The point of view of a European Outsider

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

 

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If there is any good news on the coming week is the end of the presidential campaign in the United States. The insults, scandals, conspiracy theories, personal clashes, partisan journalism, are never strangers in the longest and most spectacular in the world electoral process, but this particular campaign it has been increased in the most unusual, unpleasant and poor in arguments US presidential campaign which anybody recalls.

Next week concludes a campaign characterized by the most rejected candidates in the recent history, between an ‘outsider’ in politics with too many allegations of harassment and sexual abuse, and the Democratic candidate’ arrogance, with the climax of the use of her private email server for classified issues. It has also had elements of the Cold War with unexpected computer hacks which have drove mad to the secret services; with the dripping WikiLeaks posts, seeking for Clinton’s defeat, and finally, with Trump’s call to Putin to hack Hillary Clinton’s.

In Europe we are amazed about many circumstances in this election. Personally and in my role as politics analyst, defending the women after the Trump’ alleged attacks in an article, I was described as being an extremist far left, something real far from my nature. We have a real confusion in Europe about what each of the two major parties represent: The Republican Party or GOP (Grand Old Party), is no more conservative than the Democratic Party, it is just more individualistic.

Its main philosophy is to avoid tax payment so that of there is “less state”, so much that it is not improper for a billionaire candidate to publicly state his blatant waiver to pay taxes for many years, something which is extremely serious, and it have no special value for their voters. The fact of the “less state” implies the monopoly of violence does not belong to the state, to their army and security forces, but also the citizens might take justice into their own hands.

This is one of the GOP key totems, the Second Amendment, ‘A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ Some of these principles were explicitly mentioned in some of the ancient States’ constitutions; as an example, the 1776 Constitution of Pennsylvania, stated, “People have the right to bear arms in defence of themselves and the state.

It had an explanation at the time when it was set up and ratified, in 1776, at the time of the pioneer’s expansion westward. Today it does not have at all, neither explanation nor sense. Accessing freely to weapons portraits the US as a sort of Wild wild west, a total anachronism which leads only to teenagers’ killings and other atrocities, as we see every so often in the news.

“Less state or government” also explains the public works’ obsolescence in the US, with the current state of old and undignified infrastructures, lacking an adequate local transports networks or interstate public transportation. Finally, the GOP appeals to those who are less fortunate, who have no health insurance or lacking any social services, situation according to them might be perhaps they deserve it, because they had not fought in life as they should, or because they didn’t have what it takes to succeed, as stated by Max Weber in his work “The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism“, where the concept of disillusioned and dehumanized individualism is strengthened. Interestingly, the proponents of this particular concept of the social support, are those who consider themselves the most religious.

Inside the US, the Democratic Party is called “liberal” and sometimes even considered Marxist from the GOP. Something, which if it was not too serious, it causes hilarity. The Democratic Party is ideologically like most European conservative parties, or those liberal-conservative. Definitely far from the Left and completely at the other side of Marxism. Certainly, they support the existence of a welfare state for those less fortunate, such as universal health and education, as well as regular investments in national infrastructures. To accomplish it, the main idea is “those who have more, should to pay more”, which I think is reasonable and ethical. For the most part, the Democrats support the abolition of the second amendment, or at least restricting it to the maximum, so that of weapons acquisition was very complicated and restricted, ending the counter to anyone. So that would actually make the US safer.

The Democratic Party believes in equal opportunity and social equality. The Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others; but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty. According to modern liberalism, the chief task of government is to remove obstacles that prevent individuals from living freely or from fully realizing their potential. Such obstacles include poverty, diseases, and ignorance.

The ideological confusion among American voters, the attempt to destruction of the opponent, rival or even enemy, also of those who think differently, or the foreigner which dares to say an opinion, has been an excess in this presidential campaign, something to forget on both sides. Questioning the fairness of elections, will leave a large wound on American democracy. With regards to the American media, campaigning for one or another candidate based on certain disclosures in key moments, will have suffered a mortal wound on its credibility, which will cost much getting it back.

I feel sorry for those desperate voters at a time when more than ever, the Americans are shocked and embarrassed with their two major options. Also my concern by the implications in the world’ future which this choice might have, because today the US remains being the Hegemon. For that we have a right at least to say a word, even if we are not Americans!

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