American Demockery



Despite noble principles, the United States’ political system makes a mockery of the promise of democracy. The Presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton brings the limited choice of American voters into focus and highlights just how corrupt things are in the ‘land of the free’. Either of these candidates unleashed on the world are scary prospects, but also humiliating for democracies everywhere because America wields so much weight in the world, exercising political supremacy and military dominance without the moral foundations to justify it.

Trump’s offensive and misogynistic attitudes to women, his tax avoidance, his accumulation of obscene amounts of wealth, are on one side of the ledger. On the other side, Clinton’s association with illegitimate invasions of Middle Eastern states means there’s wet blood on her hands that’s still running in the streets of Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria.

Put that against a backdrop of historic electoral horrors that make further mockery of democracy. George W Bush’s usurpation of Al Gore – seems like ancient history- but the discrediting of hundreds of thousands of minorities’ votes in part gave rise to the mess in the Middle East and elsewhere, today; Bill Clinton’s lying about his sordid affairs while in office – and his role in bombing foreign nations in attempted distractions; Richard Nixon’s Watergate; JFK taking the world to the brink of nuclear war. Whatever way Americans vote, there’s a strong insidious and dangerous pattern in American political leadership, and no matter what the outcome of this Presidential election, no doubt we’re all in for more of the same.

And of course, economic and political freedoms in theory don’t always translate into equal outcomes. Domestically, the US has the second highest incarceration rate per capita, in the world. The States have the second highest relative poverty rates in the developed world, and 44% homeless people are workers. The 2014 US Census declared that 14.8% of the general population lived in poverty, disproportionately affecting non-whites. 2013 calculations showed one out of 30, or 2.5 million children to be homeless. There were an estimated 57,849 homeless war veterans in the United States in January 2013, and war vets apparently comprise 12 percent of all homeless adults. Sickeningly, according to Amnesty International USA, vacant houses outnumber homeless people by five times.
Given the economic alienation of many Americans, it’s no wonder political ambivalence also prevails. US voter turnout lags behind most of its peers in the OECD, at 31st among the 35 member states.

But internationally, the world’s ‘largest democracy’ exhibits other contradictory behaviour. It leads the tables in arms exports, accounting for more than 30% of global arms sales to at least 94 recipients, followed by Russia. America is also one of the world’s biggest arms importers. As long ago as 2011 they’d spent $1.3 trillion on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Defence spending in the latest year when figures are available, 2013, were $610 billion for that year alone, not counting ‘Homeland Security’, nuclear weapons research and other expenses.

So while actively oppressing Americans at home, abandoning those who have served in its wars overseas, it kills hundreds and thousands elsewhere, often in unarmed drone strikes, destabilising other democracies, spreading fear of destruction around the world, spying on citizens everywhere. But America does so in the name of democracy. All that is scary not just for those in the US ‘land of the free’, it’s scary for you and for me.


  1. Georges Benjamin Clemenceau a French politician, physician, and journalist who served as Prime Minister of France during the First World War said,
    “America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.”
    Probably the fate of all “new” countries and the inevitable result of forced multiculturalism. Pity about the idea of something glorious emerging out of the grand melting pot.

    Below is a link to a realistic article about the U.S. election.

    • Realistically biased, like so much we get, yes. Being an apologist for Trump – or alternatively for Clinton, that would not pass my judgment for being “realistic”.

  2. Yes to most of that, Christine.

    But there’s much, much more.

    It was America that invented the throw-away consumer society that is in the process of destroying the habitability of the planet, and America that invented the preposterous GDP-based economic system that encourages and rewards waste.

    It was deregulation, signed into law by Bill Clinton, that paved the way for the financial house-of-cards speculative bubbles we now see, promulgated throughout the western world as a consequence of the US dollar being the world’s ‘reserve’ currency. The Federal Reserve is not federal; nor does it have reserves.

    Food; it was America that popularized industrially produced fast food, and America that developed and popularized cola-type drinks based on unhealthy sugars, many derived from corn syrup, all for corporate profit, of course, and some of the profits channeled back into the bought-and-paid-for political system.

    Tobacco: a multi-decade horror story, largely emanating from America, with the same profit-before-people and bought-and-paid-for politicians themes.

    The REAL DISGRACE is the enthusiastic adoption of everything that is exploitive, toxic and unsustainable by NZ politicians and the celebration of insane behavior by New Zealanders .

  3. What worries me the most is, how New Zealand (under this government) seems to be all too keen to become a little version of the USA in the South Pacific, with all the flaws that will come with it.

    We are getting there, with income disparity, with child poverty, with social dysfunction and a dumbing down also, for which the MSM and commercial interests are responsible, working hand in hand almost with a spin loving government that offers no honest transparency on what it does.

    It seems to matter more now, who has less sleaze associated with him- or herself, than what policy and personal attributes they may have on offer.

    The future looks rather bleak, and after November we will see how much bleaker it will be.

  4. It’s more than scary, it’s life threatening. A brilliant post Christine. If only the majority would wake up to these truths.

    • She’s going to sleep walk into the job without the media putting the blowtorch on her. Yes Trump is a uncouth misogynistic oaf with the personality of a sledgehammer but it’s what we don’t know about Hilary that scares me, and with the MSM in the palm of her hand no one will ever know.

    • Really, Cleangreen? I thought better of you.

      But if you think a crotch-grabbing, vile-mouthed, entitled, racist bigot is any better then maybe you’re the wrong gender.

      It’s no coincidence that most female voters are turned off Trump, while a fair number of men still support this bigot.

  5. Whatever you think of the man . . . . and I know for many of you, (and me included), that’s “not much”: This has got to be a damned fine speech by American standards. (even if it has been heavily edited . . . .)

    Donald Trump; “A moment of reckoning.”

    Remember Obama’s “Yes we can”? Well we all know how that turned out!

    This speech is also worth listening to. Even if, like Obama’s “Yes we can” it all turns out to be empty rhetoric.

  6. Dreadful situation in the USA with the current political candidates up for Election, they actually make John Key look credible, even though he is a puppet for the US Bankers and Corporate America.

  7. Mostly good apart from your suggestion JFK was taking the world to the brink of nuclear war, while I can see some truth in that there is a saying something like “it takes 2 to tango” so the Russians need to share the blame also.

  8. Scary world we live in when these are the two best people the USA can come up with, however MSM are preoccupied with the cat word, or willies vs pussies rather than discussing the big issues?

  9. Well said. one has to wonder at the nomination process-if indeed there is one. It appears the two main candidates selected are almost completely polarising voters?
    Given the past record of USA elections, one might be forgiven for assuming that the candidate most likely to serve the interests of big business will get in.
    Which would mean Clinton.
    The poor USA-ians have at present, two evils to choose from. Not even a lesser evil, just a different one.
    Perhaps we have all missed the point. Smoke screens are pretty much second-nature to the western society now, is all this electioneering BS been set up merely as a distraction to cover something much more heinous going on?
    One wonders.

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