What do you want to be when your grow up?
The Democratic party of 2016 has failed. It lost the confidence of the working class. The best analysis I’ve read so far, and I know it’s early, comes from this Huffington Post article. If we don’t figure a way out of this problem, the country is in for a very bleak future of war, hatred, xenophobia and recriminations.
From this article I learned what the number one middle-class job is in 29 states. Can you guess what it is? I wouldn’t have been able to.
I am convinced that life in general and politics in particular are like chaos theory. Anything you can think of is possible. That is scary to believe, but I know it to be true.
There have been two world wars, but not one for six decades. That’s because of the invention of nuclear weapons, something so terrifying that even despots have declined to use them. We did came close in 1962. But we have had smaller wars of course and the results have been poor to awful. Korea at least saved the South but Vietnam was a complete failure. The second Iraq war was also. Even Afghanistan became a continuing black hole for blood and treasure despite attaining the goal of killing Osama bin Laden. Why do we keep doing this?
Some people think that JFK would have withdrawn from Vietnam, but we will never know. He did start the thing by sending 16,000 combat troops there. George H. W. Bush showed restraint in the first Iraq war, only to see his son decline to do so thereafter, disastrously. President Obama, to his credit, has actually reduced our involvement in war. He withdrew from Iraq and reduced involvement in Afghanistan to a mostly-advisory role.
History proves that the temptation to use military force is almost irresistible. I think it is so because war-fighting is the one option available to a president which shows decisiveness and gets quick action. Very satisfying at first. Everything else creates controversy and rebuttal. The danger is made even greater by the refusal of every Congress for six decades to uphold its obligation to declare war before engaging.
In view of this history, we should all reflect in this context, I submit, whether we want to elect an amateur or a professional, experienced politician as commander in chief. Especially since the amateur has zero experience in both government and military service. Zero. Could Donald Trump actually win the presidency? The polls say he very well could. Even more persuasively, one professional observer gives five reasons why he probably will win.
While visiting another blog, the topic of the legal right of states to secede arose. I was prompted to visit a number of articles on it, including the one in Wikipedia which I think is remarkably good and comprehensive of the others. What surprises me is the legal controversy of the matter. A good case can be made, I think, for either side but it is the precedent of the Civil War that towers above all other arguments, including those about what the founders really thought and what the Articles of Confederation implied. Such matters can turn either way on the opinions of 8 or 9 mere mortals, thus pointing to a prime importance of the upcoming election.
On this Independence Day I find myself musing about what history might have looked like had the South successfully seceded or if Lincoln had lost the nomination or the election? Either could have easily happened through faddish public sentiment. Would either nation have participated in the Spanish-American war or World War I? Would Hawaii have even become a state? Would the South have also declared war after Pearl Harbor? Perhaps the Japanese might not have attacked at all, a divided America being less of a threat to its ambitions. (My concern for how easily events can overtake mere arguable law were heightened by having just finished season 4 of House of Cards.)
Would Europe now be part of the Third Reich? I think it not only possible, but likely. WW II was a close thing and it all hung on a knife edge on June 6, 1944, even with the combined strength of a United American military.