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PostWhy do "Nice" Americans Pick Disastrous Leaders? (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 06/11/16 10:01 am)
Eugenio Battaglia asked on 10 June, "Can anyone explain why such a nice people like the Americans are, lately, cursed by such disastrous leaders? Are the conspiracy theories perhaps correct?" This is a difficult question because there are many reasons, but I will take a stab at it.
Since the Founding Fathers got the American nation rolling, the American people learned to trust their form of government. Even when the robber barons where pushing the workers toward slavery, Americans were lucky that great privileged men like Theodore Roosevelt understood that the greatness of America depended on its average Joes and their families, and they reduced the power of the robber barons. Just as with most capitalists, the barons were not bad people; they were doing what they are suppose to do according to Capitalism: put their profits above everything else.
Years later another wealthy Roosevelt (FDR), using Socialism, saved America from its bad leaders (contrary to Eugenio's assertion that only lately this is happening) and the Great Depression. FDR also guided the US into world greatness by playing his cards right through WWII.
From the 1950s on, America was so wealthy and powerful that Americans thought we had nothing to worry about except Communism. Our leaders strove very hard to show that Capitalism produced superior results for all, including the average Joe. When the Cold War ended with the demise of Communist governments, Capitalists were free to run wild after profits at any cost to society. Thus lately, they even got into the habit of privatizing profits and socializing costs of disasters from their risky behavior.
Such a thing can only be accomplished because the majority of the population, lulled by a manipulative media, still believes we are doing business as usual. However, as the negative results from this corrupt Capitalism continue to mount, more people have realized that we need reform. So Republican trickle-down economics has been completely discredited. Democratic welfare for all including the wealthy finds more popular support, but does not fool everybody. Increasingly the people are desperate for significant changes. Some look to Trump, some look to Bernie Sanders and Elisabeth Warren. Unfortunately, it looks as if we are going to have a continuation of Obama for at least four more years.
To be fair, the same wealthy special interests helping select American leaders with their money are increasingly doing the same internationally. I don't see too many good leaders in Italy either.
JE comments: Eugenio Battaglia would be the first to agree with Tor's last statement.
One of Tor Guimaraes's most provocative ideas over the years has been to attribute the decline of the US middle class to the end of the Cold War. Once the threat of communism was over, the "Powers that Be" no longer had an incentive to keep the masses happy. A couple of days ago, I heard on the NPR program Marketplace that the middle class in America has gone from 70% in 1970 to just 50% today. Assuming that most of this 20% has mobilized downward, that amounts to 64 million new proletarians, disenfranchised, unwashed masses, or what have you.
How many of these are seeking a savior in Donald Trump?
[Finally, regarding WAISworld's late start today: we had an overnight storage overload "upstream" on our server. Thanks, as always, to our IT Czar Roman Zhovtulya for troubleshooting.]