Who can Fool More of the People for More of the Time

Every four years elections are held to elect a President. However there many fundamentals flaws with the way this process is setup one of which is the unique and mysterious electoral system. I came across an interesting articles this weekend on why the US election may present a good opportunity to buy US stocks. From an article by Rowan Dartington’s Guy Stephens at FE Trustnet:

What marks this US election out as extraordinary is that both candidates already have enough revealed skeletons to fill a cemetery, and the really scary thing is that the victor will lead the most powerful nation in the world.

In most open democracies, neither candidate would have even made the starting blocks. No wonder Jeremy Paxman delivered a documentary the other week asking the question as to how the US electoral system has produced two of the most hated candidates in history.

This is why you cannot rule out Trump because the choice literally is between an apparent sexist bigot and an establishment figure with suspected acts of dishonesty with regard to confidential matters of state. Neither scores highly on the ‘fit to govern’ scale.

One feature that should be at the forefront of many voters’ minds is how that individual will represent the country on the world stage as an international statesman/woman.

However, we are all aware of how introspective the typical US citizen can be and so perhaps it is no surprise that the US voter doesn’t appear reviled like much of the rest of the world.  Arguably, this is where Theresa May scores highly compared to Jeremy Corbyn.

There is also little doubt as to how Angela Merkel of Germany, Francois Hollande of France, Shinzo Abe of Japan and Xi Jinping of China rank in terms of international charismatic leaders.

Regardless of one’s political persuasion the likes of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair commanded great respect on the world stage and raised the profile of the UK above our natural ranking. The US electoral system has jettisoned all the worthy alternatives in this area which is odd.

In many other democracies the voters choose the party and the party members select their leader – in the US the voter is choosing the president based on simplistic measures watered down for the public and it really is a case of who can fool more of the people for more of the time rather than far more complex and unknown issues only fully understood within the walls of Congress.

When US citizens are interviewed as to which way they are going to vote, they say Trump or Clinton, not especially Democrat or Republican. In the UK, we vote for the party and consider their policies, with far less emphasis on the prime minister.

Promoting either of these US candidates to this elite club, in the most powerful position on the world state beggars belief and credibility for the US as a nation. An election should be about the party and its policies, not one individual and what a choice!

Source: Why investors will need cash after a Clinton or Trump victory, FE Trustnet

From A tale of two Americas by Varghese K.George at The Hindu:

Three months after Reagan made his Berlin speech, on September 2, 1987, Mr. Trump — then a 41-year-old real estate tycoon — made his first move that could be called political. He took out an advertisement in the New York papers on the “stupidity” of American politicians and spoke to CNN’s Larry King in an interview. What he said proves that what has not changed in the last 30 years are Mr. Trump’s world view, words, and style.

He told Mr. King: “Looking at our own stupidity, other countries are laughing at us. This is a great country. But we have stupid leaders… The country is losing $200 billion a year [in trade deficit]… Japan, Saudi Arabia… these are countries that would be wiped off the face of the earth if it were not for the U.S.A. This country will go bust in a couple of years. Japan and all these countries must pay for protection.” He was asked whether America should protect its trade through protectionist policies or by making its businesses more competitive. “There is no free trade in the world, it is virtually impossible for an American company to go and do business in Japan or Saudi Arabia. In the meantime Japan is coming to this country and buying up all of Manhattan,” he said. He added: “Our farmers are dying, the homeless are all over the streets of our cities… We give so much money to the wealthiest countries of the world, but we can’t take care of our own people — the poor, the sick, homeless, the farmers, those people we are not helping.”

Source: A tale of two Americas, The Hindu

The full article is worth a read.

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