Tag Archives: clinton

What Brexit says about the choice the United States has…

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As a Brit with an interest in US politics that’s lasted pretty much my entire adult life, all I can say is that if Brexit has taught us anything, it’s that those promoting the politics of fear and division don’t care about you or I. Their ideological, selfish campaigning has nothing underneath it. The vote to Leave was a shock, but not unexpected. The Remain campaign simply thought they could scare voters into staying, while Leavers simply peddled negative, xenophobic, racist and outright made-up figures that played to that populist, “we don’t need anyone else to be Great Britain” rhetoric. It resonated with people that thought politics had failed them and saw solutions through demonizing others rather than the very people telling them to Leave. The very same people from the heart of the establishment who were claiming to be anything but. Sound familiar?

There are many things about Hilary Clinton that I have issue with, and while Bernie made inspiring and principled speeches and energised youth and disaffected voters, surely we all knew the reality was that the majority of his plans would have never been reality (Obama’s two terms fighting the House and his own party tells us that an overwhelmingly decent and principled man still struggles to push through even the most sensible policies). And we only have to look at the Labour party to see how a candidate that’s come to power on a wave of populism and left wing ideals has proven a less than competent and effective leader.

But Bernie has forced Hilary into adopting more of his language and policies. This can only be a good thing. Is she as inspiring? As emotive? As warm and engaging? No, she isn’t. And she’s up against a candidate that, however abhorrent, knows how to speak in a way that (unfortunately) connects with many people, playing to their fear and anger. She has to be positive, she has to be able to reach out to voters that want to be heard, that are being attacked by her opponent. That’s a potentially huge demographic. The more he alienates, the more voters are up for grabs for the democrats. Simply refuting his “policies” won’t work, because he makes them up as he goes along, which makes them hard to lay a punch on. And yet Hilary seems to be held up to a level of scrutiny that no man and certainly not a “personality” like Trump ever is.

But however depressing it is to see another dynasty crowned (between Bush and Clinton, that’s most of my life covered, more than half if Hilary gets in) and feel as if there’s such a narrow choice for leader, the alternative surely must galvanize democrats? So many here voted Conservative in 2015 thinking it was a safe bet for a coalition only for a majority to get in and set about further ruining the country, culminating in our decision to leave the EU. Many voted there as a protest, or because they bought lies on immigration, the economy, public services, and it’s going to affect the rest of our lives in the UK.

Trump would be the same. It would be an atom bomb in the US political landscape. Like Leavers, I’m not even sure he wants or expects to win. It’s just about his own ego and popularity. He’s willing to divide the country to feed his own myth and coffers. It’s a crazy situation, but Hilary hasn’t even made her convention speech and yet democrats are fighting each other: it’s just what he wants. I can’t see any reason not to vote against Trump, and to prevent him from being in office, Hilary is the only choice, surely? Anything else is just giving a vote to the devil….

Judgement day…..

It’s 24 hours until the votes will start coming back for the US Presidential nominations. In just over a day we’ll start to have a clearer picture of whether it’s four more years or time for change. There are many on this side of the Atlantic that are sick of the coverage, and probably many in the United States as well, but, like or loathe it, this may one of the most important elections in our lifetime, maybe even our parents’.

It’s easy to be caught up in the rhetoric, and that Obama will transform the USA into a country that will leave today’s United States looking like a distant memory in four years’ time, and only the most carried away idealist would think that it’s that easy, but the choice that the American people have is clear: another term for the GOP, and it’ll be a continuation of what has come before (even if McCain wants to paint himself as the maverick, he’s voted for 90% of the bills that Bush proposed), or the Democrats, and at least a chance to take the country from the isolationist war-hungry superpower it is, into a country that is willing to engage, to discuss, and to reach out.

Make no mistake, if the rest of the world could vote, Obama would be a shoe-in. In recent polls in the UK, and in Europe, more than 75% of those questioned wanted him in office over the embattled veteran McCain. But it’s down to the American people, and in their hands is the future of their country, and, beyond that, the ripples that wash across the globe every time the US wields its power. The signs are good. Obama leads by between 6 and 10%, depending on which polls you follow, and has done since the economic crisis hit hard. Ironically, until then, Obama was struggling after a wave of (successful) negative attacks.

But for once, the legacy of his own party looks likely to be McCain’s downfall. Even better, his running mate, Sarah Palin, will be spared the terrifying prospect of being a breath away from the Commander in Chief role. This is a woman that would still forbid abortion even in the case of incestual rape, and believes man-made global warming is mostly a myth. There are so many things wrong with this woman being in office as the VP that it’s too short a time to list them here.

It won’t be an easy ride. The US Economy will be the elephant in the room, whichever candidate wins. Their four year term’s spending plans will be crippled by the bail-out and losses (nothing, obviously, compared to the 100m a month that is going on the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts) and the legacy of the Bush years will be felt far and wide. But Obama is as equipped as any to deal with it.

So, cross your fingers, arms, legs and everything else, and pray that America follows through its intention from the polls and makes history by putting Barack Obama in office. The alternative is too bleak to consider.