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Presidential Debates Ignore The American People

20/10/2016 14:07
danielfela via Getty Images

What if I told you, as you most likely have just recovered from watching two of the worst Presidential candidates in history argue over who has the right to devolve more power and wealth to the Elite, that you don't have to reluctantly place a cross in either of their boxes come November the 8th? That there are other options that may fit your views more closely? That a vote for Jill Stein doesn't add up to a vote for Trump? You certainly wouldn't know it from the two puppets on stage.

At the time of writing, the third and final debate has just ended, with both candidates giving statements that reflect the antithesis of their political positions. Donald Trump wants to "run America like a company", talking as if the corporatist shade of free market capitalism isn't already encompassing America, while his counterpart, Hillary Clinton, promised to "stand up to corporations", after taking donations from companies and Big Banks for most of her career.

In my previous article I mused how America, as a democracy, managed to stumble into a situation with two of the most hated candidates in History. We now do know; according to Wikileaks, Hillary and the DNC colluded to a great extent to push Bernie Sanders out of the running for the nomination, while Donald Trump simply took advantage of a rising tide of nationalism that stems out of failed neoliberalism. (it's interesting to note that Bernie was the antithesis of this - millions flocked to the Vermont Senator for similar reasons, in terms of policies failing working people - and perhaps a Trump vs Sanders race would have more appropriately reflected the electorate).

The debates themselves were unruly, full of lies, and presented weak and fractured policy from both parties. (And of course, the candidate that you support won all three!)
Whether it be Hillary Clinton becoming visibly rattled over Wikileaks's revelation that she rigged the DNC election, gave shocking speeches to Big Banks or took money from several 'controversial' countries before appearing to lay the foundations for another Cold War, or whether it be Trump incarcerating himself through alienating whole groups of people from his possible vote, this kind of discussion, if we can dignify it with that, is not what the American people need. Through all three debates there was very little on what needs to be done in order to transform the lives of millions of working people (failed by Establishment policies) so they are able to live their lives to an acceptable standard - perhaps the 'vote winner' in a day and age where inequality has risen to an unacceptable degree. Instead, we have Trump somehow gaining blue collar votes by proposing trickle down economics, and Hillary changing her stance (dare I say lying?) about the TPP amongst other issues.

Foreign policy was also extremely disappointing - and it's telling it took a man like The Donald to say the most sensible thing on Syria. "You funded rebels, we don't know who the rebels are!" - of course, referring to the Obama policy that funded anti-Assad insurgents who would later merge into/align with ISIS. It's clear both candidates, but primarily Clinton, are still pushing for regime change in the region - Trump for his 'Strongman' image, and Hillary to carry on US tradition. (Another aside here - it was interesting when Wallace, who was sound throughout, called for the confirmation of 'peaceful transition' from one government to another - ever heard of Pinochet, Batista, the Shah of Iran?) Still, where were the questions on Hillary's donations from the Saudi regime? Or her disaster in Haiti? Whatever your view, it's in the interest of democracy that both candidates be treated the same on their past.

The three debates reflected a microcosm of American media - frame a narrow spectrum to them all their lives, and people will rarely think outside of it. Ask yourself this, especially if you will vote on November 8th - does America need a new brand of alt right nationalism? A rise in anger towards the immigrants who only work to benefit the countries that house them? Or does it need more of the same? More flawed foreign policy, more bowing to the corporate and banking worlds?

Or, and here's a radical question - can we do better?

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