Tuesday 8 November 2016

US elections

As a Brit I have long felt something slightly demeaning about the way we in the UK concentrate so much on the outcome of US election when Americans seemingly care so little about elections beyond their borders. All the same their elections undeniably affect us in a way that our elections do not affect them.

This time round, I find myself surprised to find that whilst the election is close, and whilst I do know quite a few right-leaning Americans, I do not have a single American acquaintance who is voting for Donald Trump. I know people who voted for Bush, McCain, and Romney, but not a single Trump voter. Despite my efforts to try not to fall into an echo-chamber where only your own views are repeated back to you, one has shaped itself around me anyway by simple virtue of the background of my friends in the US (well-travelled, well-educated people).

Therefore, whilst I get why someone would hesitate before voting for Hillary Clinton, I honestly have no idea why anyone would vote for Trump. I could hazard any number of guesses as to why people might vote for a candidate who, viewed from afar, looks like a disaster waiting to happen, but I really don't know why they would do and no amount of listening and watching radio and television programs on this subject has left me that much wiser.

I doubt very much that anyone will be swayed much by my opinion on this, but the clear, pragmatic choice is a vote for Hillary Clinton. She is the best qualified, and her policies are moderate in the extreme.

The idea seems to have gained traction in both the US and other countries that a vote is about who you are, candidates try to sell themselves as the "hope" candidates in a "change" election. This is foolish. Voting is not about making you feel good about yourself, it's a choice much as many other choices you make in life where you are simply trying to choose the least-worst option. A failure to do this simply because you do not feel particularly inspired by a candidate or party is a failure to behave like an adult.

By contrast, a win for Trump is simply inconceivable. I cannot imagine what the world will look like if he wins but it will undoubtedly be worse.

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