In light of the looming presidential election here in the United States, it is high time to clarify a few points surrounding what two of the key candidates are standing for.
Growing up as the son of a liberal politician in Australia, I grew to hate politics with a passion. From the time I could stand on my own two legs, I was put to work on election day, handing out “how to vote” literature at the polling booths and using the “cute little child” factor in trying to win the support of the public coming to cast their votes.
It’s only in recent times I have come to understand the importance of having a strong working knowledge of the political systems in play, and even as I write this, I can hear my Mother’s voice telling me, “The government is only as good as the people who vote for it—and a damn sight better than those who never bothered to vote at all.”
As an Aussie, I feel confident in sharing this political commentary with you, because I have little to no emotional investment in what is occurring here. Because I wasn’t raised in a Democratic or GOP household, I have the ability to observe the process without emotional attachment—aside from the desire to see the world improved for everyone.
Let’s begin with Bernie Sanders. The world view of this guy has remain unchanged since Adam was a boy. To the very best of our knowledge (and thanks to so much time documented in the public eye), he has never sold out, shifted his views or chopped and changed where he stands on issues.
He is a Socialist through and through, yet before you allow that to sway your vote down the other road, consider this: so many people seem to be so afraid of the term “Socialism,” without actually knowing anything about it. This is largely due to the fact the the fear mongers would have us believing one thing, which is in line with their (usually ultra-capitalistic) agenda, as opposed to the truth.
Socialism does not mean “state control of the economy.” It does not mean you will be forced into working any harder than you already do, so that you can support of your lazy neighbor who wants to do nothing with his life.
Ideally in Democratic Socialism, it is the technological breakthroughs by the state which allow “super-abundance” for everyone. It is about empowerment of the working class and common social control of the economy.
This means instead of the working class paying 38% tax and the corporate elite not only paying zero tax, but actually receiving government tax breaks (as is the current situation), that the income collected from taxes of state controlled assets are put directly to use for the benefit of all. They create a working healthcare system for everyone, free or subsidized education, transit systems that work smoothly and various other support systems for the population as a whole.
Realistically, under the Democratic Socialism that Bernie Sanders is working to implement, no one would ever be any worse off than they already are because the extra money needed for all of his plans comes directly from the appropriate taxing of the upper echelon of society.
Next comes Donald Trump, who has absolutely no political history or experience, and is by all standards a very successful businessman. However, how successful he has been is open to debate, and there is a great deal of evidence that he has failed more often than succeeded in his various business endeavors. Although I won’t list his failings here, feel free to take a look.
The only reason any of this is even called into play is because when looking at a resume of someone for their suitability to a particular role, if they have no experience in the role, then their success in how they have been occupying their time needs to be ascertained.
“Bloomberg puts Trump’s current net worth at $2.9 billion, Forbes at $4.1 billion. The National Journal has worked out that if Trump had just put his father’s money in a mutual fund that tracked the S&P 500 and spent his career finger-painting, he’d have $8 billion.”
What I can tell you about Donald Trump is that much of what he is doing and saying, has been done and said before. I am not the first, and I certainly will not be the last to compare this man’s campaign antics to those of a certain leader of a political party voted into power in Germany on October 13, 1930.
“Germany was in the grip of the Great Depression with a population suffering from poverty, misery, and uncertainty, amid increasing political instability.
For Hitler, the master speech maker, the long awaited opportunity to let loose his talents on the German people had arrived. He would find in this downtrodden people, an audience very willing to listen. In his speeches, Hitler offered the Germans what they needed most, encouragement. He gave them heaps of vague promises while avoiding the details. He used simple catchphrases, repeated over and over.”
To anyone who has been following the campaigns, this sounds very similar to what Donald Trump has been doing at any of his debates or speeches. Details are conveniently left vague, promises are big yet without any foundation in reality. Hate and anger towards others is often used to rally people in support of his campaign.
In addition to this, if we take a look at the fundamental philosophy of Fascism, we can see that there are very distinct Fascist models present in the Trump campaign—and by observing his speeches, we can recognize that many of his key ideas actually quite heavily promote Fascist ideals. Such as:
“The state must gain glory through constant conquest and war. The past was glorious, and that the State can be renewed. The individual has no value outside of his or her role in promoting the glory of the State…”
Although there are several candidates in this presidential race, it is the absolute polar opposite stance of these two that is making this such an interesting scenario.
This coming November, when making a decision as to who to vote for, please take a minute and educate yourself on more than just what the candidates say—please become familiar with the books of history and look at the bigger picture.
Author: Christopher Jones
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/DonkeyHotey; Flickr/DonkeyHotey
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