Around US election time I allow myself a post where I express my opinion. I am of those who think that foreigners should have a say in the US election since we will all pay the consequences of that vote. But of course, there goes another utopia. Also, I get a lot of flack from such posts, mostly from right wingers that understand any critical view of Republican candidates as pure and simple communism making Chavez too good for me, and... (more follows from puffed red faces that I can easily imagine from the comments).
Not for me at this point in life to be deterred by such comments, the more so that blogging has become an occasional hobby for me. So there I go.
FIRST! Caveat! I was a Hillary fan in 2008 so do not expect me to have changed over these last 8 years. Search my blog or blog comments if you wish, it is all there, somewhere.
Yes, I know where Hillary does come from and I NEVER liked Bill. But she is not Bill and already in 2008 I thought she was one of the best prepared and more thoughtful candidate for the US presidency. Preparation matters unless you are like Reagan and are willing and able to surround yourself with people that know more than you do without taking umbrage. Since politicians willing and able to run for the presidency are prime donne then I shall privilege preparation over character. They are all flawed anyway, and Reagans are rare, the US having had only two of those in the XX century. I suppose perhaps that coming from Venezuela the little pecadillos of Hillary do not mean much for me, or that my French half has learned long ago that dubious private life does not mean bad governance.
It may come as a surprise to you that at first I was looking with interest at Trump as a candidate. After all, he was a businessman, of dubious qualities perhaps but more businessman than any president in recent memory besides Bush senior. In a country with such a division or power and entrenched instituions Trump did not scare me. Then again, I was coming from the Venezuelan experience.
It was thus with a great surprise that I heard the vehement condemnation of my US friends who I visited days before the Iowa caucus. To the point that I did not even dare to express my surprise and preferred to remain silent, playing the ignorance card. But they have been proven right and as far as I am concerned Trump would be an unmitigated disaster for the US presidency. People would miss Nixon and Carter after a Trump presidency.
I can say that because I have been following this primary cycle closer than the usual. Enough to be scared about what is going on in the US.
Bernie Sanders is a geriatric socialist that has appealed to a new me generation who think that everything is their due. Plus the assorted white guilty left of the Democratic Party. Fortunately the real left, the one that needs to mark time clocks at work and knows how hard things are did not follow Sanders and stayed with Clinton. Yes, Latinos and African American are the real social left in the US, not the Joe Kennedy type that happily deals with Venezuela or the intellectual fraud like Sanders who refuses to condemn the Cuban regime.
And then there is Trump.
I do not want to take the easy way and put Trump in the same bag as Chavez. Trump is more dangerous than Chavez but he would be less detrimental to the US than what Chavez was. What Trump and Chavez have in common is a deep narcissistic disorder. But each one is affected by it in a different manner. Trump just wants to be president and have is face and hair carved into some mountain. Chavez wanted to change the world for his glory. I have no doubt that if by mistake Trump were to be elected, within 6 months enough in the GOP would unite with the Democrats to impeach him. Yes, I trust that much American Institutions.
The danger in Trump lies elsewhere, and I am not even thinking about the nuclear red button. Trump is a demagogue who gets power form dividing society. He preys on the insecurity of people and he is dangerously gathering around him all the social resentment that exists in the US. If he were less tone deaf about latinos and blacks he would be already unstoppable the way Chavez was. That is what they truly have in common, the capacity to unify behind their banner all the alienated sectors of society, all of those who want revenge rather than reform. Once this is achieved the damage is done, the society is fractured and healing takes decades. I know what I am talking about, I am living the consequences of it in Venezuela where the embers of chavismo are everyday more outspoken about the need to silence people like me.
What Trump is doing is try to unite behind himself the red necks, white trash, bible thumpers, creationists, chronic jobless, the envious and the frustrated, those that cannot associate their failure with their very own character flaws. For this last group Trump is particularly effective because he forgives their sins since all their troubles come from Muslims, Latinos, immigrants, etc, but never for their own errors. True, some of their problems are chronic to the US society, but not all. We need to be thankful that the US is a multiracial society and that no politician can truly unite behind himself all these groups of deep social resentment. Chavez was able to do it because Venezuela was a deeply mixed country that Chavez tried to turn into one of whites versus non white. He succeeded, until hunger came.
The Republican party had it coming. This is not anymore the party of Lincoln. Not remotely. The Jesse Helms and Southern Republicans have preached the me or you gospel and now the chicken Trump has come home to roost. We are seeing under our own eyes how the Republican party is unraveling, how ethics are trampled everyday for the sake of expediency and a tidbit of supposed power. How easy it is to speak Benghazi instead of Wall Building!
But this post is long enough already. My only sorrow is that the US of A has been able to produce such a mediocre crop of presidential candidates. And do not let me start on people that I consider worse than Trump, like Cruz. I do like Clinton but this time I would vote for her because there is no other option. She is not free to set an agenda like she was in 2008: now she has to secure Obama inheritance whether she likes it being irrelevant. And Trump and Sanders certainly have saddled her with chains that will be heavy on her administration. At least I am certain that she is is going to be better for Venezuela and Latin America than Trump. By far since Trump at best only knows where the Miss comes from.
I did hear the Libertarian ticket formed by two ex republican governors, which indicates to me that Libertarians are trying to go mainstream now. Whatever. I liked them enough if truth be told. If I were voting I would vote for them once I am sure that Trump will not be elected. But as long as there is a chance for Trump to make it, I will be rooting for Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile I do hope that there are enough Republicans that will do the decent thing and at least cross their straight down ballots with Hillary or the Libertarians. Guys, you screwed up with your hysterical opposition to Obama, You even helped into creating a situation where Hillary had to go more to the left than what she would naturally be. Now it is time to pay the Piper and save what can be saved of your party, enduring for penance at least 4 more years of Obama and a Supreme Court locked in Liberal mode for at least a decade and a half. But heck guys, you have only yourself to blame for that. Try at least to retain the House and then learn to negotiate for everybody's sake. You can negotiate with Hillary more than you could ever negotiate with Trump, trust me on that one. I am coming out of 17 years of Chavez, I know a Chavez when I see one, even with a red wig. Narcissistic personalities never negotiate, they just gain time so they can screw you later, and better.