let's face it, whatever the merits and values of conservatism should ultimately be, Trump is the ultimate expression of outrageous reactionary rhetoric and outrage. The Republican Party created their own monster with Trump. They whipped up more and more anger at the 'liberal elites' (not all of it unjustified) and everything they stood for, becoming more and more reactionary and belligerent. And they got the candidate just perfect for that, and some of them are just now maybe realizing maaaaybe there was a line crossed somewhere. *Slow claps.* Good job for figuring out what most sane people realized decades ago.
On the Democrat side, Hillary has been in politics a long long time. She has many enemies, but also many many allies in various places. Whether you choose to see that as proof of some sort of insider conspiracy or just proof of someone who knows how to play the game (if you even see a difference between those things) is up to you. Fact is, Hillary has been pushing hard on this for years and years. She will politely cater too all sorts of agendas and positions if it means getting ahead politically. She will plan everything she can out and push as hard a she can to get ahead. She works hard and is probably not above even bending ethical principles if she thinks it's for the best. In short, she is a politician, for better or for worst. And a skilled one too if nothing else.
I don't think I need to spend a lot of time detailing the flaws of each candidate, since that topic has been reiterated over and over again in the media and online. I will say though that I believe both of them have sort of gotten a bad rap.
Trump seems like a childish brat who doesn't know how to control himself or be the least bit self aware (as well as possibly being mentally ill), but doesn't strike me as actively trying to be malicious as such. I also think he does occasionally raise some good points, he just doesn't think his plans through at all. Also I am sorta skeptical about all of the accusations made against him I have to say, but I am sure at least some of them are true. But even so, I think it all adds up to more of a spoiled brat who because he was rich and famous never learned that actions have consequences, even ones like groping. Keep in mind I am not forgiving him for his actions or ignoring them. Yes it's despicable if he really did grope woman and thought he could get away with it, and I am inclined to believe he may have. But I am also willing to believe if he did, that he really genuinely can't help himself. Still would be an awful president either way.
Okay, quick aside, and I really hope this doesn't skirt the line into victim-blaming or anything because that's that last thing I want to do, but if someone gropes you like that or worse, go to the police right away. Seriously. It doesn't matter if you are afraid they won't believe you. It doesn't matter if you are intimidated by them. Heck it doesn't even matter if you end up enjoying it. If this shit is going on an no one reports it, it's going to keep going on. They are going to think they can get away with it and molest you or other people again. Bringing it up years later when circumstances are convenient does nothing to help any other potential victims in the meantime and just casts doubt on your story. Always always ALWAYS report sexual assault as soon as possible to the proper authorities. Period. If that doesn't work, at least raise a stink about it right away. I know it's not that easy. But silence just allows things like this to happen more.
Phew, anyway. Hillary on the other hand has been basically constantly smeared and attacked by her political enemies basically since she started in politics. It's gotten to the point where frankly I am not sure if I should take any accusation against her seriously. Oh sure, I am pretty convinced that she is not completely innocent or blameless, but it's kinda no wonder she is so... constructed is a good word for it. Everything about her is a mask, a shell. The real Hillary found that she needed to retreat more and more into the mask, that she needed to force her way because the world set it's self to oppose her.
She wasn't always this way. Used to be she was an outspoken feminist who made very loud and controversial (at the time anyway) statements about how she 'could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession' and how she wasn't 'sitting here some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette'. Now most of that edge has been ground away or deeply hidden by a constructed cynical mask. Does that make her a good person? Probably not. But I don't think she is a bad person. Maybe a bit paranoid and with a bit of a temper though, but I am not sure I blame her.
So let's talk about what is at stake. Right now Russia does seem to be really pushing the US, trying it's hardest to destabilize and discredit where ever it can through hacking, bombing civilians, moving nukes around, possibly breaking treaties on nukes and so on. If Trump wins, there is a fair bit of talk that he would be in Putin's pocket and he has questioned if we should really be committed to helping out our NATO allies... or at least not with them paying a bigger share. And honestly? I sort of almost agree with him on this point. Should we really be so involved in wars, alliances, and deals on the other side of the planet for little direct benefit to us? But then again can we really afford to leave Russia, North Korea, or ISIS alone? I have been told Hillary is a 'war hawk' and is pushing too much for a fight. I am not sure I really believe it, nor am I sure that even if she was for using the threat of military action to push her agenda with other nations that that really means she would want the kind of apocalyptic confrontation some people are worried about.
I kind of doubt Russia is going to start WW3 if it can help it, North Korea doesn't quite have the capability to nuke us yet, and ISIS is kind of falling apart as everyone pretty much want them stomped out. It's possible that the USA caused most or all of these problems in the first place and that maybe the best thing we can do for everyone is go back to it's pre-WW2 level of self isolation and limited with world politics. If there IS a WW3, I don't want to be living somewhere that may end up being a part of it. I am pretty sure that's not going to be possible now. Even if Trump would tried to avoid the conflict better then Hillary, he isn't winning at this point anyway. I don't think Hillary will do anything that gets us all nuked, but who knows what Russia is going to do next.
Best course of action I can think of? Maybe moving to Iceland. The political situation over there is getting very very interesting, and more a little exciting. Okay so the story goes something like this, as far as I understand it. Back in 2008 the would wide financial crisis happened and the banks in Iceland were in trouble. There was a huge shake up about it but things ended up settling down to normal. Unlike over here in the USA where the government (foolishly) bailed them out, Iceland decided to let them hang. I believe the people blamed greedy bankers and investors and made clear they were not going to take any of their crap. Then the Panama Papers came out, implicating high ranking government officials in having offshore tax havens. And everyone in Iceland went completely ballistic. A huge storm of protests and such sweeped the nation, and eventually a early election was decided to be held. The current government parties in power were seen more and more as despicable and the radical Pirate Party which called for radical government change started sweeping in the polls, as well as a few new parties. On October 29 the decisive election will take place. If the Pirate Party win, they have lots of very interesting reforms, a new constitution, maybe direct democracy, and promise to turn Iceland into a 'Sweden for data'. It seems like if any real change is going to happen to the world, it might start here. We will have to see.
Other then that, what do I think is the most practical way forward for the USA is? Well, Hillary is going to win most likely, and I am sure Trump will throw a hissy fit and accuse the election of being rigged but I am not sure if he can really do much. I don't think he has quite enough followers that are going to be committed to starting some sort of civil war, though their might be some violence. Hillary is probably going to have a rough time as president, and unless she really makes some real change is probably going to be kicked out next election (or even assassinated maybe). I think we badly need to take a new approach with Russia, either to back off a bit or find a way to get even more forceful without risking too much of their ire. Honestly I think Putin is mostly just a troll who is poking at for weaknesses and will back off as soon as he is actually threatened, but I wouldn't bet on it. And anyway, it's possible he has a point. North Korea probably just plain needs to be stopped at this point. There is nothing good about North Korea. ISIS is, as I said, pretty much going to be taken care of because everyone can't stand them. There are other concerns and problems I know, but those are the ones I know most about. I have no idea about what's really going on in Syria or anywhere else.
I guess that's it for now.