Article on the pending US Election
America is no longer the most powerful country in the world. Her version of democracy needs a major overhaul: the way it works is currently sclerotic.
Consider the facts: less than 50% of her population bother to vote and that has been the case for decades. Anyone standing with a hope in hell's chance of wining either nomination for the Republican or Democratic parties has to find somewhere close to $1b. This is an affront to our senses.
Becoming the President of the United States is not quite the fun it might appear. The structure of both Houses on the Hill means it is unlikely a President will sign off more than three Bills a year. The in-fighting between the Houses and between the Speaker and the President leads to very little being achieved. Just look how long it took for ObamaCare to make the statute books and how different it was by the time it became law.
American can lecture the world on its First Amendment (freedom of speech) and the right of its citizens to make fat cats out of lawyers but no-one is listening. Not a single candidate dares take on the Constitution because it is the religion of Washington, DC. This is why so many Presidents from out-of-town - Jimmy Carter, George Bush Snr and Jnr, Bill Clinton and even Barack - suggest they will reign in the White House but it always reigns them in. They had not a prayer.
Notwithstanding, American has tried to export its democratic values to Vietnam, to Iraq and to Afghanistan, resulting in abject failure, in $30b costs to the tax payer and thousands and thousands of innocent civilians killed fracturing families and social cohesion everywhere. This has to stop. Perhaps, though it is painful, there has to be a Syria so there is not another one in our life-time. We shall see.
We shall see too (I am writing this just before the Clinton v Trump showdown for the Presidential Election on 8th November) whether the next person to take Obama's crown is any more successful. It has been the most unedifying of contests. It has shamed America. In one corner sits Hillary Rodham Clinton (a quite brilliant Secretary of State) who has simply struggled to campaign with any humanity. She has been pitted against a demagogue called Donald Trump.
For the Western work - whatever that means these days - we must hope that Mrs Clinton prevails and becomes the first women president of America which would be extraordinary and uplifting. I do not doubt she will be a first class President. As for Mr Trump if his trumpet is silenced we will all have breathed a sigh of relief. It will cause though far reaching reforms in the Grand Old Party which is neither grand or a party but it sure is past its time.