BY SAMUEL STEVENS
The ruling class has consistently propped up candidates from two parties which function much the same.
Voters are lured into a false dialectic of Democrat and Republican. With the Bush and most of the Obama administration behind us, we can make some comparisons.
Both started foreign interventions with no clear goal, resulting in a number of unintended consequences. Both consistently propped up banks and the ‘one percent’ while doing little to address the off shoring of American labor.
There are some differences of course.
The current administration took a departure from a decade of neoconservative foreign policy by trying to reach out to Iran, to the ire of Israel. Only time will tell us if this is in the strategic interests of the nation.
The country is in the last 500 days of the current administration and the Presidential primaries are heating up.
Two candidates, real-estate mogul Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders, an unabashed Socialist, are shaking up what would be an otherwise bland, substance-free election between the arms of the false dialectic.
What we need to do as young, informed voters is examine the outsider candidates on two levels. I discount the mainstream, moderate candidates because America and the world require radical solutions rather than a continuation of the same neoconservative, welfare-warfare state that has defined the U.S. for the better part of two decades.
First, we need to look at what the candidates themselves say. I have little faith that either Trump or Sanders would be able to change the country much, given the power of the bureaucracy and interest groups.
Either could come up with short-term changes, perhaps, if they followed through on any of their promises.
More importantly though, is what do Trump and Sanders represent?
Both appear to oppose the establishment. Sanders represents earnest Progressivism, whereas Trump acts as the ‘right wing’ candidate (it would require another article entirely to explain why Trump is not very far right nationalist/paleoconservative at all, but I digress).
Your vote does not amount to much in the short term, but it does shift the public dialogue.
Both candidates strike a chord with different segments of the country. Trump and Sanders should not be thought of the solution to the country’s problems.
They need to be examined metapolitically. Which vision should we go to the polls to vote for? Sanders’ economic populism and antagonism to free trade is appealing, but his otherwise Marxist rhetoric is trite.
Trump, too, opposes globalization and his business acumen is impressive. However, his views have hardly remained consistent; Trump is a capitalist and likely sees the American conservative movement as a market that wants a product (his rhetoric) he is all too happy provide.
As stated before though, this election is not about the candidate. It is about what the candidates represent.
We are the future of the country and must decide which direction it takes.
We can pick one of the conventional candidates and slip deeper into the welfare-warfare state. We can select Sanders and embrace a multicultural, Socialist outlook. We can select Trump and adopt a quasi-nationalist, economically populist vision.
Remember that when you go to the polls, either during the primaries or next November, you are not voting for a person who will solve all of America’s problems.
On the contrary, even the outsider candidates are not perfect. Voting for a politician is merely a high percent solution, not an answer.