XXXIX – Getting Political

“Ignorance and its denial will, sad to say, lead us down the same road as it did in all past history.” Jordan Maxwell

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience?” George Bernard Shaw

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce” Karl Marx

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Today I got hold of the most shocking news I have heard in a long while. Donald Trump is now the president of one of the most powerful countries in the world. The leader of the ‘Free World’.

The most appalling part is the fact that he did not get there by the force of arms or by some backstage dodgy manoeuver – he was actually elected. Almost 60 million Americans directly relate to the values expressed by Donald Trump’s fear, hate and violence inciting lyricism.

The majority of Americans believe that this man will ‘make America great again’ (whatever that means – I am not an history expert, but the only time I can recall of America ever being “great”, was when they went to Europe, to help take down a guy that started exactly like the now President-elect Trump).

His speech blames America’s miseries on immigration in general and Muslims in particular. Oh, the irony – in a country, 240 years old, founded by immigrants alone, any merit or blame has to be owed to immigration. Maybe not, maybe the ‘Native Americans’ are to blame for all afflictions.

Can you imagine being Muslim, in America, tonight? I don’t think it’s that much different from being Jewish in 1933 Munich. He didn’t win despite the fact he is a racist, egocentric, misogynist – he won because of it and that scares me beyond words.

This man is thin skinned and can’t stand any criticism, he objectifies women and whilst on campaign, suppressed disagreeing voices with violence. What do you reckon he will do, now that he is the most powerful man in the world?

 

Hillary Clinton would not bring any meaningful change either. I think she would do her best to keep her campaign donors happy whilst in office and enjoy her power ride. Basically, the status quo would be maintained and there would have been more of the same. With him, if there is to be change, it will be for the worst. She would be the lesser of two evils.

But my guy would definitely have been Bernie Sanders. A guy with no ego involved, who welcomes diversity, stands for free health care, workers’ rights, a cautious and pondered use of the military, free college tuition and was keen on highly taxing “Wall Street” on the risks they took (and still take), with other people’s money (no wonder he didn’t win).

Anyway, that ideal ship has sailed and so has Hillary’s. The fact is that I am now apprehensive.

 

Some American facts:

–          Americans don’t have free health care – getting sick is a privilege of the wealthy.

–          American workers are not entitled to paid leave.

–          American mothers are not entitled to paid maternity leave – the law does not protect them from unscrupulous employers that demand their return to work a couple of weeks after giving birth. This also leads to two human beings being deprived of that early and exclusive time for connecting. Also, the best nourishment one can ever have is unavailable because mom has no choice but to be at work.

–          American universities are stupidly expensive, making graduates enter the workforce deeply in debt. A debt that will take most of their lives to pay. A debt that will thwart their freedom.

These issues were not talking points on neither of the presidential candidates’ campaigns.

 

I believe that there are 3 societal pillars that should be provided (in an ideal world) exclusively by the state: Justice; Health and Education. I see these as rights, as something everyone is entitled to.

In America, all these pillars are corrupted by private interests (profit) with huge resources and power to sway laws their way.

1)      Justice: In America there are private prisons that are state subsidised – more inmates means more money. It’s easy to understand the $million spent on lobbying law makers, to create tighter regulations that will put someone caught smoking a joint, behind bars. It’s easy to see prisons filled to the brim and conditions falling below human decency. By the way, in America, people with a criminal record are not allowed to vote.

2)      Health: In America, you either can afford private health insurance, or you can’t afford to get sick. Families go bankrupt because of one member becoming sick. The power of the health insurers’ and pharmaceuticals’ cartel is astounding.

3)      Education: Centuries ago, learning how to read and write was the privilege of a few. Decades ago, it became mandatory to attend school until a certain level. Today, I see higher education as a right for those who want to study, not a “debt-sentence”.

Societies improve in proportion to the level of education of its citizens, but this is something that those in power do not want – they see an informed society as a dangerous one. The less one knows the easier it is to control. If control can’t be achieved through (lack of) knowledge, then it is obtained through debt.

Having said all of that, what is there to do now? Where do you see America and the rest of the world going? What are your thoughts on all this?

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The pictures below were drawn, late in September, by an American kid at the restaurant I work on. I’ve been working on a post concerning some stories at my work place and the following is an excerpt of that.

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“(…) Both kids were good artists (I use my own skills as comparison) and in the end they made a show of presenting me with their works of art. I was rather amazed at the Batman that the boy had drawn up ‘Wow, I couldn’t do that!!’  I thought. The girl showed me her princesses and their horses.

The boy however, felt the need to explain that it wasn’t actually Batman, but rather Donald Trump dressed in Batman’s outfit. I should’ve know by the hairdo and the logo on the underwear. The second drawing was of the same U.S. presidential candidate hovering over a mosque yelling “I do not come in peace”. To his credit, his dad was rather embarrassed by this.

I can’t really say if it’s a ‘pro Trump’ family or not. The drawings might be (and I hope they are) satirical. On the other hand, there’s at least a family out there that believes Donald Trump is the saviour of Gotham. Either way, what concerns me most is that ‘grown-ups’ do not filter the information that transpire to their kids. Kids should not be concerned with political affairs but rather with princesses and their horses.”

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