zaterdag 5 november 2016

Child's Play!?

Today many of my national newspapers scream that Donald is ahead of Hillary!  Okay, where is there a big hole I can jump into and only can come back out 4 years later.  Yes, I had it with American politics. Not that this comes as a surprise.  Momentarily I have had it with many politics and politicians who are running rather a tabloid newsworthy show instead of creating columns worthy to be published in the The Economist.  Today I even dared to do ‘Are you a Trump or Hilary voter?’-test.  The outcome was no surprise but P did call it in my case rather a close call.   Not that I had not expected to agree with Hillary or disagree with Trump completely. 

Both candidates have got their strengths and weaknesses.  They are both humans that have already lived a full life and are dragging along quite some luggage.   Hillary or Trump have things in common and their is even footage from Donald hoping that Hillary sticking with Bill in the aftermath of a certain White House love affair.  She did, she did stick to her man.  Not that many did consider her strong in doing so.  Nope, including me I wondered why?  Hilary just did and that was it. 

In 1992 I was pro Republican…. don’t try to understand me… don’t go there… all you need to know is that at the time I was a 18 year old exchange student in Ohio (yeah, one of these crucial swing states) and I did try to get my head around what president did fit better for 50 states.   Yes, I did watch Fox News and nope there was no internet at the time to compare sources or read up on the candidates their programs written by different journalists.  Still I did not consider Bill fit enough to lead a nation as ‘huge’ as the US.  At the school I was asked what I would vote and I did say openly that I was not sure.   After all, this was not my nation. I was only a guest and I was very busy observing the nation that did not seem to be what many of us think while being observing it from the outside. 

So nope I was not a happy bunny when Bill moved into the White House and I had some explaining to do when the guy from Arkansas got a very warm welcome in Brussels.  Believe me that was something that many Americans did not get.  Do not try to understand Americans it is a mission impossible and next Tuesday when the votes are counted many of us will wonder what was going around in their heads when casting their vote. Remember the morning after Brexit? 

I am embracing that feeling momentarily. This time I will be ready for it to happen…. It is the Americans who vote and not us.  If they wish to be a person in charge of their huge nation who had made them huge promises than that is their right.   It is their vote not ours.  That the outcome of that vote has got consequences for all us that many Americans do not care about.  In the voting booth it is only you and a pencil or touch screen.  Polls I do not believe them but recently who know that lots of last minute votes will make the difference and that in nations and elections where you are not obliged to vote the outcome is less clear.    My nation is still scared of turning a vote into an individual right rather then a duty.   Easy gain at least many politicians have to ‘work’ harder to find votes in their favor than in my nation.

There are reports now that people feel intimidated to go and cast their vote and people get phone calls explaining to them why they should not vote for a certain candidate.   Scary and surrealistic what some campaign people come up to drag voters over to their side.  ‘Et alors?’, must have Mitterrand said when reading these reports.   Believe me what many of us in Western Europe consider ‘insane for words’  many Americans consider ‘the truth’.  No, please do not get into a discussion with a Mormon, Bible Belt Christian or Amish about certain issues. You will never ever win them over.  Safe your energy

Now you might wonder if I even talk with Americans actively about all of this. Yes, I do and even with strangers.  A few years ago over lunch in a tiny cozy Italian restaurant my friend N and I got into a conversation with an older American couple.  I have forgotten where they were from but they were so friendly to share their opinions about European politics. Believe me, they did not get it.  All what we consider ‘progressive’ but with a dash of ‘conservatism’ they described as being communist.  Guaranteed access to health care that is something that can create a huge hole in your federal deficit and never recover of.  Affordable education?  Why would you make that affordable if in return there are not enough jobs?  We rather let our younger generation start off with a sub zero fortune once they graduated.

That lovely couple openly told us that they will for the rest of their lives vote republican because a democrat was too ‘red’.   At that point I felt like I was considered a KGB-spy.  Nope, they had not a single nice word to say about how we were running our nation.  ‘What seems to work for you will never for work us.’, their main message was.  Plus they do not get their head around why we need so many governments in the first place.   I was very temped to start about the death penalty but something made me hold back.  

So no, I have not tried to convince them otherwise. I was already happy that they were going to spend some money and dragging boxes of Belgian chocolates back to their nation.  Most likely they will boost about the quality of food they were served but they might consider the portion rather tiny compared to what they are used to. No offense!  

I am quite sure that I have got friends who will vote for Trump.  There are points in Hillary her program that are not to their liking and will make them turn of.  Besides she has already screwed up before.  Not that I am going into that for now.  Many amongst us will be able to come up with at least two to three or even more issues/situations that Hilary has not dealt with in a ‘wise’ and ‘responsible’ manner. 

Personal I had one big issue with Hillary at the time and that that she did seem rather ‘fake’.  Many people will get my point.  It will be rather a mission impossible after 8 years of the rock&roll style and attitude of Michele&Barack Obama to be as cool as them but still this lady has certain boundaries that she seems never to cross.  Hillary is everything that not a single politician is that moved into the Oval Office.  And you know what?   She is fully aware of it.  The lady knows what will be awaiting her.  She knows the pitfalls and the backfire that will be the consequence when she once again has not fulfilled what she had promised.  Chances are unlikely that she will even reflect about it in any personal mail.  Servers do hold secrets and even the ones of your ‘friends’ and coworkers can make you end up in the danger zone. 

Hillary has been there and she has got numerous badges sticked on her girl scout’s outfit that should be proof that she is capable to run a nation with such a complex social make-up.  Nope, this lady from Arkansas who considers now NY as her home state is not a home maker and will prefer attending meetings about health care issues and educational reform.  She has been blamed for saying this out loud and many ideas (believe me good ideas) she got up with were sent to the bin. 

After all these years this lady has got trust issues and you know what many of these we have inflicted upon ourselves.   We have never given her the benefit of the doubt.  Remember that health care idea she came up with?  Profound research and traveling all over the world went into that project. Still, the First Lady was told that this was surely not going to work. 

Hillary is been told more than once that it is in vain.  The lawyer of Arkansas has been pleading numerous times in the desert.   So that she more than once has not found any support and wonders when she will be taken serious for who she really is that I consider rather the natural outcome of everything that happened to her in the past.   Trump must been having a party digging into her past.  The other way around also many have been dishing up many less appealing facts about the self made millionaire/business guy. 

Last night a Dutch television station aired this very interesting documentary called: ‘Nixon by Nixon.’  There was one central thought on my mind while watching that interesting HBO documentary.  ‘Oh my dear, DT resembles in so many ways Nixon!’  Not that I had not that read before but then I also think that more and more politicians globally use Nixon like language to gain the populist status. That one status that will grant them access to power.   What mostly did strike me was that Nixon did not like to share information. He kept it to himself or only did share it with a small circle of confidants.  Hey, we all can keep secrets but there are certain secrets that you just can not keep under the lid.  Especially when running a public office like a presidency. But then secrecy seems to be rather the general rule in the 21st century.  Ask FBI presidents about secrets they take every single secret seriously.  Tapes are replaced by servers in the 21st century and HR and DT know what they can do to a campaign and the out come of a poll.  

The thing is that many Americans are fed up with the establishment and they wish change.  They want their jobs back and the wealth that comes along with it.  Very understandable and there is also that one thing that one objects that a great number of Americans carry close to their heart and that is a gun.  Believe me that DT will safe guard that right is for them enough to vote for him. They will forgive him for all the rest.   Lots of them feel like that were left behind in the last decade.  One ride through Detroit and beyond you can see the debris that has been caused to communities that once were prosperous and booming.  People are fed up and they wish to be taken serious and nope they don’t think that Hillary Rodham takes them serious.  They don’t like her and she is responsible for so many things that are going wrong.  Some even want to kill her and imprison her.  

So I have changed my mind about Hillary and yes, in my humble and honest opinion she would get my vote. I would face thunderstorm, blizzards and heat waves to get the voting station.  Nope, I don’t like her personal and I would never invite her for George Clooney coffee and a piece of Belgian chocolate.  Neither I would let DT in for a chat.   But then it is not about being liked that you can run a country.   DT reminds me too much of a Shakespearean protagonist in one of his beloved dramas and we all know what happens to those ‘heroes’ at a certain point.  He is very eloquent when on stage and knows for sure what words his audience love tho hear.  But that only brings you to the doorstep and we all know when you have to pass the threshold and it does get tough…

No, Hillary is not without flaws and faults either but she knows her ‘stuff’.  There is one article by Ezra Klein that I read over the summer that did make my change my mind about this lady.  It is a challenge to read it but if this how Hillary functions then yes she can use Air Force One and once a year give pardon to turkey.   I did also google the person who wrote this article because in time of campaigning you do wonder who is on the pay roll of whom.  He came back ‘clean’ as far I can get my head around the data that I found out there. 

Now, deep down I am preparing for DT to win this election. After Brexit everything is possible and let us be honest many of us are fed up with the establishment and wish to have different people in charge.  Fully understand that and in the end I am not an American citizen who has the right to vote for the person they wish in charge.   It wil be their president not ours.  Still, that their vote matters to so many lives (indirectly my own but I don’t think that someone in the heartland of the US cares about that)  does make it bit hard to accept the outcome when it is not to our liking. 

Me being a teacher I did try to find out what plans both candidates have for teachers and education.  Well, that seems rather to be unclear.  Neither of them seems to have the answers and an effective and waterproof plan or at least not yet it has seen the light. Not that my nation itself is doing a good jog at the educational frontier but we all secretly wish to copy&paste Finland. But it seems to be very hard to do that and I wonder if something as easy to copy as child’s play (in Finland children hardly ever get homework because then they have time for there more important issues like playing and hanging out with their peers) takes so long.  Still access to education is something I hold very close to my heart.  So I do hope that DT was rather kidding when he used in Nevada the words:’I love the poorly educated.’  Sorry I do take these words now out of context but still it did not make me smile either.

All I can hope for is when DT receives the keys and finally is granted access to the Oval Office that he then turns out to be slightly different than he is acting out now.  That many things he did say out loud were not that serious.  That he does surround him with reliable people and specialists who can convince him of their ‘right’.  That the ego ends up once in a while in the corner of the office when he needs to make tough decisions.   I wish to give him the benefit of the doubt and that he then stops acting and scratches out the word ‘huge’ in any speech he will deliver.  Unless when he does one thing and that is when he dares to hand the UN Children’s Rights to the Senate to ratify. The same for Hillary.  Obama failed to do so and did proof that this was not the child’s play he might have imagined it to be. Get the picture here?  Once in the White House you do need a plumber to let water come out of the tab.  Hillary and Trump must be very aware of that fact because no plumber is no water.

In a nation where many long for dreams to come true and anything is possible it is rather awkward that they still have not ratified that international document.  They have signed it but that is two steps away from ratification.  So if DT dares to do so that then he might even end up in my good books.  Even Hillary who has written (with the help of a ghost writer many say) a book about raising children and knows that already takes a village to do so.  She must know that she needs to do what others before her have not dared.  Including Obama who has not managed it either.

If DT or HC do make it happen then I am going to use the word HUGE in his or her favor.  That is a promise!  Let that dream please come true and it would certainly help to restore the faith that dreaming can help you to make things happen in a nation as the US.  That it is not only voting that is child’s play.   So Hillary or Donald please don’t let the children down… please make it happen… you can make it happen… you have proven many times that it can happen… one close look in the mirror and you both can and must see what I mean… A HUGE THANK YOU!!! 

I read many interesting articles in the last year about the candidates. But these are a few that stood out: (The Ezra Klein-article I refer to)

I watched these and had great time and even some laughs  on the sofa and did learn a lot about American politics as well.

One article I came across when I was wondering why the US has still not dared to sign the UN Chrildren's Rights convention.  Honestly I do not know how hard Obama has tried and if anything has changed since this has been written but it does matter…in my personal opinion it does matter… I know that for a fact…:

The music that goes along with this one, is by a boys band that did not like that Trump did used their music for his mission.  I could have chosen so many others.  The list of musicians is long and distinguished and includes Bruce, Adéle and Beyonce.  But this one did stand out and because in a way we all want it our way, don't we?

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