In mails to friends and acquaintances I have often voiced the concept American elections, particularly this presidential one, is a fiascos and a farcical insult to most ordinary rational thinking people. They are often created for ulterior reasons, deceptions, and misdirection not apparent or easily understood by the general voting public. The Clinton, Trump presidential election is a prime example of what I’ve been writing.
By whom I ask did this lengthy drawn-out campaign assist in political decision making? Certainly not the people of America who are targeted as weak-minded obsessive bystanders and kept from understanding the true issues one should support for a healthy government change. The main issues were sidelined. The proper issues in the public interest should have been emphasized more readily were and in my opinion, i. e. the 18 trillion-dollar debt, set to be increase by both candidates, growth of the of the unbridled defense industry, past military spending make accountable auditors nervous, and they have not passed a creditable audit in 50 years; the humiliation of our inter-city school system and the facilities themselves; the third world infrastructure of our road, bridges, and electrical grid maintainance have been gridlocked and planed costs diminished by Congress in a nation that desires to right now as “make America Great Again.‘
The candidates promised but did not clarify specifically where the funds would be coming from and when analyzed the math it becomes hypothetical or faulty or both. In each, including the foreign affairs debate and, in campaign communications, glazed over our present overseas conflicts, i.e., a 14 year war in Afghanistan, Iraq I, II, and currently deep into Iraq III, issues of life and death concerning conflicts and trade wars that will undoubtedly involve the U. S. directly or indirectly into positions of challenge and responsibility where not adequately discussed because programmer and the two debaters were busy with other wedge and personal issues. Those of incompetence in handling classified material or other disclosures. Some of these were politely ignored in the debates, a good move, and not directly mentioned in the debate were the groping women by a star entertainer, the marital relationship between the Clinton’s, unpaid taxes by a billionaire, and a scandalized bilking at Trump University. Nevertheless these are valid moral issues.
The Clinton foundation apparently was setup to mainly to accept foreign donations as in ‘favoritism’ disallowing social caring patriotism. These few scandals and irregularities are only the tip of the iceberg. Overriding these at times for decorum were the insults and slights mostly by Trump, with his few threats of a special prosecutions and ‘You belong in Jail.’ (Actually the GOP’s Bush and Cheney belong in jail)
At the end of the lengthy campaign, 86% of Americans who followed it were displeased, disappointed, and bored. Having previously written in comparison to other practical countries the campaign and vote took approximately 300 days in the making, but have recently read a national magazine that claimed the campaign lasted nearly 600 days before the first votes were cast. (Time, page 9, International addition, 21, November 2016) It’s enough to make any American observer, voter, journalist, or public figures unwell. The result proved astonishing, we the people elected a demagogue and a scoundrel.
By sheer grit and aggressiveness right to the very end Trump had a message similar to Bill Clinton’s in the 90s. When Bill asked his chief confident what should be the major theme to emphasize in the campaign, the replay was ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’ The manta for Trump was ‘It’s the American jobs gone awry, stupid.’ Trump with the fresh political face, was the so-called ‘outsider’ because he would ‘drain the swamp in Washington DC.‘ It was not an easy answer in reply for a thirty year veteran of ‘insider the government’ and Wall Street investment houses as is one Hillary Clinton.
But who won democratically? In a democracy the majority of voters win over the minority. It frequently doesn’t turn out that way although the U. S. frequently boasts it is a true democracy; Clinton captured the majority by more than two million votes over the Trumpet. This has happened four times previously in presidential elections, the last being Albert Gore against George Bush in 2000, and what a difference that would have made, possibly for the U. S. and for the Middle East, as we face complicated multi-conflicts today.
I am not merely going to bitch about the shortfall in this campaign. I do have something of value to submit concerning its length that other nations do not abide by, while under their breath chuckle at us, not wanting to openly laugh or criticize the largest economy and the most powerful military in the world of its internal failure. Anyway, by any means, it keeps the giant occupied for a year or more and less likely to dictate to the world.
What follows are undeniable recommendations for the betterment of American elections in the future. Will the Elitist corporations and their vassals in congress act on them? I doubt it because these recommendations make sense. The Congress and the Supreme Court have their heads in the sand. It’s become a tradition.
- The U. S. Media, Radio, TV, and publications have various dates as to when the campaign started, 250, 300, and so on, 600. We know whatever it is, it’s too long. An analysis of other countries is revealing: For our neighbor to the north Canada it campaigns for a 36 days to 11 weeks period before the Election Day depending on the issues, In Japan it’s only 12 days. Britain a month. France the official rule is two months. Europe, the EU, often it is one to two months, but none goes past three months of campaigning and Election Day to my understanding.
- There are restrictions protecting misuse and privacy: No campaign party commercial publications or signs allowed, and no private purchase of commercial Air, TV time is allowed because it is said the ‘Rich would quickly control those means for their own benefit.’ Himm!
- Moreover, campaigns are expensive. In 2005 the U. S campaign costs 1.6 billion dollars or more; the same year Britain spent the equivalent of 33 million dollars. There the government provides a limited amount of radio and TV time, for each candidate to state his or her cause and to debate each principle. Not allowed are mass campaign phone calls, faxes, spam letters. It sounds civilized to me. I hear the Brits sometime elect responsible people like say Winston Churchill and Margret Thatcher.
- A few of these countries have Election Day registration. Across the U. S. registration to vote can be confusing. Only thirteen states have same day registers. Making this effort uniform could lead to greater turnout. There is automatic registration in Switzerland and France. In the U. S. Oregon is the only state that does. Auto-registration may triple registered voters.
- Mandatory voting and fines for not voting have been considered in the U. S. but believed to be unpopular. Australia and Uruguay have this system and appear content with it. Should a person not want to vote and avoid penalty , that person my go to the station collect the ballot and write in ‘none of the above’ and dispose of it at the station. No fine. Or the use the absentee ballot method may be preferable.
- Weekend day elections as some claim will significantly increase turnout. Brazil, Greece and may other counties advocate it rather than work days. It would make it easier for Americans to get to the polls. However, I can see to some of the voters may not be enthusiastic because they may receive a half day or the entire day off on Election Day.
All the Best.