With the first of three scheduled presidential debates (aka brawl) between President Donald Trump and his opponent, former vice-president Joe Biden, now history, the pundits will fall all over themselves to determine what it all means. Who won? Did either candidate deliver a fatal blow to the election chances of the other? Did Biden disprove the Trump-encouraged rumors about his senility? Did Trump manage to sway any undecided voters?
We will not dwell here on the fact that many other, highly-qualified candidates are running for president (this writer, a U.S. citizen who moved to Canada fifteen years ago, will vote for Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation for president).
No, with all the discussion about Trump and Biden, it is beneficial, this writer thinks, to consider what continues to happen in the world, that has lost the attention of the press, and therefore, the public. We will present a short, albeit incomplete, list.
- Millions of people in Yemen, many of them children, risk starvation due to the U.S.-supported Saudi Arabian assault on that nation.
- Palestinians still live under the harshest and most brutal conditions in the world, all financed and supported by the United States.
- The U.S. war against the people of Afghanistan continues in it’s nineteenth year. A large segment of the Afghan population now has never known anything but war.
- The people of Iran continue to struggle in many ways – economically and medically – against U.S. sanctions, imposed when the U.S., against the wishes of the other participants of the agreement and most of the world community, violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- The people of Venezuela struggle against sanctions, also imposed by the United States, because they had the temerity to re-elect a president displeasing to the U.S. Trump and his cohorts say that Nicholas Maduro is not the legitimate president, forgetting or ignoring the fact that Trump himself did not win the majority vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. His odious opponent in that election, Hillary Clinton, did.
- Migrant children continue to be caged at theS. – Mexico border.
- The U.S. continues to maintain the most cordial relations with some of the world’s major violators of human rights, including Israel and Saudi Arabia. This should not be surprising, since the U.S. itself made the list of ’10 Global Hotspots for Major Human Rights Violations in 2017’, and things have only worsened since then.
- As India heads towards genocide in Kashmir, the U.S. government, not wanting to annoy the Indian government, ignores it, as it ignores the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians.
- Black citizens – men, women and children – continue to die at the hands of white police officers at a rate higher than other citizens; the perpetrators are seldom, if ever, charged with a crime, and even more rarely convicted.
- People are dying in numbers greater than anywhere else in the world due to Covid-19.
- The S. economy is in shambles with retail bankruptcies and store closings at record highs.
- The U.S. education system lags behind many other nations.
- The people of Flint, Michigan must still purchase bottled drinking water, because what comes out of their taps isn’t fit to drink.
It is, perhaps, whimsical for this writer to hope that the public will concern itself with these issues, and ponder carefully the upcoming election. Yes, another Supreme Court appointment by Trump could turn back the U.S. clock to a time of very limited consumer protections, a further reduction of environmental regulations, and greater racial inequality (even worse than it is today), and a host of other hard-won victories. Black lives will not matter; international law will continue to be held in contempt (although that is business-as-usual for the U.S.), and U.S. warmongering and war-making will continue, with all the destruction and slaughter of innocent men, women and children that that always brings.
There are some people who believe a Biden presidency will usher in change. Has hell frozen over? He has a long record in government of ‘business as usual’, so looking for change from him and the Democratic Party is an exercise in futility.
Others praise Trump as an effective leader, one who has done much to help the people of the nation. This narrative deserves a prominent place with ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ and other fairy tales. It, like them, has no basis in reality and is simply a figment of the collective right-wing imagination.
The United States, from its earliest years, has a been a force for violence, destruction and death on the global stage. As its wealth and power have increased, so have its violent tendencies. It overthrows foreign governments, invades sovereign nations, issues crippling sanctions against governments and individuals that displease it, and threaten its allies if they don’t follow along.
The 2020 election will change none of this.
It is said that a sign of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Unless and until the public stops looking to the Democratic and Republican Parties for solutions to problems, leadership in troubled times and assistance in creating and maintaining a peaceful world, no election will alter the tragic and violent trajectory of the United States. The longer that recognition is delayed, the more people will suffer, in the U.S. and around the globe.
By Robert Fantina