Summing up the state of America
Zero Hedge sums up both the “Super Tuesday” results and the broader political and policy situation in the US very well:
Negative interest rates. The war on cash. More quantitative easing. Monetary policy described as a “helicopter drop”. An avowed socialist running for President – and competing well. Another candidate under investigation by the FBI for mishandling classified information. A debate that featured a candidate begging for someone to attack him so he could get some air time. One candidate accusing another of stealing from the party and calling another a liar. The closed captioning for most of the debate reading “unintelligible yelling”. An accomplished, serious-minded governor getting drowned out by three buffoons competing to see who can get the biggest guffaws from a crowd that makes the audience at a professional wrestling match look reserved and intellectual.
It’s getting weird and the market is having a tough time figuring out what to take seriously, what to ignore, what to laugh nervously about and what to just laugh at. Are we really about to put up our very own American version of Silvio Berlusconi as the Presidential candidate of a formerly serious political party? Is the other party really having a competitive race with one candidate running on an overtly socialist agenda that is barely distinguishable from his opponent’s? Who doesn’t claim to be a socialist? Are central banks actually considering pushing interest rates more negative after getting basically no positive response from the initial push below the previously sacrosanct zero bound? Has the Federal Reserve actually told banks to prepare for negative interest rates here in the US right after raising rates for the first time in years? Are serious economists actually have a debate about whether it is a good idea to just print up cash and pass it out? Is that really monetary policy? Are governments really talking about banning actual currency, the very money created by that government? Money that depends, oh by the way, solely on people’s trust that the government will stand behind the money they are about to outlaw? Has everyone lost their freaking minds?
My sentiments to a tee. This is probably the most awful domestic political climate I’ve seen in my lifetime. I’ve can’t remember having such a horrible “choice” before. And for me, there really isn’t a choice given who is likely to win on either side.
Yes, there’s anger out there on both sides toward the political establishment. They took a great country and have run it into the ditch. Got it and agree with the anger. But what this is boiling down to is the white version of Obama and a crook that makes Nixon look like an altar boy in comparison. The voting public obviously wants some sort of political change but it also seems to be demanding change that will make a bad situation worse.
The pregnant question is “how did we get here?” The Republican party obviously got here by a fairly conventional route – promise them anything to get elected and then, basically, ignore them. The “them” being the GOP faithful. So how did Trump become the answer, unless you’re a low information voter who is content to let a more unstable version of the current resident of the White House call the shots? How can anyone spend anytime researching the guy and come away with a positive feeling about what he’d do if he were in the Oval Office? I’m sorry, but this bombastic political chameleon, who has duped and used people his whole life, will be as large if not a larger disaster than Obama has been.
And as for the crook on the other side, if anyone wants to firmly establish corruption at the highest levels of the country just to say we have a “woman president”, then you deserve to be horsewhipped. Machine politics will survive and become even more pervasive and controlling. Is this what everyone wants? The Democrats are sliding hard left. Sanders is popular because he too has a vast support group that is willfully (or not) ignorant and wants “free” stuff.
For goodness sake this is about what is best for the country, not some ideological check mark. Certainly a woman should be our chief executive at some time. But Clinton? As a whole, those who voted for Obama willfully ignored the glaring and obvious reasons not to elect him to make sure the race check mark was made. And what did it give us? The worst president in my lifetime. Now, it seems, the voting public is going to double down and make him the second worst president in my lifetime regardless of who wins in November.
“The main problem in any democracy is that crowd-pleasers are generally brainless swine who can go out on a stage & whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzy—then go back to the office & sell every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72
That’s where we’re headed. Those that want to see it “all burn down” may be in the middle of seeing just that.