Every 4 years I write something about the US election for which I get a lot of flack, in particular from the right (you know who you are). But since I am used to it and since US election does affect Venezuela, I will go ahead any way (disclaimer: already in 2008 I was with Hillary, so there; keep reading at your own risk).
To say that the primary season this time around is dismal is not saying it all. Populism of the cheapest form is assailing both parties, and in one case, for now, winning. One could make the case that the slow recovery of the 2008 crisis, the wave of economic refugees everywhere, tribal politics, etc, should not have spared the US, albeit a nation of immigrants. But in the US, at least in the case of the Republican party, they had it coming.
I lived in the US when Clinton was president, and I never liked him; though I like Hillary, being well aware of her faults. But she is a policy wonk and she understand that one cannot get everything. That Clinton cheated on her certainly helped her realize that. There is no absolute for her and that is perhaps why people perceive this as sleaze (which does not mean she is exempt from sleaze too).
I remember how the republican party vilified Clinton. Going as far as to impeach him over a peccadillo. Anyone would have lied about being found out receiving blow jobs from Monica, let's face it. He should have been impeached for bad taste rather than being a liar, which all politicians need to be. Well, with Obama it got worse, tinged with such racism and xenophobia that the mind shudders. How can you not expect that the guy who lead the "birthing" movement and the bigot one of the fundamentalist branch would not become the "leaders" of the Republican party?
I have known long ago that Marco Rubio was not going to change anything. After all I did receive a lot of flack when I complained that Rubio decided to question evolution and grant at least equality to creationism. As a scientist this was unacceptable for me, that a well educated politician would say such thing just to court electorate was simply not acceptable. True, Rubio had been a strong advocate for freedom in Venezuela but you cannot question science, 2+2 will always give 4. If you question the most objective of discourse we have how can I trust you when you will have to discuss the mine fields of subjective policies? If you do not like science then do not mention it in your speeches. It was a sign that Rubio was a weather vane trying to please everyone. And last Tuesday he not only he failed to carry his home state, but he lost it abysmally, probably ruining his political future. Too bad, it was the type of Republican who on paper I could have voted for him, but I had given up on him before Iowa.
Trump reminds me of Chavez and Marine Le Pen in France, except that Le Pen is far more knowledgeable on polices than the first two clowns. But all are histrionic politicians and unfortunately in an age where media is ONLY seeking headlines, they have a tremendous advantage. Such politicians attract red necks, white trash, low life, uneducated, low self esteem folks. And the ones with education that tag along do so because they know that they will be cashing in big time if their man/woman makes it to the top. such leaders have a very low follow up talent, always looking toward the next show they can lead. And thus they can only be bad managers of the res publicae.
The problem here is that the last anti Trump alternative, Ted Cruz, actually scares me more than Trump. First, his way of speaking, the way he unfolds his arguments is supremely irritating for me, rings truly false. That holier than thou is just unacceptable in a politician and, believe it or not, also reminds me of Chavez if he had gone to the UCAB in Venezuela for his college degree instead of the barracks. Ted Cruz love of the constitution as his, as HIS interpretation, makes him a plain reactionary, not a conservative.
Fortunately for us I think that any one of Trump or Cruz would be defeated by Hillary because neither one is really able to go beyond the White Male electorate. The Republican party has not learnt from its 2008 and 2012 failures. And that is pathetically shown again in the looming Supreme Court battle. That the republican leader McConnell is so willing to trample the constitution just because Obama has only 10 more months to serve is not only a confession of his bigotry and personal hate towards Obama but also of his rigid stupidity and intolerance. After all, he has the mean to not only delay, and delay, the process of confirmation but after all in the end the Senate could vote no. There is a Republican majority last time I checked. No? If this is one of the main leader of the GOP, what can you expect from the rest?
Once upon a time there were Republican Senators I could have voted for like Monyham, or Weicker, or Sarbanes but today.........
Unfortunately Hillary Clinton is looking more and more like a lesser Evil, and it is not me that says it: even our friends at right wing conservative take no prisoners Babalublog are facing down the option of having to vote for Hillary. Her rival Sanders makes her even more electable. After all Sanders is dragging with him an independent populist base who wants all for free, chavista style. Never mind that he refuses to condemn Castro and that Venezuela human rights violations are inexistant. Well, to be fair, for these people Venezuela does not exist. Hillary had no problem dispatching Sanders at the Florida debate over a Castro question which I am sure was the reason not of her victory but of her lopsided victory. She got the Cuban voters, Rubio did not although he certainly deserved it more than Hillary. The unfairness of it all.
So there we are, as I type it is more than likely that Hillary Clinton will be elected US president even though her own personal messy affairs could play bad tricks on her once in office. But then again, even with that baggage she is the better option. She knows what the business government is all about; her tenure at State and on the Senate was not bad, and certainly better than her potential rivals; she can think and does not run her mouth like Trump who is always selling something, himself preferably.
The real problem in all of this comes from the degradation of the American Political system. How is it possible that last year the two front runners were relatives of two living ex-presidents? When the Republic starts indulging in dynastic politics you know that it is in trouble. And that is that.