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2/6/16

US Politics: A European looks at the US political establishment and the upcoming Presidential elections - by RM

The US 2016 Presidential race has begun
A Dutchman who lived nearly half his life in the US was recently asked on a local radio show what his impressions were about the upcoming US Presidential elections and his perception on the two major parties involved in the elections.

"Looking at both US political parties, and mainly basing my observations on policy and  popular appeal , the Democratic party probably sticks head and shoulders above the Republican party, or at least what has become of this party over the years ."  

"Famous Republican politicians like Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan would probably turn over in their grave if they could see what has become of their party.".

"On the face of it,  the Democratic party seems to be more of a reflection/cross-section of America re: cultural, religious and ethnic mix, rich, poor, intellectual , less gifted, gay, lesbian and socially conscious."

Today's Republican party is mainly white, Judeo Christian, militaristic, reflects a preponderance of "doublespeak, and quite ignorant, as to the realities that are at play in today's world .

Rolling Stone magazine wrote about Republicans : "All you have to do to secure a Republican vote today is to show lots of pictures of gay people kissing, black kids with their pants pulled down, or Mexican babies at an emergency room. Then you push forward some "dingbat" like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin to reassure everyone that the Republican Party knows who the real Americans are."

"Unfortunately, on the negative side, many politicians from both political parties are quite corrupt and over the years the US corporate establishment has developed a brilliant political strategy to capitalize on this  and benefit from this greed."

"Their scheme is quite simple - corporate America donates heavily to both parties, essentially hiring two different sets of politicians to market their needs and goods to the public. The Republicans, as a result,  give them everything that they want, while the Democrats give them "almost everything".

Corporate America, however, seems to get more in return for their bribes from the Republicans than from the Democrats, because Democrats and their special interest groups, given their diversity and more liberal leanings, often also happen to ask more questions."

Instead of having short, publicly-funded political campaigns with limited and/or free advertising (as a number of Western European countries do), the US has long political campaigns in which candidates need big bucks for advertising. They are therefore forced to spend much of their time fundraising, which is to say, seeking bribes. Consequently many US politicians are basically on the take. They are forced into it not only by the system but also by their own greed..

Former Republican  majority leader John Boehner actually once handed out cash on the floor of the US Congress from the tobacco industry to other representatives.

When French President Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated in 2012, soon thereafter French police actually went into his home searching for an alleged € 50,000 in illicit campaign contributions from the ’Oreale heiress.

Seriously? € 50,000 in a presidential campaign? US presidential campaigns cost at least a billion Euro's  each!  The George W. Bush campaign accepted millions from arms manufacturers and then created a war for them, and the police haven’t been anywhere near his home yet.

American politicians don’t represent “the people.” With a few honorable exceptions, they represent the 1% at the top  of the US financial ladder.

Bottom line: Bernie Sanders, one of the most progressive Democratic Presidential candidates noted in one of his stump speeches in the state of Ohio recently: "American democracy is being corrupted out of existence."

Will the American electorate elect Bernie as the first socialist President of America as a result? Probably not, but major changes are coming to the US political system. The "status quo" could be over.


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