Tag Archives: America

He’s still there

Last November it seemed almost unbelievable. This August, least than a year later, it is still unbelievable.

Donald Trump is President of the United States of America.

After all the jaw-dropping foolishness we saw during their election, and the wicked bad-mouthing of his opponent, it seems to be beyond comprehension that The Donald is President. It seems incongruous that a man whose appeal can only be to the small-minded is in an office once occupied by a man whose intellect was so great he seemed to think of everything before he even opened his mouth. He even made jokes, for heaven’s sakes, that seemed premeditated. What’s more, they were funny and we didn’t laugh at them out of politeness or nervousness.

True, a vote for The Donald’s chief opponent would have probably meant the retention of America’s status quo. And the election of a woman to “the highest office in the land” for  the first time. But would that have been so bad? At least, we would’ve known where we stood.

A leap into the unknown

As it is, the election of The Donald was a leap into the unknown. And I don’t mean the kind of ‘unknown’ not known by Donald Rumsfeld. I mean the kind of ‘unknown’ we are currently experiencing; the unknown that creates uncertainty.

We don’t know, for example, from one week to the next, what The Donald will say or do tomorrow.

He could say he’s going to build a wall. But nothing seems to happen.

He could say the North Koreans threaten world stability. But they still launch nuclear missiles.

He could hire me tomorrow. But next week I could be fired.

While he is still there – and he may be there until 2024 – we should all be worried. His behaviour, and his decisions, are laughable but they all have their consequences. Anthony Scaramucci [the Mooch] might seem like a clown. But he’s a dangerous joker, capable of making his boss look positively benign.

The transatlantic view

On this side of the ocean, we can disbelieve, even laugh.

But I would hate to be a liberal living in America now. I might even be ashamed of my country. I certainly would not want The Donald to be my President. Not for a moment longer.

However, I do not know who might take his place.

Change was needed, of that there is no doubt. The system had become atrophied. Obama could not get anything done, because the numbers in both houses were stacked against him. Everything was a compromise. A fresh approach was needed.

Goodness knows but that Britain needs a change! The current government is the same as its predecessor, in all but personnel.

But where are the men or women who can take the places of those that are in charge? Are we to have to carry on as usual, while our current ‘leaders’ (including Valdimir Putin and co) are there?

Few of us are leaders. Most of us prefer to be led. But not by people who say one thing, do another, and turn everything into a reflection of themselves and their so-called achievements.

We all need someone else ‘there’. Someone we can trust.

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We still don’t know

Back in August I was worried we didn’t know what was going to happen to us, now that we’ve voted to leave the European Union.

Today, I still don’t know.

Like a lot of other people, I’m in the dark about what our relationship with Europe will be like. Will we be in the free trade zone, or out of it? Will just anyone be allowed to come into the UK from Europe, or will they have to prove they’re wanted? Will we have to pay to travel outside the UK?

There are so many unanswered questions, it’s as if we’re being deliberately blind-sided.

True, it would help to know who we are dealing with. So we’d better wait until after the Germans have decided on their future. Likewise the French. And anyone else who’s got an election coming up.

But should we wait until after the Americans have decided on their president? That would mean waiting until late November, at the earliest.

It seems a long way off. But then, Europe seemed a long way off at one time. It was a foreign place, the other side of a stretch of water. Now it’s only a tunnel away and we (us Brits) are part of it.

At least, I think we are.

I’d like to know, one way or the other.

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Whoever next?

So the news media are full of the fact that Donald Trump is likely to be the next Republican Party Candidate for election as President of the United States of America.

Should we be so surprised? After all, he has been making the running for months now; spending more than any other Republican, and getting seen on more tv channels than any of his rivals.

None of this is surprising. The man is a billionaire property developer and owner of a tv  company. He should know what he’s doing.

On the other hand, the Americans have a Washington insider.

And how ‘inside’ can a person be, when that person is married to a former President of the United States of America? Will she know how to ‘get things done’, or will she simply make the same mistakes as every predecessor she’s ever had or aspires to have?

From where I sit, it  seems that established politics are soon to be a thing of the past. Thanks to social media – and even this blog – we can all have our say on whatever we feel strongly about.

We can Tweet our views to millions, or vote for whoever takes our fancy. In the UK, today, we shall be voting for a number of local councils and mayors. We have choice.

But the Americans have little or no choice. Their’s is a system unlike ours. Their main parties will choose who’s going to be on the ticket come November. And their main parties will – unless they are hampered in any way – choose the candidate most likely to win for them.

So we are likely to see a Donald Trump v Hillary Clinton election, come November.

What a prospect!

A billionaire v an insider; a man with no political experience against a woman whose experience knows no bounds. A man who hates Muslims against a woman who allowed Muslims to rise up all over the Middle East and North Africa. A war-monger against an appeaser.

No wonder the American people are confused. And confused enough to turn blind eyes to the candidates who, knowing how the system works, can bend that system to their will and ‘get things done’.

I fear whoever comes next. And, as a result, I fear for the world.

 

 

 

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Which United should we support?

For many people the answer is simple. It’s Manchester United.

Hungry for an identity that gives them sporting bragging rights, they want to align themselves with what they see as the most successful football club in the world.

Others may choose Newcastle United, Dundee United, or even Sheffield United, in the hope that – like their Manchester counterparts – they, too, will be able to walk tall, knowing their club is supremely successful.

For the politicians and leaders of the Western world, the choice is different. And maybe not so easy.

Just now, with their embroilment in Syria’s affairs – and none can fail to be embroiled, if only at a debating level – it’s either the United Nations or the United States of America.

On the one hand, we have an organisation whose stated purpose is to “maintain international peace and security” and – to that end – to “take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace”.

On the other we have the most politically and militarily powerful nation in the Western world.

We have an organisation that seems to have been cast as the world’s policeman and a nation that seems to want that role for itself.

We have a choice between what looks like the crippling impotence of the commitee-bound Nations or the terrible potency of the law-enforcement-minded States.

Tough decisions

So pity the politicians.

Unlike us, they cannot make their choice based on the colour or design of a football kit or the skill and athleticism of an individual player.

They must side with someone in the Syrian conflict – the peacemakers or the warmongers – or face the probability of being mere spectators as the situation worsens, the fighting escalates and the number of lives lost increases day-by-day.

In the meantime, the rest of us can only watch and wait, hoping that – in the light of the British Parliament’s brave decision to be guided by both the law and right-minded thinking – none of the principal players scores an own goal.

Were that to happen, we would all be losers. Even the football supporters.

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