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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Our Three Kinds Of Presidential Candidates

In saying that we currently have three kinds of Presidential candidates, I am not saying that we have candidates that are too much, candidates that are too little, and candidates that are just right. The reason why is that though there are Papa Bear candidates and Mama Bear candidates, there are no Goldilocks candidates.

What we currently have is at least one candidate who is prepared and has the experience necessary to be President and a number of candidates that have little to no preparation. Here we should note that rarely have we had a candidate that is fully prepared to be President on day one. In fact, the last presidential candidate I remember who was fully prepared on day one was George H. W. Bush during the 1988 and 1992 campaigns. He was the resume candidate.

From that we obtain two important points. The first point is that one does not necessarily have to have the preparation others have had to be what is considered a successful President on day one. The second point is that Hillary is the George W. H. Bush of 2016 in that she is this year's resume candidate.

So none of the other candidates have Hillary's qualification to be President as of now. But many of our past Presidents became qualified as they learned their job. In addition, qualifications alone do not make candidates who are just right. Having the right sense of direction is also a part of being a successful President. Here, we should note that that the current direction of the nation since the 1970s is to implement neoliberal economic policies while pursuing neoconservative foreign policies. 

Neoliberal economic policies want to strip as many government regulations on a given nation's economy and trade as possible as well as reduce taxes on businesses as much as possible. This might sound good to many conservatives, but what that actually says to nations with governments that are working democracies is that there should be as few, if any, democratic controls on a nation's economy as possible. Such an approach sounds good to conservatives because they regard most, if not all, governments as alien entities and they have little regard for democracies because of their emphasis on individual liberty. 

What neoliberal economic policies end up doing is to make a society of any given nation into a pawn of economic elites. And while in the early days of neoliberalism, our own society would be a pawn of the economic elites of one's own nation, the same is not true for today. With free trade and today's trade agreements and organizations, the people of free trade nations become pawns to economic elites from other nations. Neoliberal economic policies produce ruling classes and, again, with free trade, these ruling classes not only gain a measure of control over their own nation, they gain control over other nations regardless of what the people from those other nations say or do.

Neoconservative foreign policies is the latest version of American Exceptionalism. What these foreign policies accomplish is a degree of hegemony for America. Acknowledging and submitting to that hegemony is the admission price other nations must pay to enjoy Pax Americana. In the end, only America is allowed to be immune to international law because international law challenges America's national sovereignty. Thus, it is only America's national sovereignty that must be respected in the world. And American hegemony does not allow other nations to claim that privilege.

But we should note one other point here. Neoliberal economies present a challenge to the national sovereignty of any nation, including America's. That might sound like a potential threat to American hegemony, but in reality, it isn't. That is because America's power will be redirected to support neoliberal economies.

Neoliberalism and neoconservatism are the two factors we must consider when assessing the direction of our current crop of Presidential candidates. Those candidates that pursue one of the various forms of neoliberalism and/or neoconservatism are going, in the opinion of this blog, in the wrong direction. They are pursuing a world where financial elites rule and one's welfare depends solely on whether one is serving the interests of the world's financial elites.


Having said all of this, we can now classify the current crop of Presidential candidates we have. In terms of those candidates who are fully prepared to step in as President on day one, only Hillary Clinton qualifies. No other candidates have her experience. Trump neither has her experience nor does he demonstrate a Presidential degree of self-restraint. And neither Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, nor Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, have Clinton's experience or have they shown adequate preparation in terms of understanding how government works or having adequate background knowledge of the world and its leaders.

But of all the candidates, only Jill Stein and the candidates to the left of her, such as Gloria La Riva, have the right direction. We must reverse course from implementing neoliberal economic policies and pursuing neoconservative foreign policies. Here we should note that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump  are advocates of their own versions of neoliberalism and neoconservatism. Here we should note that for all of Hillary's talk of taxing corporations and the rich and that she now opposes the TPP, she is strongly in favor of open hemispheric trade (click here) and does not denounce the TPP for how its structure threatens our national sovereignty (click here and there). We should note that Clinton's call for open trade across the hemisphere is a modified version of US plans from 1945 that oppose economic nationalism in Latin America nations and was partially enforced on many of those nations (click here).

And while Gary Johnson rejects neoconservatism, he fully supports neoliberalism. We should note that neoconservatism will eventually draw us into a war using WMDs since advancing technology has made the proliferation of WMDs inevitable. To back that claim, we should note that it was our nation's pursuit of neoconservative foreign policies that fueled the rage that was part of the 9/11 attacks. So Gary Johnson gets both a mark and a demerit for having a good direction. The demerit is, of course, because of his support for neoliberalism.

With Trump, Johnson and Stein being woefully prepared to be President while only Stein, of those three, can point our nation in the right direction and only Clinton being more than adequately prepared. But with Clinton being ready to take us in a horrible direction that can only lead to elite-centered rule over our nation, the following question becomes critical in deciding for whom to vote. Which candidates will harm our nation the most, will it be inadequately prepared candidates who can lead our nation in a good direction vs the candidate who is very well prepared but will lead us into the self-destruction of some kind of elite-centered rule?







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