Hard to believe that eight years ago, Europe was enjoying the race to the White House. We all favoured Obama. On the night of Obama’s election, I wrote a piece “Two Cheers for President Obama”…one cheer for being a History maker, one cheer for being a Democrat. I could not offer the third cheer because most of my fellow Europeans failed to realise that Obama would be President of the the United States of America and would act in American interests rather than mine….and rightly so. But in 2008, I saw no reason to give him a blank cheque. I dont buy into the American rhetoric that the Man/Woman in the White House is the “Leader of the Free World”.
For the record, a lot of praise is due to President Bush and Laura Bush…their finest moment seemed to be getting caught up in the History of it all. Shamefully the Republican Party and Fux News has not treated President Obama with due respect for the office he holds or his (economic) achievements.
Yet since 2008, American Politics has been on a downward spiral. I hold no brief for journalist Melanie Phillips but last night on SKY News she summed up the 2016 Presidential Election as a contest between Mussolini and Lucretia Borgia.
Mussolini is of course Donald Trump. His rise is entirely due to the incompetence of the Republican Party establishment. They attached their legitimate Conservative agenda to a raft of issues…angry white men with guns, anti-modernism, the Christian extreme, racism, anti-intellectualism.
They thought that they could lead that agenda…but that agenda has led them.
Genuine thoughtful Republicans will not support Trump. They will hope for a Trump defeat and the opportunity to re-group for 2020.
It seems in the last decade that an entire industry has sprung up…the Fact-Checking of claims made by politicians. Trump’s response is to spew out lies and his supporters love it.
We are now in a new age of Politics….Post-Fact.
“Facts” are now less important than an agenda.
For years all politicians have abused Statistics to the extent that nobody actually believes a word they say. It is not just Donald Trump. I dont believe a single “fact” spewed out by the LEAVE side in the EU Referendum Campaign but I will cheerfully vote LEAVE anyway. They tell bigger and better lies than the REMAIN campaign.
As you might expect, I am a big fan of Bernie Sanders.
As Hillary Clinton stands on a platform …wearing a $12,000 Armani jacket and talking about the concerns of struggling Americans, I detect bullshit. All that “for every little girl who dared to dream” is hypocritical nonsense.
Hillary is nothing more than a “machine Democrat” saying all the right things to get into the White House. With Bill Clinton as the “First Gentleman”. You have to laugh.
Hillary will of course play the History card. It is the only card she has.
The problem is that Barak Obama was authentic. Black people identified with him as authentic and aspirational.
In contrast, Hillary Clinton has no connexion to women …except Meryl Streep and the type of woman who wears a jacket costing $12,000.
Still …she is a Democrat and therefore better than Donald Trump. But she is lucky not to be facing a decent Republican like John Kasich or Jeb Bush.
Social Media and Fux News have gone after her…unfairly ….on Benghazi. But there is something uncomfortable about the “emails” affair but ultimately nothing criminal.
Genuine liberals and social democrats and opponents of the way campaigns are funded will hold their noses and vote for her. She is the best Democrat that money can buy.
But really this has been a depressing campaign. Sanders deserves credit for raising real issues and bringing a new agenda which will maybe come to the fore in 2020. Most Democrats will content themselves that Hillary will be 69years old when she takes the Oath of Office in January 2017. And the search for a more credible Democrat will begin immediately.
Best case scenario is that Clinton defeats Trump but only serves one term as President.
Lucretia Borgia or Benito Mussolini….most Americans will go with Lucretia.
Hilary Clinton played a very important part in the Peace Process which did a lot for many people in Ireland. I think it is not possible to overstate her contributions to the Peace Process.
It was because of the Clintons that Gerry Adams was able to visit America in 1995, which was very important. Recently Obama who you praise actually blocked Gerry Adams from entering the White House so I don’t think he is comparable to or as good as the Clintons as far as the Peace Process is concerned.
I am dismayed to learn that you plan to vote for Brexit. I think it is highly irresponsible and not good for our children. Moreover the EU too has been important in the Peace Process.
Yes it IS possible to overstate the Clintons role in the Peace Process. Thats what YOU are doing.
I praise Obamas dignity in face of the thinly disguised racism of his enemies. I praise his record on jobs and the economy.
But look at Guantanamo…a stain on USA conscience.
The success or otherwise of a US Presidency is not about how Gerry Adams is treated.
Do you know which of the two us candidates will attract the devout Catholic vote? Is either conservative on abortion?
Thats a broader question. And is probably as much about the Christian vote or even “people of faith”.
Neither Clinton or Trump are convincing Christians.
Undoubtedly ….specifically Catholics (Italians, Irish, Hispanics) have a historical connexion to the Democrats. But with the Democrats pushing (say) Womens Rights (and I make no comment beyond it being a fact) it certainly pushed many Catholics towards the Republicans.
Yet the connexion between Republicans and the southern evangelists and Republicans treatment of the poor has produced a reaction.
Whether devout Catholic or nominally Catholic it is hard to see Trump really getting the Hispanic vote.
It would be like Catholics here voting for DUP.
No…all voters have an agenda….but at the end of the day, Clinton will take New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California.
Part of me hopes Trump wins, America gets knocked and the good folk wake up to a right wing country that washes it’s hands of the poor, gun control and corporate greed. Have to laugh at Hilary’s peace process contribution. Is that what was missing? It needed Gerry an invite to the White house on Paddy’s day? Feck me, why didn’t he say in 69?
I see what youre saying about Trump. But i think Clinton is the lesser of two evils.
Four years of Trump is not a risk worth taking. I feel that Trump will implode before the Election and he might even deliberately implode.
This SHOULD be a wake up call to Americans. …there are issues regarding funding, influence, the primary system ….everything.
Best scenario for USA is a (flawed) Clinton presidency and a new slate of candidates in 2020. The Democratic elite who chose Clinton will get rid of her before 2020.
If FJH is voting Leave the old John Hume’s SDLP Europe of the Regions is dead in the water.
That the main pro-SDLP blogger (FJH) is voting directly against one of the SDLP’s most deeply felt positions is indeed significant.
No its not….I am a total nobody.
But surely you as the SDLP’s most prominent blogger, defying HQ on its most cherished policy, must be significant?
No. I am a minority of one.
Have you cleared this with the Party?
No of course I havent cleared it with the Party. I am not a member of Sinn Féin.
I think FHS is independent and free to take his own positions. It might lose him standing in the SDLP though.
What worries me is the loss of traditional values in the EU.
I have absolutely no standing in the SDLP.
F j h says he is not funded by the sdlp and he covers all costs himself so I think the sdlp can’t complain too much if he opposes policy. That said I don’t think he would want to cause trouble for them.
I dont want to cause trouble for SDLP and in the unlikely event that there is another SDLP person who intends to vote LEAVE, I would not join him/her to openly campaign for a LEAVE vote.
Nor would I stand.at Belfast City Hall handing out LEAVE leaflets.
On the other hand, Tony B Liar will be in Belfast today. Bliar the man who has caused so many deaths will be campaigning for a REMAIN vote. Shame on the people who give him credibility by attending this event.
To be clear, this BLOG is very successful. Much more than I ever thought. And probably more than I actually want. I have composed 1,496 posts since August 2011. It started out as a bit of fun but now it is a kinda “responsibility” and that can be a form of pressure.
I receive no funding but more importantly my PC has not worked since November and I type all this (with one finger) on an IPAD.
If the Blog has credibility, it needs to have a certain independence.
Well….I am hardly that influential.
But “Europe of the Regions” has been dead for twenty years.
Germany, France, Britain….are like California, Texas and NEw York……Greece, Luxemburg, Ireland are like Delaware, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
There is an argument to be made that this is or is not understandable/desirable….but no argument that it is a fact.
Some nations have more sovreignty than others.
Sorry for asking but do vote leave pay any of your costs and expenses. I have heard rumours that they help bloggers who take a leave position.
No. I havent even heard that.
Its tempting LOL but the Blog would lose all credibility.
I have always held the belief Trump was there to get Hilary elected and to deflect bad news from her campaign. He is a great friend of the Clintons after all. His bigoted utterances can’t all have been down to simply him being stupid? If he implodes then it will confirm my initial belief. All he has to do is tone down his views and he will be a serious challenger. We will see.
Btw Blair too ‘helped’ the peace process. That doesn’t mean I would like to give him more bloody power. The Clintons blew smoke up all our noses whilst whispering sweet nothings in our ear. They got involved primarily in the peace process to further their own interests I.e bill felt this would please the Irish American voters. Purely cynical. Ask yourself this, if there was a debate about irish unity today, do you think Hilary etc would urge a United ireland or would she take the old ‘that’s up to the people of Ireland’ line? Maybe she will do an Obama and urge against it just like he has done on brexit and Scot independence.
For any republican to buy into the genuineness of the Clintons shows how easy it was for the Brits,yanks etc to hoodwink the ‘smart’ people in the republican movement.
I think you are wrong about the Clintons. The Peace Process was something they felt was important. They worked very hard behind the scenes and Hilary Clinton has spoken about how important it was to her consistently on many occasions. To give just one example Bill Clinton telephoned David Trimble to persuade him to sign the deal that SF had negotiated. Bill Clinton always was a friend, inviting Gerry Adams to the US, recognising his importance, at a time when others did not treat him well.
I would find it hard to support Clinton as she takes some positions that are hard to combine with being catholic
I know some Democrats thunk Clinton has departed from the working class base and don’t care about them any more. Too interested in “meterotextual” issues and not in class interesta of poor people.
Clinton is a phoney. She is more at ease in a Hollywood gala fundraising for Hillary Clinton than she is in a factory in Chigago or doing her shopping in Target in Oklahoma.
You have a tendency to believe what people say.
I have often wondered if Trump is as crass and stupid as he appears. The whole idea of a campaign is to build a coalition behind a candidate. Yet Trump alienates…women, blacks, migrants etc.
He cant win by burning his bridges with every section of American life.
It matters not one iota who or what the Clintons rang or did to get Gerry Adams to the US. I would suggest the whole game was to get the IRA to stop. Partition wasn’t and isn’t a bother to the Clintons.
I will give you an example: Hilary made a big deal in indulging women in the north; urging them to have an impact in the peace process etc. She lamented about peace and put herself across as if she were just like all the other women here. And yet fast forward a few years later she showed none of her compassion when bombing the life out of Libya. In fact she laughed when she heard and seen Gadaffi’s murder. Is that the kind of person to take heed of when they talk of peace? Btw some in SF mightnt like the fact but Gadaffi was a better friend to them than Hilary or bill ever will be.
Hilary Clinton is a bigger fraud than Trump, at least he is honest in what he believes. If he wants to stop NATO expansion and condemns his own country for picking fights around the world then he even sounds better than Clinton. Some in the north may be dazzled by the razzmatazz of a US administration acknowledging them but in my opinion they need to wise up.
We are too easily dazzled by big names.
Whether its a “Royal” visit or the Millennium Falcon landing at Malin Head or Obama speaking at the Waterfront Hall two years ago and omitting to mention Mairead Corrigan as a Nobel Laureate (she was at the City Hall) protesting his visit.
We are dazzled by big names. John Major and Tony B Liar were in Derry today urging us to vote REMAIN.
Wasnt John Major Prime Minister at the time of Loughinisland in 1994?
Wasnt Tony B Liar a total and absolute fraud?