The Electoral College #NotMyPresident

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So Donald Trump is the new President of the United States of America. I am not happy at all. Don’t get me wrong! I didn’t support Hilary Clinton either. What a choice(!) One Twitter user likened it to having to choose between which STD you want.

I’m actually British. But I’ve followed every US election since I was 16 years old (the 2000 election). Something weird is going on, though, and I know I’m not the only one who this has been happening to…

HOW I WOULD HAVE VOTED
2016

Clinton vs. Trump. I choose… neither!

But my favourite candidate in the primaries was RAND PAUL, REPUBLICAN, even though I had some misgivings. I would have voted for him over Clinton. HOWEVER, my second favourite candidate from the primaries: BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRAT. I would’ve voted for him over Trump or Clinton.

So, I’m a Republican, or a Democrat, but 100% would vote for neither Clinton or Trump. WTH?

2012
Obama vs. Romney. 100% OBAMA. I’m not actually a big fan of his, even though he’s dreamy and hawt. Romney was simply a sociopathic scumbag zealot. For example, I’ll never forget when a man in a wheelchair asked Romney why medical marijuana should be illegal even though it literally was the only thing making his life bearable, and Romney’s facial expressions and dismissiveness just spoke a 1000 words to his character.

But my favourite candidate in the primaries was, once again, a REPUBLICAN, RON PAUL.

2008
Obama vs. McCain (and Palin). I mean, WTF? Remember McCain and Palin and how we thought that was a parody? Wow. So yeah, OBAMA all the way for me!

But again, weirdly, for the third election on the trot, my favourite candidate overall was a REPUBLICAN, RON PAUL.

2004
Bush vs. Kerry. Not a fan of Kerry, but this was definitely lesser of two evils. 100% KERRY!

SO…. WOULD I BE A DEMOCRAT OR A REPUBLICAN IF I WAS AMERICAN?
Well, in the four elections that I could have voted in if I was an American, out of the two candidates we ended up with, I would have voted:

Democrats 3 – 0 Republicans (1 spoiled ballot)

Yet if you could vote for any of the candidates in the primaries, I would have voted:

Democrats 1 – 3 Republicans

So…. that makes me a Republocrat? How effed up is that??

REPUBLOCRATS
I always use the term “Republocrats” to disparagingly describe the American System. Bluntly, if I was a yank, I would always vote Libertarian if I had the option. Which isn’t a surprise considering my favourite candidates have been Ron Paul 2008 (former Libertarian presidential candidate), erm, Ron Paul 2012 model, and, errrrr, Rand Paul 2016 (son of Ron Paul, former Libertarian presidential candidate).

REFORM?
Considering the Prez can’t get anything done unless the houses agree. And considering the presidential race is totally absurd: I mean, depending on which way we slice it, I’m either a Republican or a Democrat! I’m not the only one. Why not just have the President, and the President alone, elected by nationwide popular vote?

Upsides to this idea:

  1. It would encourage people to vote the way they really want, knowing their vote will count, instead of voting tactically to contract the clap instead of the pox.
  2. It would allow “third party” candidates and independents to stand a real chance and to help shape the national debate.
  3. It would encourage people who didn’t get their party’s nomination, but who are massively popular, to stand as independents.
  4. Al Gore would have won in 2000! And that argument alone clinches it, I think. [Clinton would also have beat Trump on this basis]

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States)#/media/File:ElectoralCollege2016.svg By Gage – 2012 Electoral College map, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35172210

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Donald Bigly Trump

Donald Trump

Today Trump said: Hillary wants to raise taxes big league.

Trump needs to stop saying blah blah blah BIG LEAGUE. Because I keep hearing it as “BIGLY”. Which is weird. And I thought the phrase was “Major League”, anyway, like Dubya’s “Major League Asshole“. Luckily, after tomorrow I won’t need to hear it ever again. Unless… :-O That’s what’s really at stake in this election. Oh yeah, and Trump’s weird hand gestures, and Clinton’s incessant smiling, head bobble, and pointing and waving. The issues that really count.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://i.huffpost.com/gen/3176536/images/o-DONALD-TRUMP-facebook.jpg

2nd Presidential Debate #PresidentialDebate #KarlBecker #Debate @HillaryClinton @realDonaldTrump

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Here are some brief thoughts on the second presidential debate (I don’t want to wax lyrical, as this would turn into an essay!).

  1. Trump was much stronger than in the first debate; Clinton was much weaker (I’m not going to call them “Donald” and “Hilary”; they’re not my friends). Things were close enough that both sides could (and have) claimed a win. My feeling: Clinton just edged it due to the occasional odd moment out of Trump’s mouth, even though Trump’s best moments were probably slightly better than Clinton’s.
  2. Trump came out with some bizarrely inept statements. For example, CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE POST

GOP Debate 11 #gopdebate

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I’ve been following the US primary elections avidly as I do every cycle. I would have fifty debates, if I could; I just can’t get enough of it! Although I never really blog about it (I don’t get paid for writing this, y’know; plus, regularly writing about the lunacy of US politics would consume my life and my sanity if I let it!). I have to say, I always find the Republican debates far more entertaining than the Democratic ones; the Republicans do batshit crazy like no one else. But to their credit, they also debate real ideology, instead of the bland New Labour-like stylings of the Democrats.

This election cycle, the debates have been particularly interesting. Whether it is Bernie Sanders who offers a genuinely different approach, albeit not as revolutionary as many make out. Or the trump card Donald Trump-ness of Donald Trump. This has been top dollar entertainment.

Some great moments of recent debates for me have been:

  • Marco Rubio’s robotic repetition of “Barack Obama knows exactly what he’s doing”, which was brutally destroyed by Chris Christie: link.
  • Rubio landing a heavy blow on Trump. “Now he’s repeating himself” “No, no, no. I don’t repeat myself”. “You don’t repeat yourself!? You repeat yourself every day(!)” “Talk about repeating yourself. I watched him repeat himself five times four weeks ago” “I saw you repeat yourself five times five seconds ago… I watch him repeat himself every night. He says five things: everyone’s dumb, he’s gonna make America great again, we’re gonna win, win, win, he’s winning in the polls, and the lines around the states”.
  • Ben Carson dropping out! Never knew an allegedly educated man could be so stupid.
  • Clinton pathetically trying to copy the rhetoric of Sanders in a most see-through fashion. Her naked ambition is sickening.

The banter levels have only got higher as the debates have gone on. The 11th GOP debate had some fantastic moments.

  • Ted Cruz telling Trump, “I know it’s hard not to interrupt, just breathe, breeeathe, breeeeeeathe,  you can do it(!)”
  • Marco Rubio: “When they’re done with the yoga, can I just answer the question?” Cruz: “I really hope we don’t see yoga on this stage”. Rubio: “Well, he’s very flexible, so you never know”.

But quite apart from sharing my joy at this freak show, I wanted to briefly share my thoughts on Trump.

Trump has undoubtedly said a lot of nasty, ignorant, terrible things, things wholly unbecoming of a would-be President. A stand-out moment of idiotic, racist, crassness was the calling for all Muslims to be banned from entering the US ‘until we can figure out what’s going on’. I mean, really? Am I watching a parody, or is this real? Scenes like this would lie on the cutting room floor of The Thick of It for being deemed too unrealistic. I secretly suspect that, just like Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, we will find out that this was all just an eleborate stunt, and that Jeb Bush was actually already selected as the GOP candidate six months ago.

But despite Donald Trump’s nonsensical, woman-hating, over-the-top, racist, moronic, loud-mouthed bile fountain, I have been saying the following for a while now: I bet he will make an alright President.

Huh!? What!?!!

Yeah, seriously. True, everything he says is offensive to liberal-minded, decent people. Wait, scrap that: everything he says is offensive to anyone with a brain, including the most right-wing of the right (hence why there is currently a movement to try to “Dump Trump” in the GOP). But amidst the ape-shit poo-flinging, there are moments of clarity.

He seems to be a pragmatist and genuinely not bound by allegiance to donors or the party elite, able to change his tune at the drop of a hat. But this is different from flip-flopping. For all his yelling, he seems a pragmatist, not a flip-flopper or an ideologue, and he’s no tool of corporate interests, either.

He has repeatedly had a soft line on foreign affairs, from open dialogue to Putin and others to not getting involved in carpet bombing Syria or invading foreign countries. He talks about doing away with Obama care like all the other Republicans, but he has specifically said that he will not let a single poor person die on the street or go without treatment. Other candidates have mocked him, saying he will involve the Federal government to achieve this. He has admitted to changing his mind and positions on various things instead of dishonestly trying to claim he always had the same position. And come on! The guy is a massively successfully businessman — even though he “only” received a “small loan of a million dollars” from his Daddy to get started. You don’t become as successful in business as him without being a flexible, pragmatic, open-minded, but hard-nosed negotiator.

These relatively moderate positions are all cloaked in right wing rhetoric (Build a wall! Winning, winning, winning! Take care of our vets! Ban Muslims!). I think this cloaking is clever stage management to smuggle the less offensive real Trump into office. I foretell a massive change of rhetorical style, if not content, if and when he receives the Republican nomination.

Furthermore, that the Republican establishment hate him and that he is self-financed and cannot be beholden to big money are all the more reason to think he wouldn’t be a bad choice.

And it’s not just me. Analyses of his positions show that he is far from the most extreme man on the Republican stage. And that’s based on his current rhetoric, which as I say, I suspect is phony.

So in short, whilst the toxic rhetoric of Trump would at first glance seem to be a million miles from what is required of a President of the United States, I have the sneakiest suspicion that it is mostly a persona cleverly constructed and worn by the Trump. I think that, of the remaining four GOP and two Democratic candidates, Trump is far from the worst; indeed, he might be one of the best.

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.teenvogue.com/story/11th-gop-debate-trump-kelly