A Letter To My American Friends…

I have something to admit.

I’ve failed you.

In the past I’ve consciously not talked about: politics, religion, or world events; on my blog or anywhere else for that matter.  I rationalized this choice in a few ways: I did not want to exclude any of my audience, and I felt unqualified to comment (I am, first and foremost an artist, so who the fuck am I to talk about this stuff anyway?)

But I’ve realized that really, deep down I was just afraid.  I had fear about putting what I really think and feel out into the world.  So I kept quiet.  And I was wrong to.

I was wrong because the first and last responsibility of the artist is: to tell the truth and be unafraid and in this I failed.

But failure is not an endpoint – as long as you pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes and course correct.  This post is me doing just that.

Here are my thoughts about the American Election.

And be warned:

I do not hold back.

The 2016 American Election:

You could argue that there are no good candidates in this election.  And I would not disagree with you.  The two main players are, after all, the two most unpopular candidates in the history of American politics.  That said, one is indisputably qualified to serve in the office of President, whilst the other is a rampaging whore-beast egomaniac who lives under a golf course.

Leaving Hillary’s problems aside for a second, one of the biggest problems when discussing ‘The Donald’ is that, like Voldemort, he gains more power every time you say his name.  You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  It is this kind of dark magic media manipulation that has allowed a politically unqualified reality TV host (who apparently pays no taxes) to come within a literal stone’s throw of The White House.

So after the smoke clears on Nov 8th, if nothing else, we can probably all agree that Trump’s ‘campaign’ will have exposed some serious flaws in the mechanics of the American political system.  Not least of which is that we seem to care more about the entertainment factor of a statement than whether it is: relevant, ethical, or even true.  (A recent study shows that Trump averages one falsehood every 3 – 4 minutes of public speech.  Yet he is still in the running.  And still has the support and trust of his voters.  Which is either completely insane, or one of the best magic tricks ever.)

I can see why you may be saying to yourself: ‘There are no good candidates so what’s the point?  Or: The system seems broken, maybe a vote for Trump will change the system itself.’ Or: my vote doesn’t matter.  All points of view which are both: completely understandable, and very, very dangerous.

First, despite what you may have heard, the system is not broken.  Don’t get me wrong, it is far from optimal and could definitely use an upgrade, but there are some good things about it as it stands today.  Burning things down may sound great in theory; a clarion call to action, as galvanising and sweeping as it is romantically appealing, but in reality it is the height of lazy thinking; a stark avoidance of the real work which is: to start from where you are, and try with all your intelligence, might, and willpower, to actually make things better.  (And besides, only a Sith deals in absolutes…)

Second, supporting Trump will not change the system one iota.  If Trump is elected he will be piloting exactly the same ship of state every President has before him.  The only differences being that he will be doing it without a licence, drunk on ego and sniffing like a beaver; whilst siphoning off as much petrol as he can for himself and redlining your engine into the ground.

And third, much as you may want to, you cannot abdicate responsibility.  There may be no ideal candidates, but a decision not to vote is still a decision and, when things are this close, that particular decision may well visit your least-desired outcome on you and yours for the next four years (or until the apocalypse.  Whichever comes first.)

You face a choice.  It is an ugly choice, but it is the one that is in front of you.  And in the interests of being absolutely candid, I will tell you what I would do in your situation.

I would vote for Hillary.

I would not like it.  I would not do it gladly.  But it is what I would do.  Because on Nov 8th 2016 one of these two people will be President, and I passionately want that person to be ANYONE BUT TRUMP.  Here’s why:

Trump is (among many other things) a fear-mongering exclusionist.   And although those two qualities can at first be lost in the rumbling quagmire of his many other undesirable traits, I honestly think that they could result in real lasting damage in our world at large.

I believe very strongly in Inclusion.  Which means I believe in doing the hard work to find the common ground on which disparate peoples and cultures can come together for the greater good.  If there is any true victory in our democracy, diplomacy, and politics as it stands today, then I believe it is to be found in the moments when it facilitates this kind of unity.

Spreading more fear and hatred is the opposite of that.  Doing anything you can for attention and ratings to glorify yourself irrespective of the damage and hurt you cause others is the opposite of that.  Excluding and dividing people against one another for your own gain is the opposite of that.

We can either build bridges to walk across together, or walls to cower behind alone.

Do I think Trump is evil?  No.  I think he is a human being honestly doing what he thinks is best, but operating from a wildly skewed, egocentric, and fundamentally ignorant viewpoint.  (Which probably means he shouldn’t be left in charge of anything more complex than a set of watercolors, let alone: a barely recovered economy, countless fragile international relationships, and a substantial nuclear arsenal.)

Theodore Roosevelt said: ‘Do what you can, with what you have, from where you are.’  Never has this sentiment been more apt than it will be on November 8th.  If you are American, know that your vote is truly important.  The fact that you use it is important.  And the fact that you vote for #AnyoneButTrump is important; not just for you, but also for the rest of the world.

If you are not already registered to vote, you can do that here.

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  1. I couldn’t vote for either. They are both completely self-serving, ego-maniacs who don’t care one iota for the common man. Clinton is simply pure evil… as a person, she disgusts me – she has a wicked track of what she does to those who cross her, or disagree with her; and her personal tastes include supporting rapists in law courts and indulging as regular practice, certain dark arts – I’m not going into it here. Trump – despite his huge ego, at least is not evil – but yes, he is also, highly problematic. I don’t like either person as a human being. Its a no-win contest as far as I’m concerned. I won’t say anything further. I’d just give a donkey vote as neither are worth my intelligence or, heart. Politics always divides – only music and the arts will develop empathy in the brain – neither candidate has this quality.

    1. I hear you completely. I think that there are a lot of people who are feeling this way.
      You are right about music and the arts (of course) – I will try and finish this record, so I can put some of that out into the world πŸ˜‰
      Have a good day – really nice to hear from you,
      – J

    2. And Trump is not pure evil?? He has carried out an anti-establishment campaign to achieve the power. He is lying all the time, especially to the white working class, his main source of voters. If Trump wins this election, he will have to obey the rules. In the end the two candidates are puppets of the same establishment. The question is which nuances should American voters prefer, Trump’s or Clinton’s? Who looks more competent in politics? Who could do an inch more to fight social inequality? Clinton. The lesser of the two evils.

  2. Boom! Compelling words from someone outside the United States – that view “from a further off perspective” is truly an enlightened one. Thanks for putting this out there and for counting us open enough to receive this. With that said, is there room in Scotland if Trump is elected? πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks so much, really glad you like it.
      There is absolutely room in Scotland. I hope you wont need it πŸ˜‰
      Have a good one, feel free to stay in touch about this, I am genuinely curious (and concerned) to see how it plays out.
      More power to you,
      – J

  3. James, I admire your courage to reveal your thoughts on the forthcoming election. Even if you were on the other side, I would still admire your courage, but in this case I totally agree with your views. If DT were to have power, it conceivably could become dangerous to reveal one’s views. (Maybe it is so even now.) For the good of our society, we have powers to exercise, namely power of the ballot, and not insignificant, power of the mind. Cheers

    1. Thankyo very much for this. I really appreciate you taking the time to write. I think we’re totally on the same page here.
      Thanks for the kudos, more power to you,
      Have a good one,
      – J

  4. Indeed, Americans need to wake up. The US Election 2016 is a sign of an underlying malaise, as you so rightly suggested. My own verse in ‘Atlantic’ in my Reflections series comment on that (though these were published long before the current campaign began in 2015. As writers we must speak out, as I have done, and as you have too. Robert De Niro used Trump’s own words to turn them against him; he’s a dog, a mutt, a pig, a con. Anyway, this disgraziato has given me plenty of material.

    1. If nothing else, I think the fact that this has given us much to discuss is indeed true.
      It continues to fascinate me. I will be watching the outcome with great interest (and a little trepidation, I am sure.)
      Thanks for reaching out – I really value this kind of discourse.
      It’s good to connect with you, and I wish you well.
      – J

      1. The world waits. Never more in my living lifetime has any overseas election been so important. I follow the French elections too as I have lived there, but Americans are swayed by la langue de l’haine then we are doomed. Britain is doomed now that we (not me, I voted Remain) are now regressing to 1936 -when the Daily Mail said ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’- I and many other writers (broke and peripatetic), members of the precariat, will not be seeing the future in anything but a fearful light. Dystopia, alas, will be – and is currently much of- our writing material. As I said in one of my Austerity verses, (#5) to be posed in my blog here, The British just don’t get angry. La Rue hasn’t the power as it does in France. But as writers we must get the message out there. Marchons, marchons!

        1. I agree very much about the import of this democratic process.
          I am not sure that Britain is doomed, I too voted to Remain, but where there is life there is hope! πŸ˜‰
          Lastly, I agree that we must work to get the message out there. I feel that many writers labour in relative ignorance of the fact that the written word can substantially impact culture. I believe this to be a responsibility from which we should not shirk.
          Thankyou for this. It is good to hear from you.
          Be well,
          – J

  5. Hello James!
    Glad to know that there’s still at least one US Citizen which has kept sane! πŸ™‚
    As the European I am, I’m very concerned about these elections. The next US President won’t be MY president, but it will have a very strong word to say about what happens in OUR world, and to imagine that person to be Mr. Trump… It’s really scary. And yes, unfortunately I think that none of your candidates is a really good candidate, but only one has the ‘drivers licence’ to get this bus home, that’s Hilary! πŸ˜›
    Please be wise on November 8th.

    1. Thankyou very much for this. I agree with everything you said – apart from the fact that I am American πŸ˜‰
      I actually live in Scotland. Edinburgh to be exact, but I have many stateside friends who I will be pulling for on the 8th.
      Thanks for stopping by, may the force be with you,
      – J

  6. Well said, James! I am both embarrassed, disturbed (and, to be honest, sickened) and now frightened by the phenomenon which is he-who-shall-not-be-named. This is a brilliant post. Thank you. And as an American, I’m sorry. On so many levels.

      1. Of course I will vote. But then I always do. And, I am sorry for a number of reasons. Including the fact that there are so many people who feel so abandoned and not represented by the more traditional (sane) politicians that they would consider Trump a voice to speak for them. The gap between have and have not in the US is getting worse and worse. Maybe in other parts of the world too? I was a supporter of Bernie Sanders, and I think he was much more a voice for the people.

        1. I am glad. Voting is important.
          You are not alone. We in the UK recently experienced something similar with the BREXIT vote, which left many people feeling betrayed and misrepresented.
          To be honest, this was one of the main reasons I began speaking publicly about this election. If nothing else, I believe it has engaged a vast swathe of people in the political process. Which is a good thing.
          Feeling abandoned is never good. If you ever need to chat, I am here.
          Be well, take heart,
          – J

          1. Yes, I read and heard about your BREXIT and thought it sounded like a similar situation. Good for you for speaking out – and so eloquently. I wonder how you feel about Theresa May? Thanks so much, James. Take care. -M

  7. I’ve heard this term alot: just pick the lesser of two evils. I hate the term “the lesser of two evils” because I feel like it is so manipulative and subjective. Evil is evil and the question is really quite simple. (The world is simpler than we think.) It all comes down to right and wrong and good and evil. One choice is to go the past, a time when bad blood ran deep and poisoned the rivers of truth and dignity and alternately, if you have a powerful voice, use your voice and influence to lift up the human race, don’t crap on it (we create enough of our own problems all by ourselves). So many people in the world never have a chance to have a voice. We need a leader that we can look to and say with clear hearts: I’m proud to call you my fellow American because you uphold the beliefs and goodness that are quite alive in America (you won’t hear much about the goodness because good doesn’t sell) but I see it every day of my life. Unfortunately, ego-miniacism is running wild in the American election this time around. I have been told I can’t complain, if I don’t vote. But I can complain, because the laws and rules of this beautiful country, one to which my immigrant relatives migrated (and quite legally I must say from France and Ireland), and that the people have voted into the Land are being ignored and stomped on at every turn. Most people that I speak to from all parties, faiths and beliefs are quite fed up! A revolution is coming, but its not the kind one would think. Its a revolution of the heart (LIFE is a journey of the heart that requires the mind – not the other way around). America’s spiritual forebears urged us to bring BOTH heart & mind together – if we are to continue to stand for the uniqueness that America is – we must cling to the truth for dear life. I am so sick of political candidates who lie and lie and then turn around and ask for my loyalty. With that in mind, the decision of who or how to vote should be as gentle as the summer breeze. All the best to you. Hugs, Kat.

    1. Hey there Kat,
      Thanks for this – I am really loving getting different perspectives on this and you obviously have a very strong point of view. So, do you know what you’ll be doing on Nov 8th? I get the impression from your comment that you are going to abstain from the vote, is this right?
      You are right of course, ideally we would have political candidates we could genuinely believe in, but the question is: what do we do when this is not the case? I find it to be an interesting question and am curious to see what you think of it.
      Hope you are having the best day, be well,
      – J

      1. Hi, James. Thank you for reading my comment and as always you are very thoughtful and kind. I think what you are asking me or pondering about is this: (pleasae let me know if I am wrong) if the choice were simply narrowed down to who would a person vote for if both are equally disliked (as the polls do indicate but not the media since they have chosen one side over the other from the beginning which they have done since I can remember), if that is truly what it boils down to: then I would have to say the only possible choice is the candidate who is in favor of what the people voted for and shed blood for and were hunted down for in the first place, which is of course the the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the laws of the land that are already in place but not respected or inforced by those that have been in power. In other words, we don’t need new laws, we just need the ones we have to be upheld. THIS is what the silent majority is upset about and why we have this situation before us to begin with and Donald Trumps, and Hilary Clintons emerge through the cracks to become a choice (and of course all their money does help). If the majority of the people’s voice and laws were being honored (remembering America is a democratic society, not socialist, not communist, not marxist) then we would have two honorable candidates running that we could viably consider. So, all that being said, I would have to vote, if I vote, for whomever is willing to uphold the Constitution and laws of the land. I hope that has helped and it certainly has helped me to go through and think more clearly what it really does come down to. Thank you for your awesome thoughts and hope your day rocks. Hugs, Kat.

        1. My day has been very cool, Thankyou.
          And Thankyou also for writing back with such an interesting comment. It is really hard to accurately judge what is going on in America purely from the media that we get here. This post has allowed me to gain a tremendous amount of insight from good people such as yourself, who are ‘on the ground’ so to speak.
          If nothing else, I think this election has provoked a great deal of discussion around the political and the current election process, which cannot be a bad thing.
          Please do stay in touch about this, I’d love to get your views as the cycle unfolds. And thanks again.
          Hope your day was awesome too, big hug,
          – J

          1. Thanks, James. I hope I helped some. I know it isn’t as easy as abc or 123’s but it is easy in considering what America is and stands for and unfortunately is not being voiced in the current elections. I can only imagine the viciousness that the media has portrayed some Americans and the elections here to be and as absolute truth and beyond reproach and quite honestly, I try not to get involved in any of that (it it so disengenuous and heartbreaking and not in anyone’s control). I do know when a person chooses to be an American citizen, they have to take a Plege of allegiance to America, so simplistic and yet so beautiful in its true meaning. The American Election process, as it was meant to be, is a time when we are all equal (as it should always be) the same as when we go to vote, it also means one vote per man or woman. To truly understand what it means to be an American, and to vote in an American election in the Republic, is to understand the Pledge of the allegiance to America. I thought it would be a positive and uplifting way to add some perspective to the American Electoral Process and have posted it for your perusal. I know alot of my international family wasn’t aware of this Pledge (although I feel you probably are as I find you quite learned and knowledgeable in all things – and I truly mean that with much admiration.)

            The Pledge of the allegiance: I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

            Every citizen and thus every voter has taken this Pledge. I get goosebumbs just saying the words and in schools, the students recite the Pledge in the morning.
            Again, I hope I have helped a little in understanding why some Americans feel so strongly in some things and why we take all of the issues, good or bad, into account when deciding who will represent and speak for the people. It is a very serious process. BUT, the absolute good news: if we somehow screw it all up as humans often tend to do, the term for a President is four years and good or bad, every one’s term does end. In other words, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, no matter what side you are on, no matter how bad you think who wins is, or it gets.
            It was how our forefathers meant it to be and I think it was a beautiful, insightful thing.
            All the best to you, and thank you for having an open mind to listen to all sides and opinions. Not always found but most needed. All the best. Humbly your friend, Kat.

            1. This gives a really great insight. And you are right, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
              If the vote goes to Trump tho, let’s hope that light isn’t a flamethrower or the glow of a nuclear winter πŸ˜‰
              I love speaking with you, have a good one,
              – J

              1. I sincerely doubt it! Although some would say we’ve already had a flame or two and most certainly we’ve had many deaths, and in places where I believe the people dying have already had their nucleur winter (Syria and Bengazi in particular), and so many Americans are suffering and failing. It all rests in what angle you are looking at the current sitation from, a Kalaiediscope or an hourglass. Running on a failed government policy isn’t a good idea and requires a separation from the current state of affairs. It could help one candidate in particular with the undecideds like me, who will determine the fate of the election. Warm regards and all the best, Kat.

                  1. Hey there, James. Sorry it took so long to respond, I have been working to complete my submission letters for my new Young Adult thriller. Super excited about it too!
                    My thoughts on second debate…well, from someone who is hurting out here in the real world – way too much personal stuff (entire first twenty minutes – dumb, dumb and dumber). We need to focus on what two-thirds of Americans insist is the number one concern and need – a change in the economic conditions in this country. If it doesn’t change soon, we will all be moving to Scotland (she says tongue in cheek.) Seriously, though, one-third of men looking for work cannot find a job or even “work for pay,” households are back to pre-1948 levels of income and unsustainability (meaning we are not able to pay our bills one month to the next and robbing Peter to pay Paul), GDP is dead, we have over 20 trillion in debt (more than all the other years America has existed all added together). Two-thirds of Americans believe their government (whom they hire and pay with tax dollars) has failed them, and education costs have inflated over 1,000% (my college bill is huge, insane interest – and that whole promise to reduce college debt – it was just a lie), no jobs after gradutation ( the percentage of high school graduates has fallen dramatically.) We are in DIRE STRAITS, a person cannot even start their own business because of all the red tape and pre-approvals you must obtain before you can get a license (I know, I tried to start one several years ago and still trying to get the paperwork looked at – it makes me sick). People do not want a politician, they want someone who can turn the country around economically, lower debt, lower taxes (we have the highest in the world), create jobs and give families SCHOOL CHOICE, away from the crappy educational system. And that is just domestic issues. Don’t even get me started on foreign issues. So, yes, I’m fed up with all the personal crap being thrown back and forth and dug up in this election(on both sides) – I don’t care about twenty years or ten years ago, unless you killed someone naturally. Yes, of course, the past is important, but seriously, if we don’t fix the present economic conditions or begin to make a positive move away from the current failed policies, then the America you know will be changing even more dramatically – and it will create a ripple effect economically unheard of around the world. Americans are the most generous and charitable beings in the world (we will literally give you the shirt off our backs and have) but you can only bleed the turnip for so long, then there will no longer be help for international countries, like Dafar, where it is needed so badly. So, there is a huge decision to make: Keep the American values we have and get our balance sheet back in order OR completely change to another type of country. James, hope you have room for a friend if it happens. I think Scotland is absolutely beautiful (she says smiling warmly).
                    James, just so you know, last time around, I voted for Obama over Clinton. She was scary then, and she is even more scarier now!! Her ideas are whack! It won’t work for the American people – economically, educationally or judically (she supported the laws to lock up more minority Amecians than ever in the history of America (it was her husband’s own laws – and its disgusting!) People forget these things.

                    Thoughts on the next and final debate: they have one more chance to get it right for the American people. I want the policies and issues of the country addressed and cut all the personal nonsense(it doesn’t pay the bills and stop the bloodshed) and yes, I have voiced my opinion – LOUDLY!

                    As always, all the best, your friend, Kat

                    1. Thankyou so much for this. Totally fascinating.
                      I may live-tweet the third debate – really interested to see how it goes.
                      The whole race seems to be devolving into a mud-slinging contest. Is it usually like this? It seems to me that this one is really different.
                      I love your insight, speak soon,
                      – J

                    2. There used to exist boundaries, politeness, some amount of mutual respect and decency but you have two liars and two narcissists running and its NO HOLDS BARRED. The 2016 American Election is most definitely the most disgusting and ugliest election I have ever witnessed in my lifetime (I have always voted since 18 years of age). It shows how much everyone involved is willing to sink in order to either keep control and power and money or gain control and power and money, which was why an outsider to the corrupt political process was so very, very appealing to begin with. Americans voters feel they are the ones getting totally screwed, not the other way around. We are about three weeks away and we still don’t know where they stand on detailed issues and policies, just more personal crap. It will probably end up with both sides sueing each other. Right?
                      All the best and love talking with you. Your friend, Kat.

  8. Your entry, as always, is thoughtful. For myself, this past year presented to the American people the kind of opportunity that you might see in an old Frank Capra film: the chance to truly revitalize our country, put the focus squarely back on Main Street and empower those not entrenched in corporate greed. Bernie Sanders has the experience, charisma and heartfelt message to galvanize a nation. And he did. When the nomination was stolen from him, I think many Americans experience what I did: a profound disillusionment with the power structures in the US. The people (independents and some Republicans as well as Democrats – whose voices could not be heard in the primaries) had spoken -and been systematically silenced.

    1. Thanks a lot for reading this, and for taking the time to comment.
      It does seem like a very tough situation. I think a lot of people are feeling the same as you. It seems that, for some at least, Trump is being viewed almost as a protest vote against a system that they feel is not representative. It is not an easy one.
      Like I said in the post, I would vote for Hillary – but it would more be a vote for ‘not Trump’, then I would think about getting involved and trying to actually change stuff up in the 4 year breathing space.
      That is my 2 cents πŸ˜‰
      Please feel free to stay in touch as this whole thing progresses, I’d love to hear your perspective on it all,
      Take strength, take care, see you,
      – J

  9. Wow. It’s like you reached into my head and heart and oh so eloquently said what I have been thinking for the past two years. Thank you. We live in a very unpredictable time where people have forgotten their history and it may very well repeat itself…think World War 2, Hitler. Again…thank you for this blog. If you’ve influenced even one voter to reconsider or vote for the opposition you have accomplished an amazing feat. Well done!

    1. You are so much more than welcome. Thankyou for this.
      It is a potentially crazy time, isn’t it? I have hope tho, you guys will come thru, I am sure of it.
      Thanks again for reaching out, have a good one,
      – J

  10. I so enjoyed reading your article after a friend of mine tortured me with his Anyone-But-Hillary tirade. My feeling on Trump is this: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  11. James,
    Thank you for your thoughtful post. I hope it will be widely read. It has been fascinating to read the views of many people outside the U.S. who express the same fear many of us Americans feel about the possibility of Trump becoming presidentβ€”and the danger he poses not just to the United States, but the world. I continue to shake my head in amazement that we have gotten to this pointβ€”elevating a narcissistic, possibly sociopathic or psychopathic bully to this position. He represents the worst of human potential, yet millions of people are idolizing him and giving him a pass on criminal, unethical, misogynist, and bigoted behaviors and beliefs. Hillary Clinton is not a particularly likeable person, but she is well-intentioned and highly qualified … and she is widely respected internationally. While it’s ideal if we can like our president, it’s more important that we can respect and trust her, and believe that she has our country’s (and the world’s) best interests as her priority. I believe that Hillary Clinton does and that’s why I’m with her. Thanks again for opening this dialogue internationally. I hope on November 8 we don’t let the world down.

    1. This is really great to hear. The best thing by far about this post has been the people I have connected with because of it.
      It is very good to hear that you feel the same way as I do.
      I will be watching on Nov 8th with a lot of hope. Feel free to stay in touch as this whole thing unfolds, and
      Have a good night,
      – J

  12. It was really great chatting with you yesterday over your post. I would actually love to know what you are reading right now? I’m always searching for new books to devour. Just curious what is on your list right now. πŸ™‚

    Cheers, C

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. I feel the same.
      Right now I am reading ‘A guide to the good life – the ancient art of stoic joy’ by William Irvine. Which is a pretty beautiful and useful book πŸ˜‰
      How about you?
      Have a good one,
      – J

      1. That sounds like an intriguing read. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to check that one out. I’m actually reading a novel currently that a friend recommended, to revive my imagination a bit. – The Shadow and the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon I’m really enjoying it so far. A little escape for a moment. πŸ™‚
        Have a great day!

  13. Thanks for your thoughts. I’m an American who is terrified of what will become of international relations if Trump should win the election. It’s interesting to hear what those outside of the U.S. have to say, as well. Hillary Clinton is exponentially more equipped for the job of President than “the Donald.” My heart tells me that she will win, but I’ve been surprised in the past. Americans tend to behave as though our nation exists in a vacuum. I live only 100 miles from the Canadian border, and my family has had serious “what if” discussions if Trump should win. Our Sorel boots and walking sticks are ready! πŸ™‚

    1. Sounds like a plan to me πŸ˜‰
      Part of the reason I wrote this was because I felt the same way about the UK ‘Brexit’ vote (I.e. That we would stay in the EU). The result to leave surprised me (and not in a good way). I did not speak out about it then, so I decided not to stay silent this time.
      I have hope tho, and will trust your heart πŸ˜‰
      Thanks for writing to me, be well,
      – J

  14. Well said. I am not from the US, actually I am from Germany and currently living in Latvia and am quite terrified about the situation in the US…
    We always had a bunch of parties and candidates in Germany and could actually decide for one concept of politics… Even though some of them were unpopular and I didn’t like them, it was never as bad as it seems in the US currently.
    Bernie Sanders was my favorite. As he’s gone I’d possibly choose Mrs. Clinton but her political views are so screwed up…
    I don’t like anything of this and wish you the best of luck for the upcoming election!

    1. Hey thanks a lot for this – I feel that we share quite a few of the same concerns πŸ˜‰
      The way you describe the political system in your country sounds ideal.
      Hope your night goes well, thanks again for writing,
      – J

      1. Germany has issues with many things but our political system is close to ideal. We have about ten parties to choose from, currently the two major one are leading the government.
        There are emerging right wing movements (in case you want to have a closer look : AfD – Alternative for Germany) but in case they are going to participate in government it is because we as a people choose to.
        Thanks. Same for you.

  15. Hello James, I was a Trump supporter at the very beginning of his campaign simply because he was a political outsider. I envisioned a candidate that had no ties to special interest groups or big business and could get things done outside the usual “good ole boy” system. A bit idealistic, perhaps naive but I, like many, am tired of the same old government bullshit. Over the course of this campaign I have seen the truth that Donald Trump just doesn’t know how to comport himself in the political realm and has become (or always was) a fear monger and a bully. However, Hillary Clinton is no bargain either. Although she has a lifelong job in politics I don’t feel this automatically makes her qualified to be president. It kind of saddens me though that while everyone is focusing on Trump and his flaws and exposing every misstep, Clinton seems to be getting a pass on all her faults, lies and dirty deals. Even at the first debate she wasn’t really pressed on recent scandals. It seems almost a foregone conclusion that she will be elected but I’d at least like the same level of scrutiny and exposure on her that Trump is getting. In my opinion the average American like me who is not rich, can’t afford the “affordable” health care premiums and struggles to live making $11 an hour is fucked regardless of who wins.

    1. This is a sad state of affairs indeed.
      First, thankyou for your honesty. I think the more people who share openly and publicly as you have done, the better.
      I think many folks saw Trump this way in the beginning, and some have become disillusioned as the campaigns have progressed, while others have dug in. The fact that Clinton is qualified is, you are right, a very scant reason to vote for her but, as pretty much everyone agrees that this is essentially a binary choice, what else can you do?
      I feel for you, I really do. Tough choices are not pleasant. I have faith tho, and hope also. I think y’all will rise to the challenge. πŸ˜‰
      Take heart my friend, and be well. All the best to you and yours,
      – J

    2. I see it a little differently. After 11 Benghazi investigations with televised coverage, 11 hours of questions (also televised) and the GOP long-time hate of all things Clinton I don’t need to know more about “recent scandals”. The Clinton Foundation in audited statements by outside auditors found that 89% of their funds go directly to those in need – that is unheard of and none of the Clinton’s get a salary from The Foundation – so let the experts continue to investigate because it seems like the same old song – IF it has to do with the Clinton’s it has to be evil. I used to think probably yeah but then I counted up all the investigations from Travelgate to E-mails and I realized not one found any evidence of criminal behavior and with the GOP running the investigations all they ever found was Bill lied under oath about sex…and Newt and gang would have sworn the same thing and they were all having affairs so it only makes a difference IF it is a Clinton and/or Democrat. So I prefer to concentrate on WHAT the candidates say, their plans and how the experts rate them. That proved to be impossible in Trump’s case. All he ever says is “trust me”. Well Donald I don’t trust you so lay out your plan or any plan that doesn’t benefit you and your family. Repeal Obamacare? Fine but don’t tell me “you’ll love it, it will be beautiful”. That and a buck gets me a coffee at McD. Now it might be all hot air from HRC but she has extensive, intensive plans boringly explained to the nth degree. Like them or not she has plans that “could” benefit the country. Not all would pass but at least some will benefit ME and the rest of the middle-class. Thank you for your comment. I hear people say never HRC, I’ll vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. Well that’s selfish because you know deep in your heart they cannot win so that means Trump COULD win and if you think well, no harm, no foul…people didn’t want to vote Gore for many of the same reasons and most of the reasons were the fault of the media who didn’t like him and thought W was a guy they’d like to have a beer with. Some Dems voted third party and we got a race that Pappy Bush’s appointed Supreme Court handed to W. How did that work out for us? I doubt HRC runs again in 2020 but if she does but hasn’t accomplished anything THEN look to vote her out – I trust her not to break the world in 4 years. Trump? Maybe we’ll be around 6 months before he begins a war…maybe.

      1. There was some heavy irony in that ‘…W was a guy they’d like to have a beer with’ comment. W was supposed to be on the wagon, clean and sober, so was this a comment that they want W to go back to drinking? Was it a comment that they believed he was still drinking, but lying about it? Either way, picking the prez based on whether you would like to have a beer with him was a pretty lame choice parameter, probably worse than throwing darts at a checkerboard and picking W if the dart stuck in red or Gore if black and adding the whole ‘have a drink with the guy who chose to quit drinking’ thing just adds a layer of weirdness and possible inhumanity.
        It seems that this upcoming choice is getting similar levels of thought from a lot of the main stream media. They have given Trump hundreds of hours of free air time to push his “views” or fear mongering ill-disguised as views, they have given Clinton free air time whenever they think she can be politically damaged by it (‘Look! She’s coughing! Air it!’ … ‘She’s got no charges against her on the email story? Push the line that she got to the prosecutors!’ Like that.) Some station officers have admitted that Trump is a money maker for them because of the outrageous things he says and does so they push him rather than report with justifiable outrage. And that is for network “news” outlets.
        I am afraid of what could happen after the election. In the area I live in there is talk of revolution and of an increase in gun sales in preparation for the outcome, whatever it is.

        1. First, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. What you say is fascinating to me.
          Revolution? Really? Wow. That is more than intense.
          You are right, it is strange to see things things thru the prism of a media system that has ‘if it bleeds it leads’ as it’s credo.
          Feel free to stay in touch over the cycle – I’d love to hear your perspective as this whole thing unfolds,
          Take strength, Take care, Be well,
          See you,
          – J

          1. Talk is just talk, but, yes, there is such talk around here. We live in a very rightwing area, so much so that many election races feature a Republican as the candidate farthest to the left. It is a bit nerve wracking to realize how hostile so many of our neighbors are to our current government.
            I am having difficulties knowing how to balance getting/staying informed with keeping from grinding my teeth down to nothing. We hope to do early voting but still will not be able to put it aside, as we are in a swing state, so there are constant calls for polls, constant ads for both sides. Keeping in touch might help us distress, in fact, so I’ll do that as much as I can.
            By the way, it would be “its” not “It’s”.

  16. My views mirror yours very closely! In past elections, I largely remained silent about my opinions, because I felt very unqualified and unknowledgeable when it came to discussions of politics. Fortunately, I think I know more about politics than Donald Trump! Also, while nobody is perfect, my impression of Hilary Clinton is that she is very invested in the purpose of the office for which she is running – that if representing the best interests of the American people and serving the greater good in general. Trump is interested only in serving his own good. I pity him. He is narrow-minded, afraid, cruel, ignorant, and xenophobic. Like other megalomaniacs before him (e.g., Hitler, Stalin) he uses scapegoating tactics to prey upon the fears of vulnerable and impressionable people who are too eager to unite around common “enemies.” I am also shocked that he managed to get this far in the campaign process, which only demonstrates the narrow-mindedness and ignorance of my fellow voters. One of my co-workers pointed out that many people still are not bothering to educate themselves about the candidates and are allowing “one issue” to determine their vote, such as gun control or abortion. For my part, I am pro-life, but the reason that I am pro-life is because I see abortion as a sin against the common, shared dignity of all human beings, and I believe life begins at conception. Guess what. Donald Trump has no respect for human dignity at ANY stage of life. I’m voting for Hilary Clinton.

    Thank you for you well thought, well constructed, and very respectful reflection on this issue. I will definitely be sharing this with others, because you have managed to capture the core reasons that should sway a person’s vote on Election Day. Thanks!

    1. Hi there,
      Thankyou very much in return for reading the piece, and taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment.
      The most interesting thing, by far about publishing this post has been the correspondence I’ve been able to have with people ‘on the ground’ in America. It is truly valuable to me to hear the different viewpoints of folk who are actually involved.
      Unfortunately I haven’t been able to coax many Trump supporters out into the light for public debate (but I’m working on it πŸ˜‰
      Thanks again for your time, feel free to stay in touch as this progresses, I’d be very interested in your thoughts,
      Have a good one,
      – J

  17. Agree with you, James. Sadly enough, I think Hillary Clinton is the lesser of the two evils. For me Bernie Sanders was the real candidate. I am glad that, at least, a few of Bernie’s ideas, unfortunately only just a few, have been included in Hillary’s program. By the way, I am not a North American, but from Catalonia and live near Barcelona. However, I have recently been to the US visiting my friends and discussing this issue.

    1. Well, thankyou very much for reading the blog and for taking the time to comment.
      I know that a lot of people supported Bernie, I don’t know a great deal about him, but from what I know he seems like he would have been a good choice. It is great to hear from people who have any knowledge or direct experience about this at all, such as yourself. Thanks for taking the time to write – I appreciate it greatly.
      Have a good one, and feel free to stay in touch,
      – J

  18. Hi! Agree wholeheartedly. Abraham Lincoln also said ‘whatever you are, be a good one’ and they/we are all citizens with a say in the world we live in. We Scots have all made several votes in the last few years that, in my case, made me far more political than I ever was. It feels wrong to not do some hard thinking and then stand up and be counted, quite literally. And some old friends go quite quiet on you when you do. Perhaps they prefer the unchallenging dumbed-down version of friendship without challenging world politics! So agree, in this current madness and greed filled world I KNOW there are other reasonable, peace-loving souls and it is very important these days to be prepared to speak. Like you just did. With you πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸΏπŸ™πŸΏπŸ™πŸ½πŸ™

    1. That is great to hear. I love this Lincoln quote and may well steal it πŸ˜‰
      And, I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said here.
      Thankyou very, very much. Feel free to stay in touch, and
      Have a great day you,
      – J

  19. I could not agree more with you. I am Canandian and so grateful I don’t have to make the decision my neighbors to the south have to make in November. I will admit to being slightly terrified at the prospect of Trump being president and the ramifications that will surely follow. It boggles my mind that so many educated people can’t see how sexists,racist, elitist and homophobic Trump is.

    1. I know, right? That is partly what I was trying to work out with the post.
      I keep trying to coax Trump supporters into public debate about it, but they don’t seem to want to (probably shy πŸ˜‰
      The prospect of Trump becoming President makes me nervous also.
      Thanks for writing to me, feel free to stay in touch, I feel that the next few weeks are going to be crazy times.
      Be well, and have a great day you,
      – J

  20. James, I am endlessly grateful you’ve chosen to speak out on this topic. I must admit that I too have been silent on my own blog around the subject of the election – but I comfort myself in knowing that I have spoken out many times on Twitter and Tumblr against the evil tangerine monkey who has far too high of a chance of becoming our president.

    You and I cannot vote. But we can make a difference in ways just as potent and powerful. It is enough.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I wish you the best of luck with this beautiful t-shirt campaign. And: let us all hope and pray that this November, those who can make the right choice. I’m with her, all the way.

    (Also I must add: “only a Sith deals in absolutes”… I thought I could not admire you any more, dear friend, but after reading this sentence I have been proven wrong yet again. πŸ˜‰ )

    1. First, you made me laugh out loud with this. A lot.
      Yes, I really didn’t know if I wanted to write about it. But the Brexit vote (when I chose to stay quiet, and regretted doing so) convinced me otherwise.
      I really love hearing from you and have a great deal of affection for you and your writings. Thanks for all the good wishes, I believe it’s my turn to mail, so I will do so.
      You really made me smile. Big hug,
      – J x

  21. It is always interesting for me to read about how those outside of the U.S. view my country, our politics, and our elections. I am a fiscally conservative yet socially liberal female voter. I despise both candidates and am considering the independent parties very carefully. None seem very qualified. Never before has the phrase, “lesser of two evils” been more true for me. It is depressing to know that these two candidates were the best we could do.

    1. I cannot state how much I sympathise with you. This cannot be an easy choice.
      I know what you mean about the independent parties. In an ideal world, were I voting, that is where I would look to.
      Unfortunately, as Michelle Obama said the other day, you guys are faced with a binary choice in which, a vote for someone other, or an abstain could well be a vote for Trump, who I believe is by far the worst option.
      I am sorry that you have to make the choice for the rest of us, but I have faith that you guys will come through,
      Big hug, and best wishes, feel free to stay in touch thru the cycle, and let me know if I can do anything to help,
      – J

    2. I really believe that part of the problem is the length of the campaign for this office. By the time of the election it will have ben going on for over a year. If you were qualified to run for the office would you subject yourself to it?
      There are other issues, of course, but the length of the campaign, the amount of money that must be spent to mount a campaign and the amount of scrutiny and vitriol that candidates are subjected to has to be crushing and I suspect it drives many potential excellent candidates out of the race before it begins.

      1. I think you have some very valid points here. The system definitely seems to be crying out for an upgrade.
        You may be right.
        There is always hope for the future, take heart! πŸ˜‰
        Speak soon,
        – J

        1. I do have some hope in the smaller electoral races, the cities, counties, states and ballot measures. The bigger races are awash in money and propaganda but the smaller races are a bit less … nuts, I guess.
          Thanks for the kind words and especially thanks for posting in the first place. I also appreciate your individual replies.
          M Davis

          1. Hey you’re welcome. I find what you are saying really interesting and, to be honest, it is kind of amazing to me to be able to get so many real, individual perspectives. So I guess I should be thanking you! πŸ˜‰
            Courage indeed,
            – J

  22. Well said.

    I watch the events of my country and our world playing out right now with equal parts fear and hope and it is always enlightening to me to hear the honest thoughts and views of those from the outside looking in. Different perspectives are good things to consider, in my opinion.

    I watch our world from a place of blessing and freedom and I am immeasurably grateful to have been born at this time and in this place. But I am also deeply aware of the responsibility I have that comes with that blessing. I remember when I was younger I could not wait until I turned 18 and was able to vote. I grew up in a family that strongly encouraged us to play our part, to be respectful to and during the process, to stay sharp, to pay attention, to listen carefully to the words and actions of all parties, to seek wisdom and practice great discernment in our choices. Since my 18th birthday, I have never not voted in a presidential election and have had very little difficulty in working out which candidate would get my vote each election.

    But I’ll be honest, I have had great difficulty making my choice for this election. As November grows closer and the lies and mudslinging and campaigning grow thicker, I grow more and more weary. I can’t even turn on the news anymore. Sadly, there is no good choice in my opinion this go around. I agree with so much of what you said. But, even though I have not yet found clarity on which candidate is best in my opinion, I will vote and I am resolved to seek and pray daily for discernment and wisdom on that one little vote I will cast.

    Apologies for my rambling. But, all of that is to simply say … thank you. Thank you for sharing your brave and honest words. They are words to consider thoughtfully.

    Peace to you.

    1. You are more than welcome my friend. I truly sympathize with your plight and wish you the very best of it.
      The fact that you proactively choose to use your vote is, I believe, a laudable and great action. It is the expression of a true citizen and I truly applaud you for it.
      I agree with you that there is no good choice – I think that is probably what is making so hard for so many at the moment. I am sorry that it has wearied you so.
      From a further off perspective, Trump really seems to stand out as the absolute worst choice. He seems to have an incredibly poor temperament and, it may be a small thing, but the fact that he is proud of not reading, is a big red flag to me, considering that a large part of the President’s job seems to be the parsing of vast quantities of written information. I honestly fear for your economy, jobs, and international standing should he be elected. And that is my five cents πŸ˜‰
      Thankyou so much for writing to me, it really means a lot and it is so valuable to me to get perspectives from good people like yourself who are ‘on the ground’ so to speak. I wish you the best with it, and feel free to stay in touch and let me know if I can do anything for you,
      Be well my friend,
      – J

      1. Thank you for your five cents. πŸ˜‰ i cannot disagree on your points. You mentioned reading and that point alone makes me cringe to think about. I cannot imagine an existence without books. Without digging in deep. Without examination of myself and the world around me. I pray daily for an awakening of thought. Open eyes and real conversations. Tweets and Facebook rants and sound bites seem to be as far as so many go. I am grateful when I find the thinkers and readers in life. They give me hope. πŸ™‚
        Thank you again for sharing your thoughts , friend. One brave voice at a time is how we change the world.

        1. One voice at a time indeed.
          I know what you mean about reading. To some, this will seem like a small point, but for me it’s huge.
          Once voice at a time. Together, we are strong and can change things, no matter how solid they seem.
          I hope you are well, I am enjoying speaking with you,
          – J

          1. I used to be so afraid of using my voice. I kept quiet for years. But I have realized in recent years how important our stories are. How vital each voice really is … to change. Especially when those voices are for the good. πŸ™‚ it takes courage from each of us to not only speak, but to really listen to one another so that positive change can happen. I agree with you on reading. It isn’t a small point at all. Reading is so vital to life, to growth. I’m actually spending my day today curled up with a book. πŸ™‚ I am enjoying speaking with you as well. Hope your day is finding you well, too.

  23. “Fear mongering exclusionist”… yeah, what you said. =)

    I like that you state what you did, then asked for some engagement, and the other party deliberately misquoted you… I distinctly remember you writing that you would not do so gladly, but would vote for Clinton. =)

    It is not about freedom, greatness, politics, or any real values. Anyone with half a brain knows that we are a completely different country than when Adams was around, and therefore need a constitution that will grow with our changing country as well as world. Just because one does not care for globalization does not mean that it isn’t real, or a better solution than the “I’ve got mine so fuck you” mentality.

    I have been spending every free hour on campus registering people to vote because while I believe inherently int he freedom of choice, I cannot vote for a candidate who objectifies women, hates anyone not white, and has declared bankruptcy dozens of times, not paid taxes in forever, and admitted to wanting to screw his daughter… just… hellz no.

    So I thank you from the bottom of my decidedly embarrassed American heart for the shout out, and chance to express my opinion. HEY, how about James for President? =) =)

    Have a great night, and thanks for opening a dialog, one hopes it gets people to think of why they believe in what they do… =)

    ps- count me in on the Mexico thing… =)

    1. I love this. And I love the fact that you have been registering people to vote – that is truly good work, and I applaud you for it. It is a great thing to be able to express ourselves in this way. And I cannot say I disagree with anything you’ve said about Trump here.
      It is really great to hear from people such as yourself, who are in the thick of it, and seem to have a clear headed perception of what is actually happening. Many of the people who have been writing to me seem confused about their choices. We must do the best we can to fight the good fight together πŸ˜‰
      If you have a mind to, please stay in touch about this. I’d really love to know how things are going, from your perspective.
      Have a great day, and stay strong, I still have hope πŸ˜‰
      – J x

  24. As a Naturalized citizen originally from the UK many, many years ago, I have always taken the opportunity to vote, one of the perks that being a citizen brings with it. This time around, it is even more important that each and every one of us does just that and my vote will be for Hillary Clinton.
    Sure she has her faults as do we all. Its just that the Republican controlled Congress has made it a point to blacken her name at every opportunity as have the Press. What is frustrating to me is that the Press seems to totally ignore most if not all of the alleged wrongdoings that so many people have uncovered, about Trump just as though none of it has happened.
    Many American people are looking for their version of a savior and Trump for them, seems to fit the bill. Nothing and I mean nothing, that he says or does will convince them otherwise. Its as though they cannot believe that their man, their chosen one is capable of lies and untruths and it doesn’t matter what he says or does, they are not going to change.
    To try to reason with them is pointless as generally any discussion turns argumentative and is generally accompanied by name calling and veiled threats. They have very little substantive to say without getting belligerent
    I truly fear for this country if, heaven forbid, Trump does win this election. That is why it is important to get out and vote. Oh yes, don’t waste the votes on the other two parties as that is just what those votes are, wasted.
    Whats the weather like in England now. I might seriously consider moving back,,,

    1. The weather is very good, in Scotland at least πŸ˜‰
      Thanks for taking the time to write to me. I am feeling really lucky to be able to connect with so many people who are in the thick of it.
      What you say about how people are viewing Trump is absolutely fascinating to me. I have been trying to coax Trump supporters into a public debate but, so far at least, they seem to prefer messaging me in private.
      The only thing we have different views on is, I don’t think it’s pointless to debate Trump supporters. I believe that there is the possibility of change, even if the person themselves sticks to their views, others looking on my be swayed. Otherwise we are on exactly the same page.
      Thanks again for writing to me, please feel free to stay in touch, I’d love to hear what’s happening from your point to view.
      Have a great day,
      – J

  25. I loved reading this blog – not just for your insights but because you give a damn and understand that what happens in the US has a huge impact on the world. Possibly the only thing I’d question is your statement … “I felt unqualified to comment (I am, first and foremost an artist, so who the fuck am I to talk about this stuff anyway?)” … I think many artists are not only adequately qualified BUT CAN make a VALID CONTRIBUTION and use their gifts/talents not just for sharing their passion and creativity but for helping to contribute towards social change. That’s why I’ve directed a lot of my art towards environmental issues – a topic that should certainly be foremost in people’s minds as they approach this election.

    1. I really love this. Thankyou very much for writing to me, Deborah Moss.
      I honestly believe this. I think that America has a very big influence (huge! huge influence! tremendous! best in the world! everyone says so!) πŸ˜‰
      I think that this is the reason that I am so focused on your election, and also why I decided to speak up about it. It seems too important not to.
      I really liked your site – pretty cool stuff. Feel free to stay in touch over the cycle, I’d be very interested in your thoughts as this thing progresses. And, tho you didn’t say explicitly, I imagine that, as Trump is a climate-change denier (is that how you spell that word?) you are not a fan?
      Big hug, have a great day,
      – J

      1. Hi James … sorry only just saw this … had a well-needed holiday recently. It’s “denyer” which looks strange I know! Ummm… let’s just say I like your # a lot & I’ve found the only thing that brings some relief to this whole debacle is Alec Baldwin’s BRILLIANT portrayal of DT on SNL. Have a great day! Dx

        1. Hey there, no apology needed, holidays are the best thing sometimes. Really glad you liked it.
          Relief is needed, it is so needed – get it where you can πŸ˜‰
          Have a great day you, be well,
          – J

  26. Interesting post. While I do not agree with your reasoning it was still a good read. I can always appreciate a good debate!
    I don’t personally find either candidate fit for presidency, but I would sooner choose Trump over Clinton if those were my only two required choices. I believe most Americans forget about the fact that 43 states allow write-ins on the general election ballot. I realize how difficult it might be to organize enough people to participate in the write-in to actually make any difference, and I certainly believe that is why most people choose to forget that option (as well as all of the third party options provided, such as Gary Johnson), but it is still a choice worth considering.
    As far as Trump telling “1 lie every 3-4 minutes”…Hillary is most certainly on that same scale. I would even wager to say she has a higher lies per minute rate.
    The main reason Clinton is more dangerous for our country than Trump (in my opinion, of course) is the fact that she is bought and paid for by George Soros (among other financial magnates). Soros has been a main financial contributor to the Clinton regime for many years and has long since been pulling Hillary’s strings. He is a dangerous mogul in that his plan for the United States is to divide and conquer it’s people so that he may break down state sovereignty in order to force us onto the path of globalization. If you weren’t already aware of this (being a citizen of the U.K.), Soros is credited to be “the man who broke the Bank of England”. He fancies himself a madman and has publicly stated on many occasions to believe that he is some sort of God and that the normal rules do not apply to him.
    If you understand anything about the current state of politics, which I’m sure you do, you must know that the faces we see in all of these political positions are VERY rarely the ones making the actual decisions. It is the ones who pay their salaries that make the decisions for them; they are simply used as conduits for a much larger and more severe plan.
    No matter what happens in this next election, I fear for our country…I don’t think I’m alone when I say that there needs to be (and probably will be, if things continue in the way they are now) some kind of revolution.
    Thanks for allowing a healthy political discussion. πŸ˜‰ Cheers!

    1. Hey there,
      First, thankyou so very much for writing to me. I really appreciate the fact that you disagree with me, and that you are still open to debate. I love this in fact, and believe that it is the way forward. Your reasoning against Clinton is very interesting and, as you anticipated, I have to say that I know nothing about this specific guy. There is an acknowledgement that one of the big things against Clinton is her ‘favors for special interests’ but this has been presented with a general view, with few specifics.
      As far as the falsehood study goes, I believe it was done fairly recently, analysing over 100 hours of Trump’s speeches, which showed pretty consistent falsehoods (the one every 3 minutes and 15 seconds). This was born out in the debate where Trump was shown to have outright lied 34 times in the 90 minutes, whereas Clinton’s total was 4 falsehoods in the 90 minute debate. Of course, you could argue that maybe some lies are more consequential, but those at least, are the facts.
      I agree very strongly with your point about corporate interests. This definitely seems like something that needs to change in the political system before we can move forward.
      Do you really think that it will come to revolution? Or was that you being flippant?
      Either way, please feel free to stay in touch over this election cycle, I would be very interested to hear your views as this whole thing continues to unfold.
      Thanks for writing again, have a great day,
      – J

      1. I absolutely think some sort of revolution is on its way. Not necessarily on a grand scale, but changes are certainly coming. I have recently reached out and began to talk to so many Americans across the county, from a wide variety of backgrounds and social situations, and what I am so excited to see is that their eyes are WIDE open to what’s happening in our country right now. What happens in this upcoming election will have an enormous impact on not only our nation but the rest of the world as well. And people are finally choosing to be aware of this fact rather than simply close their eyes to it and live in the ignorant bliss that has so long plagued this country. I have fear for what may come, but I am also very hopeful. Now that our generation is finally grown up enough to start understanding the world and how it all fits together, it seems they are much more willing to contribute in a way that is helpful for our future. These are my hopes at least.
        I’m curious, do you happen to know the source of the falsehood study?

  27. Blunt yet eloquent tell-it-like-it-is blog post, James. I have also kept my politics to myself, but I am an American, and the creeping gloom of the election is truly depressing (the clinical kind). The impending shit-storm that a you-know-who win would release is unthinkable, yet we must think about it for several more weeks. Think I’ll go write a story about unicorns and fairies.

    1. Sounds good to me πŸ˜‰
      I was pretty much in the same camp, but after the Brexit vote in the UK (in which I did not speak out) I had to.
      Thanks for reading it, and for taking the time to comment. I haven’t had any Trump voters comment yet – but I know they are out there πŸ˜‰
      Have a great night,
      – j

  28. Your reason for who you will vote for appears based on your perception of the people, the candidates, not who and what America is really about, freedom. We can either like or dislike candidates as people but if you cherish freedom, freedom to choose your own healthcare, freedom to start your own business without the government telling you what to do, freedom of religion, freedom, then decisions should be made on those basis. Clinton has lived off taxpayers for over 30 years and complains about the same issues from 30 years ago. Trump has made his own way. Paid his own way using laws for his benefits. Neither were my choice but if I vote for freedom, it has to be Trump.

    1. So you are a Trump voter? That is very interesting to me.
      You seem to be saying that you are going to vote for Trump because he represents greater freedom. Is this correct?
      Do you have any misgivings about him? For me, the fact that a lot of what he says is demonstrably false (1 lie every 3-4 minutes) raises a bunch of red flags. How can you trust someone to deliver what you need when they do not tell the truth?
      I ask with all respect. I am genuinely interested in what you think and hope you will engage with me on this.
      Have a good night, be well,
      – J

      1. You say, how can you trust someone to deliver what I need when they do not tell the truth?
        Married? Did you ever lie to your girl or wife? And Clinton said our ambassador and 3 Americans died over a video & put an innocent man in jail because he made the video, and you trust her?
        No, I will not engage with you over politics. Sounds like you condemn Trump but not Clinton. I am looking at the Supreme Court, freedom and how Clinton supports globalism. Globalism is not American. Actually, for years globalists steal from prosperous nations to give to their picks. Clinton Foundation & global initiative supports globalism. I support God, freedom and America. And no, I never said I was a Trump supporter, you assume that by my comments.

        1. I apologise if I offended you – that was not my intention, I am simply interested in your viewpoint.
          I generally do my best to tell the truth to everybody, especially my loved ones.
          As I said, I think both candidates are far from ideal, but it seems pretty clear that one at least is qualified and has the experience needed to hold office. I respect your point of view completely. I say that you support God, Freedom, and America, but what does that actually mean? And hos does that translate to the Nov 8th election?
          I hope you are well, as I said, no offence intended.
          – J

          1. America was set up with a bunch of farmers with pitch forks. No one had “experience” to be president. Just like as a musician, no one has experience to perform in front of thousands, but we learn just as George Washington, John Adams, Abe Lincoln did not have “experience”. But they had something greater, a genuine love and trust in God. In 2004 the Democrats stated God was not welcome and it was broadcast on TV at their convention. Me, I choose God. I wish you well.

            1. So, you think that anyone who believes in God will make a great President?
              Isn’t Hillary a methodist christian?
              As a professional musician, I put in my 10’000 hours of practice before I ever set foot on stage. I think watching someone who had never played music before ‘learn on the job’ would be painful for everybody concerned.
              I am finding this conversation to be very interesting, I hope you are too.
              Have a good one,
              – J

  29. You were brave enough to step out there in a way I wish I had the nerve to do. I agree with everything you said. Well done and very much needed to be said!

  30. Foraging into the tricky waters of politics! Yikes!
    Well despite being told that politics and religion should not be discussed publicly I do disagree and am glad to see your viewpoint, if we had more discussion, nationally and worldwide we would have more involvement which is so lacking in a world of looking at our smart phones.

    I can agree with all that you have said but I must add as a US citizen, that there are some other feelings coursing through the people – The US citizens are at wits end with the lack of representation they see at the federal level; all of the elected officials are looked at as being on the take, and in my opinion rightly so. So Hillary because of the background she has (which does make her the right candidate) is looked as part of the establishment that cannot solve the problems it has created. In addition there are some that will never admit that they loath seeing an african president and want that party to never be heard from again because of the african president. Racial bigotry and hatred is quite real in many old blue bloods if you will.

    So Trump is a possible fresh tack. Until he is elected and you see Cheney, Rove and Rumsfield laughing their way in the back door and brining more empire building wars that continue to bankrupt the country. (Does anybody read history books anymore?)

    The US needs serious grass roots political work, to counter the billions that back the corporate interests that pretend to be Dem or Repub but really are just the party of money. The size and diversity of the 50 states however, makes it ripe for divide and conquer behind a lying media machine.
    Thank you again for voicing your thoughts – we all are making a difference, in this world and in the spiritual one.

    1. I know, right? It’s definitely a departure.
      First, thanks for taking the time to read, and then to write to me. For someone who lives in the UK it is really fascinating from people who are in the thick of it, so to speak.
      I understand how frustrating the lack of perceived representation at the federal level must be to some.
      But if there is a point of yours that I agree with most, it has to be your comment about history. I agree wholeheartedly that if there was a greater spread of historical knowledge across society, people would see how similar situations have been throughout time.
      You are welcome for the article, well done for doing the real work on the ground. Believe it or not, the world is looking to you guys to make things right. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for Nov 8th.
      Thanks again for writing – I’d love to keep in touch so if you feel like updating me now and then, I would welcome it.
      Be well,
      – J

  31. There’s an aspect of the American political trajectory that is perhaps worth highlighting to those outside the country, because it is developing steam in other places.

    Fundamentally, government is concerned with negotiating the rules the control the distribution of power in a society. For all of human history, it has been either at odds with or coopted by the concept of “private property,” which most often is allocated arbitrarily from the commons, and held by force even when mismanagement of resources leads to preventable social suffering.

    What has happened in America is that, since the ’80s, the conservative branch of our political system has adopted an extremist view of this conflict supported by the economic proposition that the only legitimate means for redistributing power is the free market. That actual markets, with their privileged knowledge and contractual Arcanum, are by no means “free” in the theoretical sense has not impeded the propagation of policies, laws and political planks that uphold this principle as the foremost goal of all governmental action.

    They are blind to the contradictions of their program: the use of government to supplant government with the free market. Karl Rove, conservative talk radio, the Koch brothers and Grover Norquist are the political terrorists driving the implementation of this program. The consequence is that conservative candidates for president have become progressively less qualified to run the government. Their understanding of government has become atrophied because they actually question its legitimacy.

    Trump is simply the inevitable consequence of this divorce from reality.

    1. Hey there,
      First, thankyou very much for both reading, and for taking the time to add your thoughts, I am very grateful for both.
      This is an interesting direction to take. I am not sure that I fully agree with the trajectory and conclusion you have drawn here, but it is certainly something to think about. I hope this finds you well, and that you guys will rise to the challenge on the 8th.
      Have a great night,
      – J

  32. I am so glad you spoke up. Your reasoning and arguments about Trump are strong and true. Unfortunately for us Americans, that appears to mean little. I have watched and participated in this election process, and one thing I can tell you with certainty: Trump supporters cannot be reasoned with!

    It’s as if they suffer from some particulary debilitating form of psychosis, which also happens to be virulent as hell, spreading rampantly through our country! If you try to engage them on the issues, they simply cannot comprehend, caught up as they are in their delusions and lies. And facts, actual proven data (like Trump’s lies, failures as a businessman, criminal and immoral behaviors, etc.), do not even register in their consciousness. They live in a completely made up reality, and will not be shaken from it!

    Having said that, I have to laugh at your choice to donate to suicide prevention causes. If I were to disagree with you at all, it might be on this point alone. Rather than suicide prevention, I’d like to see you donate to pro-euthanasia groups; then, perhaps, there would be some cause for hope for those of us who cannot comprehend even the possibility of Trump becoming President…

    1. You made me laugh, and I still can’t tell if this is wrong πŸ˜‰
      Thanks for the encouragement – it means a lot to me. Approximately the same thing happened in the UK 3 months ago with the Brexit vote, which was one of the reasons I decided to speak up about this. The ‘Leave’ vote won by 51.9% of the vote. Which sucked.
      It is really great to hear from people like yourself who are on the ground. Many of my friends from the US are saying the same thing about the Trump supporter base. Believe it or not, the world is looking to you guys to make this right πŸ˜‰ I still have hope, and am sure you will rise to the occasion on the 8th.
      Thanks for taking the time to respond – it means a lot to me. Have a great night,
      – J
      P.S. The other charity I looked at was ‘Reading is Fundamental’ as Trump is quite candid about the fact that he doesn’t read, but I thought this one would probably be more in need right now.

  33. Thank you for speaking up! I agree with your analysis, especially the idea to work from where we are and together. Where I disagree (minor) is that Trump would screw up even watercolors! And Hillary is far better than the media portrays her. I am a naturalized American (originally from Canada) … my dad was Scottish. Cheers.

    1. The libertarian candidate – Gary Johnson is on the ballot. You should check him out. As a republican, I hang my head at the ridiculousness my party has allowed to represent us. I needed to find another solution. Johnson isn’t perfect, but he isn’t them. Willing to admit his mistakes and ready do whatever he can to help, I have to believe that his ego isn’t leading the way like the other two. #NotTrumpNotHillary

      1. I have looked at Johnson, I like a lot of the things he stands for, but can’t get past the ‘Aleppo’ or the ‘park bench tongue incident’.
        You are right that neither candidate is perfect, my concern is, as I said in the post, that a vote for a 3rd party candidate may well be the same as a vote for Trump, which would not be good.

        1. That is my fear as well. However I live in a Hillary state and while I hear daily people talking about Johnson, I know the state will go to Hillary.

          That being said, the 3-4 negative clips that I have also watched with great frustration of Johnson, are heavily outnumbered by the other two. I am not saying that I am thrilled with the stupid park bench clip, I would rather he be accused of being silly and comfortable with being himself than a ego maniac that won’t admit to lying. I just don’t know. And I value the views you shared here.

          1. I totally respect that. He seems like his heart is in the right place. But beware, we were all 100% certain in the UK that Brexit would not happen – it was a depressing few weeks for almost everyone I know when the ‘leave’ vote won by 51%
            I am really glad to be talking with you about this. It is very difficult to read exactly what is happening stateside from the UK media. So Thankyou. And have a good one,
            – J

  34. I would love to see an image of this go viral: “If Trump is elected he will be piloting exactly the same ship of state every President has before him. The only differences being that he will be doing it without a licence, drunk on ego and sniffing like a beaver; whilst siphoning off as much petrol as he can for himself and redlining your engine into the ground.” This perfectly illustrates the “fear-mongering exclusionist” synopsis of his mode of operation. Thank you for breaking things down so carefully for us wild-eyed Yanks. I know it looks like we don’t know which way is “up” right now, but thanks for pulling for us, anyways!

  35. Well, as one of your American friends.. I appreciate that your blog is always about creative fun! Not that I would dare to tell you what to write, however I enjoy the respite from the world of politics. ❀

  36. “…one of the biggest problems when discussing β€˜The Donald’ is that, like Voldemort, he gains more power every time you say his name.” OR, EVERY TIME YOU WEAR HIS NAME, ESPECIALLY ACROSS YOUR BREASTS IF YOU ARE A WOMAN! Lovely shirt, my friend, but…I’d rather purchase your music.

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