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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Where else could you find a bigger line of schmucks ?

What can you say about the Republican party's candidates that can not be better described by "Schmucks" ?
There's a story I've been following recently which has so far left me gasping in disbelief at every turn: The USA Presidential race.

What can you say about either of the Republican party's 2012 presidential candidates that can not be better described by the word "Schmuck" ? I can almost swear election candidates in Lebanon tend to better understand policy and make more sense during debates.. and that's not a compliment !

What it will essentially come down to in the end is a choice between an incumbent president who was elected on a platform of change and hope, awarded the Nobel peace prize, yet ended up disappointing his country and the world on most of his promises, and the republican candidate: one of many hopeless schmucks.. It makes you wonder, where do they find these people ? Are there really no other candidates more fit for the position that is the "leader of the free world" ?

Then I start to think about the way politics work in Lebanon, and I see the same patterns: Fear mongering, candidates with very little understanding of policy, bipartisan fights that serve no other purpose than to put one's party in power, filibustering, hardly anything gets done by the government.. I'm not sure whether to smile at the fact that our politics seem to work similarly to those of "the most powerful nation on earth", or be depressed at the thought that that same nation's politics seem to have "third world country" written all over it.

When did we start thinking it's alright to elect the lesser of two evils instead of the best man for the job ?

I wonder if we ask people from around the world if they are satisfied with their elected officials and the work those representatives have been doing, how many would answer positively.. If the opinions of my friends are any indication, world politics in general is in trouble. You'd think with all this democracy we'd manage to get the right people into office..

And then I think about the kind of people I would gladly vote for, how unlikely it would be for them to run for office, and how politics would probably change them if they did, and I realize that perhaps there is wisdom in the old saying:

"There is something fundamentally wrong with anyone who wants to do politics for a living"

In all seriousness, I don't blame the politicians. They might be terrible at what they do, but they are elected officials, and we owe that to the lowest common denominator approach of democracy. It's the same concept that brought you a string of mindless Hollywood blockbusters, the Kardashians, and the lesson on how to fasten your seat belt every time you get on an airplane.

So do I think democracy works ? Up to a certain point, yes. Otherwise.. look around and judge for yourself !



Recommended Media:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (available online every day)

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comments

December 1, 2011 at 9:28 AM Sareen

I've been having the same dilemma over the past few months as well while I was watching the American presidential race. I mean, America has a lot of brilliant minds and this, THIS, is the best they can do in the Republican party? A guy with a sexual harassment suit, a person who doesn't know the 3 branches of government whose funds he'd want to cut (name anything for God's sake), and ... well don't get me started on Bachmann.

But on the other hand, you know what they say. "People in glass houses..", right? Prime example includes the amazing debacle we watched between those two politicians that literally kicked each other's asses on live television. Both politicians has PhD degrees, mind you, and they were at each other's throats. I mean...is it just me, or are politics turning into one big reality show, where each contestant wants to act like a drama queen to get more air time?

December 1, 2011 at 4:46 PM Louis Karim

What does it matter who makes it as president? It won't change anything. not for the US, not for the rest of the world. It has nothing to do with how competent a man is. It has to do with the limitations that even a president must face, as imposed by the system. And this is a system that is here to stay. Even the best man for the job can do little to change things, because to do so, he must face all those who do not benefit from the world changing. And sure enough these people don't want change because the current balance makes them powerful. And people with power make all the decisions.

Not that this system is all bad, or that if it were to go away, it would be replaced by a better one...

And yes. Democracy is fundamentally flawed. To me, the idea that you take into consideration the opinion of someone who turns on the news once a year, is easily affected by a carefully constructed speech, barely knows what's going on, and does little more than whine and rant all the time, in order to determine who governs, is simply ridiculous. And let's face it, I just described 90% of the population worldwide, not just in the US.

Anyway, nice article :)

December 5, 2011 at 3:31 PM Reflectioneering

For better or for worse, systems survive leaders... and schmucks.

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