Note to self

A divided land

Like many Americans, I have not been involved in politics. Just 120 million voters participated in this years presidential election. And they more or less split their votes evenly between 2 candidates from the 2 major parties in the country.

There are at least 100 million eligible voters in the country, who decided not to register or decided not to vote. This is a first divide. You got to wonder, why is it that almost half of the population does not participate on the political process? But that’s a whole different story.

Now we have a president-elect that claims climate change is a hoax and a vice president-elect, who believes in creationism. That again is a fair representation of our country. About 40% of Americans believe that human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals. The same amount of folks believe we were created the way we are.

The same can be said about climate change. Just 33% think that climate scientists understand “very well” whether global climate change is happening. 27% say climate scientists don’t understand this “too well” or don’t understand it at all. We are even split with regard to the news media’s coverage of climate change. About half of the country believes the media do a “good job” covering global climate change, while the other half says they do a “bad job.”

I believe the list goes on.

We are a divided country.

An event like this election is a great opportunity to learn. To educate ourselves, to make informed decisions, to participate (register and vote), to make democracy work.

There have been historic events in our not so distant past as a human society, where we have missed such opportunities – with grave consequences.

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Quote

Democracy in America

What does a Frenchman know about democracy in America, you ask?

Well, read this abstract from 1835:

“If society is tranquil, it is not because it is conscious of its strength and its well-being, but because it fears its weakness and its infirmities; a single effort may cost it its life. Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure. The desires, the repinings, the sorrows, and the joys of the present time lead to no visible or permanent result, like the passions of old men, which terminate in impotence.”

There.



Alexis Charles Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859) was a French political thinker and historian best known for his work “Democracy in America”.

Painting of Alexis de Tocqueville by Théodore Chassériau

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Mixed bag

A storm is brewing

mountain

Clouds over Chilkat Mountains, Alaska

“Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken.”

Donald J. Trump


Unfortunately I believe Mr. Trump is right. It looks like there is only one man/woman standing between him and presidency. That alone is a dire sign of American politics. Not being satisfied with the current crop of politicians and their actions has led to this strange situation, where not being like the current establishment of party politicians appears to be sufficient to qualify as president of the United States.

Mr. Trump’s controversial remarks on aliens, Muslims, women, and the lack of specific policies have not deterred his supporters. What does that tell us?

“Make America Great Again” is the slogan of his campaign. I think America is already great, if you value things other than just money.

Maybe not just our leaders need to change, but also us, the people.

Hopefully we will end up with a candidate that genuinely cares about the well being of people more than profit, growth, and revenues. America is not a corporation. Life is not a business.

 

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