Do you know the meaning of conundrum? Thinking about which presidential candidate would be preferred for readers of this journal prompts that question.
The Democrats have a compulsive liar and a communist screwball as choices. The Republicans offer Donald Trump, a populist demagogue with as much class as a toad and zero knowledge about government operation; Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, with their only experience as politicians and none in the real world of business; Ben Carson who is too gentle a man to survive in this field of nasty behavior; and a few other also-rans.
I did some research to confuse myself, and found out that predictions are useless. I also suggest that you realize some choices are better than others. The real American problems, however, lie on different fronts: an uninformed public, a media that is selling political philosophy and not reporting honestly with facts, and a corrupt and incompetent Congress that must be replaced to solve national ills.
My view is that the one factor the American founders overlooked was that the public would fail in education. The founders did foresee “mindlessness” and created the Electoral College so the state’s chosen electors (in number equal to members of the House and Senate) could confirm the people’s vote and reject rash populism and, if necessary, complete House of Representatives’ confirmation to choose a President.
A lack of basic knowledge about the issues and problems facing the nation provides an appalling display by U.S. citizens, confounding the election process. This can be seen from a study of recent Facebook “likes,” which is reported to be a reflection of younger voters’ preferences. Carson leads in 27 states and was the top Republican candidate in 36 states. Bernie Sanders led in 18 states and topped Democrats in all 50 states. Trump led in only five states and was the top Republican candidate in 14. These three candidates dominated the top three in every state, and Hillary Clinton only made it to third place in two states.
A study by DecisionData.org covering 2015 clearly shows media bias. For example, comparing a factor like Google searches with mainstream-media mentions shows that Sanders has 6.93 times more public interest than Clinton, but she got 2.97 times more press mentions than he did. Trump got exactly four times the Google searches compared to Clinton but only two times the media time. Rasmussen polls also confirm media biases: 74% of voters in 2012 believed that reporters try to help candidates they prefer, up from 51% in 2008. They also confirm that voters under 40 years of age are the most trusting of political news, and that Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to believe that media offers unbiased coverage.
Another striking evaluation in my view is that the public fails to connect the roles of elected legislators – Senators and Congressmen – as both the origin and solution to many of these issues. Both parties in both houses have exhibited gutless behavior while the nation suffers and declines, especially over the past decade. Members are a corrupt class that votes itself privileges and money while exempting itself from essentially all the laws and regulations that apply to the citizenry. I say this as a Washington lobbyist and industry representative for almost 50 years.
The Congress of the U.S. has mismanaged many aspects of finance and both foreign and domestic policy. All of the excesses of the Executive branch – the White House and all agencies – could be controlled by appropriate funding or defunding of activities and coercive governmental intrusions into citizens lives (both individuals and corporations).The public does not grasp the facts that every citizen’s Congressman and two Senators can be pushed to responsibility or recalled with greater ease and practicality than they understand. President and party are secondary. But establishment party leadership, both sides, prefers that you do not think about or understand this.
After searching data and opinions from many sources, I think that the U.S. partisan political divide will only deepen during this election season. I also am sad to report that all evidence indicates with 60% probability that Joe Dumbface is alive and well in America and that a Democrat (most likely Joe Biden) will enter the White House in 2017.