Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have distanced themselves from the last two presidents. Hillary Clinton looks back to the 1990s, and Donald Trump looks back to the 1980s. Many Americans have fond memories of both decades, which most do not have of the time that followed.

In Australia, neither is highly regarded. As someone said, this is a race between the bad and the worse. I see things wrong with both candidates, but that is not all that I see.

Probably Hillary Clinton's most ridiculous statement is that Trump lives in his own world. Oh yeah, so how come he has created a $9 billion business empire? Obviously she got the idea for that from Psychology Today, which diagnosed Donald Trump as a narcissist. The problem is that, according to the definition of narcissistic disorder, America owes its greatest achievements to its narcissists. If it is narcissistic to seek great success, then everyone who's had great success was a narcissist. This same disorder was claimed against Bill Clinton as well, and Hillary Clinton stands on his legacy.

Trump, in his turn, is doing a very good thing by standing up to intellectual fascism that is political correctness and saying things that nobody else would dare say. He is however completely wrong to deny global warming. Whether he is deceiving or deceived, neither is acceptable. It is right to challenge intellectual fascism; it is wrong to tell people a pack of lies. Doing so ruins his credibility even on matters on which he is right.

Now there are any number of people who see Hillary Clinton as a crook. Trump, in his own right, had three bankruptcies. When far-right leader Pierre LePen in France made the run-off vote against a corrupt incumbent, people were demonstrating with signs that said “Vote for the crook, not the fascist.” Hillary Clinton has obviously done things that were wrong. However so has just about everyone.

The economic conditions in both 1980s and 1990s were favorable to many people; however social climate in both decades was abhorrent. 1980S were cruel, violent and misogynistic; 1990s were toxic, misandrist and mean. In one decade men were jerks; in the other decade women were jerks. Conditions in both decades were equally awful from social perspective. I would not want my daughter to live in either one.

Now there are many people who look back to 1950s as the time when everything was right; but what they forget to say is that in 1950s the tax on highest incomes was 92%. Nobody credible on the scene recommends raising taxes anywhere near that level. Bernie Sanders did far better in the Democratic primary than I ever expected him to do. Probably the reason for this is that he was saying what neither Trump nor Clinton were saying: That while the economy grew in 1980s and 1990s, income disparity increased. Now I do not necessarily see differences in achievement as a bad thing; but neither do I like to see people getting screwed. Many of the working poor in fact work harder than their bosses. I do not need to be a commie in order to see this; I need to be someone with eyes.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have of course long since hardened themselves against such “mushy” and “juvenile” sentiments. They became actual narcissists as a result of beliefs that they have espoused, whether or not they started out as ones. Both of them are baby boomers, and baby boomers were liberals when they were younger. They have since then “grown out” of such commie sentiments and have been taking responsibility for creating their reality - as conmen. And who gives a damn who gets screwed.

Now I know one American baby boomer who did not grow out of such mushy sentiments. He is a successful entrepreneur who has lectured for many years at Howard University. In his retirement, he put in a million dollars of his own money and vast amounts of effort to create a political information site called that gives impartial information about political candidates. He is not running for office. However his values – which he practices – are better than those of either candidate.

I consider it unrealistic to either vote for a non-major candidate or not at all. While either major party candidate would be awful on social issues, at least one of these candidates would do the right thing on energy. As for social issues, I recommend not to take the side of either misogynists or misandrists. I recommend people tearing themselves free from both sets of usurpers and coming in mutual goodwill to create good relationships, and sticking to them, committedly, whatever the social climate around them happens to be.

Maybe the Texans are right about the government in DC having too much power. But then there is also all sorts of private power, and it is not official, balanced or checked. Are bankers and Texas Oil better than either Hillary Clinton or Trump? Are the tele-evangelists? Are Jehovah's Witnesses and Westboro Baptists? The libertarian sentiment is understandable. However the federal government is in no way the only entity capable of abuses, and a libertarian true to his creed would fight abuses of private power as readily as he would fight abuses of public power.

As for myself, I trust none of the above. Not trusting them however is not the same as being unable to deal with the consequences of their actions. Bill Clinton was not a trustworthy man, but he was good for many Americans and many non-Americans. Maybe one should reconcile oneself to the fact that the world is full of sinners and deal with them on that basis. And – should I say so outright – the folks in DC are in no way the only, or the worst, sinners out there.

Baby boomers – rightfully or wrongfully – “grew up” out of liberalism. Any number of others need to grow out of perfectionism. We are living in a world of sinners; that has always been the case, that always will be the case.

Much more important than that however is how either candidate stands to impact upon the world. Much more important is what world they will leave behind for their children. If Donald Trump really believes in the values he claims to possess, he would not be denying the reality of global warming. If he believes in responsibility and family values, he would be doing the responsible thing and leaving the world a better place for his children than what he has found. I do not confront conservatism with socialism or anything of the sort; I confront it with the meaning of its own stated values. If someone truly possesses these values, he would understand the meaning of them and act accordingly. And if he does not, then he does not possess these values and his act is a con. A true conservative would do the right thing on energy. And if he does not, he is not a true conservative.

I do not expect either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to be honest. I expect to be able to confront them on the claims that they make and the values they claim to possess. I advise working within the framework of their stated values and show when they deviate from them. So far, both have done both. That is why there is the media, the Internet, and people like me.

So that while both candidates can rightfully be seen as turkeys, it should be possible to work with either one. See what they are right about and adopt it and confront them where they are wrong. This becomes the job of the voter and the media, as well as others in the government. It is not only up to the people in the White House. It is also up to the rest of us.


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