Sunday, October 09, 2016
Why Next Month's Presidential Election Weighs Heavily on My Mind
For starters, I don't like Hillary either. I do, however, want her in the White House in January.
I'm worried. I'm worried about Syria, about tensions in the Baltics and along Russia's western borders, about climate change and a host of other issues that will confront the next American president.
Anyone with any sophisticated grasp of these problems knows that Hillary alone has the experience and aptitude to deal with them.
I truly believe that from here on in every presidency is going to be more challenging with ever higher stakes than what we've known for generations. We're coming into a dangerous, volatile time.
Earlier this month I came across a chilling piece in Foreign Policy suggesting that, no matter who wins next month, America is likely to get drawn into a shooting war in Syria. That could bring America muzzle to muzzle with Russia in an active war zone. The possibilities, as they say, are endless.
My thoughts wandered to all the sabre-rattling that's going on today and it is plentiful and loud. It's as though somebody found the Cold War switch and flipped it back on. That reminded me of an editorial published in Germany's prominent financial paper, Handelsblatt, in August, 2014, warning that the people of the West were being "mentally mobilized" for war. True enough then. Truer yet now. The spectrum of options narrows, displaced by the politics of escalation.
It would be comforting if Donald Trump was an aberration on the world scene. He's not. If anything, he's just America's part of a contagion that's becoming established in Central and Eastern Europe, South Asia and Asia Pacific, and could soon spread elsewhere.
This malignancy goes deep. Last week I wrote of a retired, 4-star US Navy admiral's impassioned defence of the Trans Pacific Partnership, casting it as a weapon of economic warfare against China. It reminded me of the last time the US used economic warfare against an Asian rival and how that led to the events of a Sunday morning on December 7, 1941 and ended with ushering in the age of nuclear warfare.
America is already wounded. Its democracy - save for the trappings - has been torn out to make room for the establishment of oligarchy. Even its highest court has succumbed to oligarchy, a sad fact evidenced by its decision in Citizens United. Republicans see this election as their last hope of continuing the judicial subjugation of the American people in order to underwrite the ascendancy of the corporatist state.
Will Hillary do much good? I don't know but I doubt it. That said I don't want Donald Trump to have the nuclear codes. I don't want Donald Trump calling the shots on who will fill the existing and upcoming vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court. America's future hangs on these things and so might our own.