This is a guest contribution for East&West by one of our American readers.
I have always been a man of the left. I have a solid working class background, so since I was young, going with the party of the people against the party of the rich was the only choice, a choice which I never really questioned. I may not have liked some extremes of the liberal ideology, I actually would tend to say that I am more of a pro-life person, but, hey, I still preferred Democrats to Republicans by a long long shot. The alternative was simply worse in so many ways, and the greed of the financial elite and the neocon establishment came to represent almost the root of human evil for me.
I know the Democrats are not really a left wing party, I actually lived for a couple of years in France in the 1990s and so I know what Socialism looks like. I would have supported Bernie, but for some reason I knew that he did not stand a chance against Hillary. The DNC leaks seemed to have proven this. Even his own party bureaucracy went against Bernie, while they should have been super partes, in theory: how can you possibly trust these people? Yes, Bernie could have brought about a revolution, but it was clearly a revolution that was never meant to be.
I never thought the world would ever see the day when I would vote Republican. But again, many “experts” dismissed the candidature of Donald Trump right from the beginning and they were all proven wrong. But I listened to the man. That’s what democracy is supposed to be about after all. If you know from the start what choice you are going to make, how can you be sure it is the right choice? What would be the purpose of all this political circus? I know Donald Trump is not the perfect candidate, but he is certainly not the worst candidate ever, like Bernie put it when he pledged his unshaken support to Hillary. I do not want to build walls (why would we need to build a wall, if there is one already?), but I certainly want to Make America Great Again. And for all his character flaws, I believe Trump has been treated unfairly by the media. Even the much respected economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman called Trump a “Manchurian Candidate”. I certainly did not expect this from a serious scholar like Krugman, I imagined a serious scholar would be above these petty political quarrels (I actually found later that “the Manchurian Candidate” quip seems to be a Krugman’s favorite and it looks like he repeats it at every election cycle).
I don’t think I could have voted for any other Republican. I would certainly not have voted for Bush brother, the memories of the eight years of neocon administration that brought us into Iraq and plunged us into the Great Recession are still too painful. The main problem is that the Democratic Party seems to have abdicated from its core value of representing the working people. It is nominally supporting some not clearly defined “middle class” (I am middle class, probably, and I guess you too). But I have failed to see how this support has been materialized over the last twenty five years, since Clinton husband was elected. America has got richer and more powerful, but the people like you and me, the average people, are struggling. Some say it is all because of Reaganomics back in the 1980s. I don’t know, I think twenty five years is a long time and if mistakes were made then, they could have been repaired. I see people struggling living from paycheck to paycheck but at the same time I see an electorate making decisions on cardinal issues which frankly I find of very little importance. Clinton, the supposed “left-wing” candidate is backed by Wall Street. Trump, the billionaire, reinvented himself as a populist. I admit, yes, it can be a bit confusing. I have always been a convinced internationalist but I have slowly realized that the interests of the global elite seem to fundamentally differ from the interests of the working people in developed nations.
Moreover, the Democratic party seems to have enjoyed working with the military industrial complex just as much as the neocons did. I don’t see how this is going to change under a Clinton wife presidency. It is not that I don’t care about what happens in the world. But if we don’t care about America first, we will not be in the position to care about ourselves anymore, much less about the globalist plans. We could, we should lead the world by example, not by exporting democracy and overthrowing governments we don’t like. Trump is on spot there and that’s why I side with him. And apparently, there are many people like me out there. America really needs a fix, and Clinton will not bring us any chance. Trump will.