There’s an election going on in America…

Friends, I have been maintaining a deliberate radio silence on this topic, even though I have been following it really closely. But it feels like its finally time to stop shying away. Please bear with me if you find this post long winded and/or boring. I have been really struggling with figuring out who’s the better President…So let me get my thoughts out on what’s going on, because honestly I am still struggling.

First, let me say some stuff about America and build a case for why I believe what I believe.

America and India have some very important things in common. We are the two biggest Republics that broke out of the British Empire. One is the world’s oldest democracy and the other is the world’s biggest democracy. BUT, there is a crucial difference between our two democracies. When Americans were setting up democracy, it was a big new idea …and they had to feel their way around,  fumbling, falling over, trying to figure out how to set up a democratic system. On the other hand, India just signed up to a readymade model of democracy… our Constitution, right from its Preamble, is a cut and paste job from American and French Constitutions mixed in with British Parliamentary traditions.

In doing so, Indians missed out on something crucial. While we adopted a democratic FORM, we never got to think about the FOUNDATIONS of democracy. It was like memorizing a mathematical formula rather than understanding it. We never got to think about the moral basis of what government is and what it should be.

Let me give an example. Let us take the first phrase in our Constitution: “We the people..”. Every Class 6 kid is made to memorize this as part of school Civics. The line is copied right from the preamble to the US constitution. While we memorized the words, we as a nation never really debated what they meant. Why would they start with “We the people…?” The answer is that the founders of the United States  had to first explain the source of their power. In the 18th century, this was a significant intellectual question.  Was their power coming from a king? Was their power coming from God? The founders thought and thought…and finally came to the conclusion that the power was coming from the PEOPLE themselves. Hence, the words: “We the people”.

Hence, debates about the source of government power, about the legitimacy of government power, etc. came to be embedded in the American psyche. The way we remember India’s freedom struggle, we place too much emphasis on WHO was wielding the power before 1947 rather than WHAT were those powers being wielded.  Let me explain this subtle point : British rule was unjust for TWO reasons:

(1) Brits have no right to make rules for Indians.

(2) Brits made bad rules for Indians.

As a nation, we forgot Reason #2!!!  As soon as power was transferred to Indian hands, we were perfectly fine with letting our new democratically elected government do anything it wanted. We never questioned the moral basis of the authority of our new bosses. If we refuse to listen to Britian’s PM, why should we listen to India’s PM? Is it because India’s PM is brown skinned and Britain’s PM is white skinned? The stock answer is that India’s PM is elected by us and we have heard that democracy is a good thing and so we should all listen to India’s PM. End of story. Formula memorized but not analyzed.  The conversation about RIGHTS and LIMITS of government power never took place.

What is the ideal world? A world where no one can tell anyone else what to do. After all, what moral basis is there for one human being to dictate to another? Well, we need laws to keep up a society. Now, here is the crucial part: every single law comes at the cost of liberty and liberty is precious! This is not to say that we shouldn’t have laws, I am just saying that we should be aware that laws come at a PRICE…a very hefty price! I didn’t say reject the formula, I just said that we should understand its implications fully.

Liberty is the life blood of humanity. Imagine if you had to go to a market and pay for everything you need with drops of your own blood. Would you buy anything except the barest possible essentials? When we understand that we have to pay with our precious  liberty for  every law we pick up, we arrive at the first moral principle:

THERE SHOULD BE AS FEW LAWS AS POSSIBLE.

Even so, who should get to make these laws? We vote for the lawmakers and lawmakers make the laws. But wait, laws passed by lawmakers apply to everyone, not just to the people who voted for them. Even if the party I vote for gets 99.99% of the vote, what moral right do I have to deprive the other 0.01% of the people of their liberties? How fair is it for me to say that I can take away your liberty because more people are on my side than on your side? How is it any different from mob rule?

This brings us to the second moral principle.

DEMOCRACY IS MOB RULE. 

Again, am I against democracy? I would be, except that there is no known system that is fairer than democracy. Which brings us to our third moral principle:

DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT HAS  A MORAL OBLIGATION TO BE LIMITED TO PASSING AS FEW LAWS AS POSSIBLE. 

Friends, this is my political philosophy. You may not like it, or laugh at it, but that’s ok. But I will come out and say openly that I am a Ron Paul supporter. 

Even though I was not a US citizen, I have marched with people holding placards of “Ron Paul Revolution”… for limited government, for free markets and individual rights.

That’s Dr. Ron Paul (he’s a medical doctor), Republican Congressman from the 14th district of Texas. My hero. In his lifetime, he has never voted to raise taxes, to expand government power and spending. He wants the Federal Reserve to be audited/closed down. He wants the tax office (IRS) to be shut down. He doesn’t even believe in the monopoly of a single fiat currency (the US Dollar). Indeed, what is wrong with citizens creating competing currencies and trading with them, as long as everyone participates voluntarily? A man called Dr. Bernard von Nothaus did just that, creating the “Liberty Dollar“. He didn’t force anyone to trade with it, some people voluntarily did. One day the Federal Government raided his offices, seized his property and threw him into jail for being a “terrorist”…

So, well, this primary season, my “starting bid” was to hope for Ron Paul’s son Dr. Rand Paul (also a medical doctor), now a Senator from Kentucky, to win the nomination and the presidency. While Rand shares the substance of his father’s views, he has indeed made some “compromises” with political pragmatism that are essential to have a chance of winning in the American system. After all, Ron Paul spent many years fruitlessly running for the Republican nomination, but no one would give a chance to a principled man who would bow to neither the Republican nor the Democratic establishment. Though not perfect, Rand was my big hope.

Well, that didn’t happen 😦

My “reserve candidate” was Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin. Once a state tightly in the grip of leftie labor unions, Walker not just broke the power of the unions in Wisconsin, but managed to become vastly popular doing so. The unions thought they could bully him into submission…as they brought thousands of thugs to literally occupy the state legislature in Madison, Wisconsin and arranged for a recall election to bring him down! Ha! Scott Walker ravaged through the left liberal ranks…the voter turnout increased substantially in the recall election and Walker rode a wave of public support to retain power. The silent majority had come out against left wing blackmail. You can see for yourself the compilation of the biased leftie anchors at MSNBC crying as Walker coasted to a big victory in 2012:

No, but Scott Walker made little headway in winning the Republican nomination this year. Sigh 😦

My “second reserve candidate” was the Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie. Chris Christie has done a spectacular job of taking on the powerful left wing teacher’s unions in New Jersey. Again, that didn’t work out either 😦

Then, I had my eyes on John Kasich, the  governor of Ohio. Another midwestern state like Wisconsin, with a Republican governor facing powerful opposition from entrenched left wing unions. Kasich was running far behind Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator and Cruz was running way behind Trump. Now, Cruz is a pompous jerk, but well, when Trump is in the race, the definition of “jerk” begins to change… I hoped for a miracle till the end…

So, what scares me about Trump? Honestly, I couldn’t care less about his social views which have been discussed no end. What scares me is Trump’s economic policy. Trump is speaking out for unabashed protectionism. The last thing the world needs right now is a protectionist USA. A protectionist USA will throw the $10 trillion Chinese economy into a tailspin and we will be facing panic on the scale of 2008. Too_scary_to_think_about.

Just for the record, I know Hillary is speaking for protectionism too. But that doesn’t scare me as much. Because I am 100% sure that Hillary is lying. Hillary might just be the biggest sociopath liar the world has ever seen. She’s for protectionism right now because that’s what her leftist friends want, she will forget all about it the moment she gets into the White House. And she will do it so smoothly that people won’t even notice. It’s the  way of the Clintons…

Of course, it goes without saying that I could never imagine supporting a Communist like Bernie Sanders… In fact, the success of Bernie’s campaign should ring alarm bells in America. There is something seriously wrong with American public discourse because of which a Communist has got so much traction…

Okay…well…back to Trump. He is the Republican nominee now… He says he might pick John Kasich as his running mate for Vice-President. That might be a sign that Trump is willing to end his protectionist stance on the economy. I’m just hoping…

 

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27 thoughts on “There’s an election going on in America…

  1. CW good analysis of democracy!..American election is big show,Dr. Ron Paul is the only guy who talks sense! I too believe in what Dr. Ron Paul said in a interview ..point four below!

    Quote:
    1. The American populace appears to have cleaved chasms in both the traditional Republican and Democratic Parties. 

    2. Longtime congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul made it clear in a recent interview on CNN that he will vote 3rd party if the presidential race comes down to Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton.

    3. Fiercely anti-war Paul opposes Hillary Clinton militaristic tendencies.

    4. Then Paul went even further, saying both the Republican and Democratic parties — from Reagan to Obama — are controlled by the “Deep State” and powerful special interests.

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  2. Obvious that you have put a lot of thought into this and it shows.Was nice reading about Ron Paul.A couple of questions:1)Why do most Indian-Americans support Democrats(left wing party) and not the Republicans(right wing party) and yet support the BJP which is a right wing party?,2)If you were given two choices.One being the British political system that we have inherited and the other being the American Political system and asked to choose what you think is the better option,which one would you choose?I’m not sure about this.In the American political system,even the candidates who want to get selected have to debate the rest of the contenders whereas in the system that we inherited,the party directly chooses the PM candidate.Here,I feel the American system is superior.But then,you have a concept of closed primaries in certain states where if you are registered as a voter of a particular party and have changed your mind one day before the election and decided to support the other party,you can’t put your vote for the other party(correct me if I have misunderstood this) whereas in our system,this flaw doesn’t exist.In the American system,if a candidate hasn’t gotten enough delegates before the convention but leads the delegate count but the party doesn’t like him,they can subvert the will of the voters in the convention but in the system that we have,voters have 100% weightage.Not sure which system is better and 3)Republican Party gets most of its votes from White people(correct me if I’m wrong) and gets very little from non-white voters.The % of whites(Hispanic whites included) is 73% I think and is declining after every census due to immigration.I have read that Whites will become a minority in the United States in the 2040s.This will doom the Republican party and ensure that the Democrats win every election.In fact,I think even if the White % drops below 60%,I think it will be very hard for Republicans to win due to the fact that there are a lot of White Liberals too.The very group of people who made America the most powerful nation in the world will be a minority in their own country and I won’t be surprised if America loses its superpower status after the 2040s because of this.It is in our interest to hope that Whites never become a minority.But getting to back to the actual question.How can the Republicans tackle this demographic time bomb?This scares me.Sorry for the long post but I would be glad if you answer these 3 questions.Cheers.

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    1. Between the two systems, I would unequivocally choose the American system. I feel the British system has many of the faults of our own system, in that they don’t recognize the inherent importance of liberty. The British also seem to think that everything is fine as long as the people get to vote. There is no real debate in Britain on the role of government, limits of government power and the moral basis for where government derives its power.

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  3. Quote from the post “Again,am I against democracy?I would be,except that there is no known system that is fairer than democracy”I don’t really think that democracy is the best system.Personally,my opinion is that Authoritarian Capitalism is the best system.I know you will contest this but these are my views.Would love to have a debate with you about this at a later stage.A very interesting topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 I was worried that people would find this post boring. Well, authoritarian capitalism…the Deng Xiaoping way has done extremely well. In fact, Deng may be the man in history who has lifted maximum number of people out of poverty. But I feel that authoritarian capitalism has its limits, unlike the democratic free enterprise system, which can grow unlimited.

      Let me explain. While Deng was lifting the Chinese out of poverty, he had the US as a benchmark to set parameters for living standards. It’s like chasing a score in a cricket game, where you know *exactly* how much you have to achieve. The free enterprise system in a democracy is more like batting in the first innings, when you have to decide for yourself what your standard will be.

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      1. Deng made the country and some people rich but in China the middle class is smaller and the poor don’t live any better than they do in India.China regularly has famines much larger than India because of mismanagement of agri resources.

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  4. Fascinating essay. I love it. I must confess I don’t agree with some of the thing purely based on my ‘Guts Feelings’ as I don’t have enough knowledge to come up with educated argument. Just because human nature of Maximum Gain with Minimum Effort, we have to have laws. Everything start with check and balance (good) intention. Creation of union was one such idea to check greediness and exploitation of workers and even in that good idea human nature of Maximum Gain at Minimum Effort took over by the leftists. As far as I know American Republicans are the biggest proponent of minimum government (minimum laws) and maximum private enterprises, yet two of the most public intrusion kinds of laws (and regulation) called Environmental Protection Laws and The Workers Safety Laws (OSHA) were created during Republican administration. It is difficult to imagine where the world would have been if it was not for those laws. Father-Son Paul both oppose these laws or at least in principle.

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    1. Thanks for appreciating. I put a lot of effort into this. Let me show you something about OSHA. Watch from 3:35:

      Look at the slope of how workplace fatalities went down since OSHA was created. Then look at the slop of how workplace fatalities were already going down before OSHA was created. Literally no difference!

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  5. Democracy works fairly only in small manageable countries at a certain level of maturity and evolution.
    For India the way forward is increased federalism. Only armed forces ( country’ border included), external affairs and external balance of payments should remain at the centre rest everything should be left to states.
    Even in China – the inequities are very high and there are many that struggle to exist. .. Too large too difficult to manage. A few will always exploit the unweildly resources at disposal.
    Small ( in terms of population) is beautiful and manageable.. Be it many of european countries or even countries like malaysia ,Australia, new zealand and Singapore . Even indonesia and thailand seem to offer a better quality of life to its citizens vis a vis an average indian or average Chinese.

    Even America’ s problems is its huge population . The quality of life in neighbouring canada is rrelatively more peaceful.

    And in sofar as who will be better for India. Neither . whosoever wins – they will always think first of American interests. Americans believe that this world is theirs and they are gods gift to mankind and whatever they do is always right !!!! And based on past experience hillary ( wicked b*#:÷) becoming a president ( most likely) could be more worser for India.

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    1. I too agree about Hillary Clinton
      Quote:
      If Hillary is elected president, the financial gangsters and profiteering war criminals would complete their takeover of the country. It would be forever or until armageddon.

      Washington’s international lawlessness about which the Russian and Chinese governments increasingly complain originated with the Clinton regime. Washington’s lies about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” originated in the Clinton regime, as did the goal of “regime change” in Iraq and Washington’s illegal bombings and embargoes that costs the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children, lost lives that Clinton’s Secretary of State said were justified.

      Hillary Clinton is a warmonger, and so will be the Republican candidate.

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    2. Thanks. In fact, I should have put federalism as the fourth principle. Indeed, the more local the government, the closer it is to the people..and the fewer people have their rights violated by its actions. Also local governments help in trying and testing ideas to see which ones work without pushing the entire country into a giant experiment. This was actually the only good idea that AAP had proposed (Mohalla Sabhas) and naturally this is the one they cared about least when they came to power. No ruling government likes its powers devolved…

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      1. Thanks for your excellent article which brings in new perspective in respect minimum legislations. However, the views on federalism may not be true in all situations. I hail from Tamilnadu. We have had two parties ruling us alternatively from 1967 i.e for the last 50 years. The state is now notorious for few things like money to voters, freebies as driver of election manifestos and government’s agenda, the state and parties coffers are filled by liquor revenues at the cost of poor family’s livelihood, very high level of corruption at all levels right from local administration. There doen’t seem to be any alternative to these two parties. They seem to have formed a cartel as we find that they don’t really go after the other’s mis deeds when they come to power. Praying for a miracle to happen

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  6. This “free market” nonsense is over hyped and gradually descends into monopolies (Ex:Walmart).A sucessful and balanced country needs a mix (Like Germany and Japan).Things like basic education,health care,roads,water can’t be private as they are required by rich and poor alike.Things like businesses,research and agriculture work better privately as competence is encouraged.
    The not paying taxes nonsense is over hyped.Germans pay around 40% of income as tax and enjoy more benefits than the Americans.
    Further in the US, the rich tend to pay lower tax rates than the middle class.
    As for not increasing taxes after the financial bailout,that is plain unfair.
    The financial crisis was because of the “free market” giving out housing loans to every Tom,Dick and Harry irrespective of his credit record.
    And the American election,there is no decent choice,it seems like a silly reality show.

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    1. The taxes in Germany are a punishing 45% 😦 The problem in the US is not of rich vs poor. It is because of crony capitalism… In the 50-70s, the US government did a huge power grab and meddled in everything in order to “protect” common people. It worked for a while, until the rich figured out that they could just buy the government. Now you have Big Government in collusion with Big Business screwing over ordinary Americans…

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  7. Is democracy a fair system? Even if it is, is it effective? If not, can we build fairer and effective system? Particularly, If there is majority of dumb people who continue to elect most corrupt and anti national yadavs, corrupt and anti national dynasties, most corrupt and anti Hindu parties, what is use of that system? Why are we restrained and straight jackated to even think alternative more fairer and most effective our own system? Is it possible? Yes, it is: Ram & Aam Rajya, India’s next contribution to world civilization.
    http://www.rajasaab.mysite.com/favorite_links.html

    It is not only India, but everywhere, even USA, the current democratic system is found inadequate. The money, propaganda, prejudices, establishment, bureaucracy, media, celebrity status etc. trump merit.

    We can build our own fairer, adequate system. I will try in my next comment, if possible to suggest how people can be more empowered in our own system.

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    1. There is an interesting new idea going around of an assured “minimum income” to be provided to every citizen. Surprisingly, this is one of the welfare schemes I think could make sense. If every other welfare program is canceled, the bureaucracy is dismantled, it might be actually cheaper to make a single, one time payout each month to each citizen.

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  8. ^^°Rightwinger a very good analysis Whoever Americans elect, they will and they will always focus first on America’s supreme National interest. An American president must always make an average American feel that America’s world’s gendarmerie. Trump makes them feel so.
    Idk about Hillary, but Trump will be more easy to deal with. He will work like a business man and will deal with anyone who’ll make his job easy.
    When it comes to foreign policy, many times In US it boils down to the Presidents policies and view.
    Just like when we took back Goa from Portuguese and JFK was advised to help Portuguese and make Goa a NATO base, he flatly declined. And then we had Nixon.
    Only time will tell. If Trump’s man of his words, he would be detreminatal in denuclearization of Islamic Republic Of Pakistan. I sincerely hope for this.

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      1. Well, we should not be scared of that. Americans will spring for their interests and we will spring for ours. We are a grown up and secure nation capable of watching our own interests.

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  9. In continuous of my above comment, let me clarify that Aam word used in the referenced article was used long before AAP pimped and corruupted the word Sam and then Aam was only relevant in reference to Ram in building our own people oriented political system. First as suggested in the article, we have to build education system to be learned and educated in modern and traditional fields. The dedicated life long sacrificing Acharyas, who are well versed in almost our divine and complete tradition, values, customs, culture and religious can be candidates in the beginning. Eventually, the true representatives will emerge to form vast base of samitis who will select from them each time each eras yugpurush from only life long dedicated self sacrificing raj putras from each Hindutva groups and not just Hindus.

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  10. While I generally agree with all your view on Indian politics, I cannot agree with your views on US politics. Ron Paul is a stand up guy and a true intellectual. He has admirers on both sides of aisle. So I agree with you on that. Rand Paul was probably the best of Republican candidates this year.
    My whole problem with your article began with you supporting Chris Christie. That man is probably as sold out to big corporations as Hillary is and that’s no mean achievement. There are dozens of cases where he has sold the interests of New Jersey to big oil and big pharma. Favorable laws in exchange for campaign money is the same as corruption, except you get paid upfront. This is Chris Christie’s forte.

    You seem to have a misplaced hatred against labor unions. Big corporation in US are utterly exploitative of it’s workers, while unfairly rewarding the top. Close to 40% of Walmart employees have to live on food stamps due to low wages. That is plain, simple exploitation. You may argue that these workers get what they deserve in the free market. But if there are no laws that ensure worker interests are protected, and this is the case due to super PACs and buying of senators, exploitation will remain uniform everywhere in the market and they have no escape. Scott Walker does not even support paid maternity leave. Something that’s available even in India. He has also had a crippling effect on University of Wisconsin with his budget cuts.

    Regarding Bernie Sanders, let me just say that his policies in education and health care are the exactly what the US needs right now. The reasons are too numerous for me to explain in a comment. He is not a communist but a socialist and the US is already a socialist state. His biggest plus point is that he is not a war hawk. The tragedies America has created with it’s interventionist policies may come to an end under him. He was the only one among the current candidates who did not vote for the Iraq war because he deemed the intelligence about WMDs not credible. Is it fair to dismiss him as a communist when he fought in the civil rights movement?

    The left in India is a rotten lot. Liberal thought in India got monopolized by the Dynasty crooks and turned into something that doesn’t even remotely look like liberal thought anymore. I have always thought about suggesting to you to stop using the word “liberal”, since that’s not what the Indian leftist crooks are. In fact Ravinar, I assume it was his blog you fashioned yours on, has frequently said that he won’t use the word liberal, but will only call them commies. But the liberal left in the US has vast sections that are earnest. Who work to uplift the weak and the marginalized. So I request you to not paint the American left with the same brush you use for the rotten Indian left.

    My comment is not as well researched as your articles are, so I realize I haven’t been very convincing. But I urge you to not look upon the American left with prejudice we Indians naturally carry due to our own left. That may atleast soften your opinion even if it won’t change it.

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