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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Is The U.S. Political System All That Great?

I must give credit to my good friend Bobby Brown and something he had on his facebook page last night for this post. He gave me the idea. Thanks!

Photo: AIPAC/Facebook

We veteran Israeli olim always hear how the American political system is so superior to the Israeli one. I personally don't agree with that mantra. In the Israeli political system, even the various oppositions have a voice, an official one. The American system is based on a different principle:
The winner takes it all!

Yes, even if there was less than a percentage between winner and loser in Presidential Elections, the loser has no official role. In Israel, there are many political parties and opinions in Knesset the parliament. Also, the head of the largest losing party has an official position as "Head of Opposition." But besides those differences...

In just a few months Americans will be voting for their President. Although there are a number of political parties, everyone knows that they are wasting their vote if they vote for one other than the Republicans or Democrats. Especially with the arcane, absurd and antidemocratic Electoral College, only one of the two main nominees can be elected.

This year, after a rather wild and nasty primaries season, during which ordinary Americans were able to choose, state by state, the official party nominee, it seems like a very large portion of Americans are disappointed or even disgusted with both winners.

Rather inexplicably, the Democratic Party had only two candidates, both elderly by American standards. Yes, they are both of retirement age. And both are from the Left of the party. Bernie Sanders a Radical Leftist from New England hadn't been expected to get much support, but he has galvanized the young and anti-establishment wing. And there's the winner, Hillary Clinton, who has been running for president for over ten years, planning this for decades. There was no suspense, other than wondering whom she'd choose as her Vice President.

All the action and fun fell on the once staid Republicans. There were so many wannabes, they couldn't even have a proper debate. From state to state, the campaigns for the nomination looked and sounded like a fight in a schoolyard of a bad neighborhood. Even the media joined in cursing and jostling and kicking below the belt.

Defying all predictions, the winner ended up being the non-politician Donald Trump. And the Republican establishment isn't happy at all. As nominee, Trump seems totally out of his element. Try to picture someone who has always had cheap plastic dishes suddenly with expensive china and treating it the same way. Expect lots of broken dishes.

It could be that all Trump needs is  a good night's sleep. Insufficient sleep can cause major impulsivity and judgment problems. I researched that for a presentation when doing my teaching license. 

But the sad truth is that the rather recent primaries system in America is the cause of this. When political powerhouses chose candidates a Donald Trump would not have had a chance. And don't forget that some of the Trump votes in the primaries could have been dirty tricks by the Democrats who felt he'd be easy to beat, since you didn't need to be registered in a party to vote in its primaries. That is very unlike the Israeli primary system in which parties that use it only allow registered members to participate.

The bottom line here is that many Americans are totally unhappy with the choice between Hillary and Trump.


They may sit out the elections or vote for a "third party" which is the same. And so far there have been many political and public officials crossing party lines, supporting the "other side," especially Republicans for Hillary.

It is much too early to call this election. But considering that pretty much all the pundits were clear about Trump not having a chance to get the nomination, we just don't know what your "silent majority" American will do. If the elections are like the primaries, those who are disgusted with the way America is falling/failing, will be more attracted to Trump with every criticism against him. 


Keli Ata said...

I wish BB could run for president

Batya said...

I guess he'd be an improvement over what you have...