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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Sanders congratulates Clinton

I am writing this post as an unbiased observer with no voting rights, and for the benefit of my readers on the Eastern side of the Pond, who may not be familiar with the way American politics work. I have to say from the start that my eyes have been opened over the last twelve months or so.  I am not sure that I like all that I see and have seen, but then I have no say in the matter. If I have inadvertently made an error, I would encourage readers to leave a comment to advise me so.  Let me start by listing the main parties involved.

1. The Republicans - otherwise known as the GOP or Grand Old Party. They are conservatives and typically on the side of Big Business and Big Money. Most of their support seems to come from the South and the Mid-West and includes Southern Baptists and the NRA (National Rifle Association) that vehemently supports the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, which grants the right of gun ownership to individuals for purposes that include self-defense. It appears that most GOP members deny climate change and are very much pro-life in the abortion debate.

2. The Democrats - are well to the Left of the GOP and are liberals. They recognize climate change, support abortion rights, support equal pay for women who do the same job as men, want to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, are against racial and religious profiling, and wish to develop renewable energy.

3. The Libertarian Party - a small party that seems to be a combination of some of the beliefs of the two main parties.

The Presidential Election is held every 4 years and (unless a president is running for his or her second term) is preceded by the Primaries or State Conventions. These start off in New Hampshire in February of the year of the General Election and are themselves preceded by a vast amount of canvassing. Here in New Hampshire this went on for months, with Town Hall meetings, gatherings in private homes, dropping in to diners and whatever.

On Tuesday we saw the last of the primaries with the sole exception of DC, which comes up shortly. These Primaries determine how many delegates each candidate will have behind him or her at the two National Conventions, which are to be held in July. At the time of writing Trump is the presumptive GOP candidate (much to the dismay of many Republicans) and Hilary Clinton the presumptive Democratic candidate, although at this time her rival, Bernie Sanders, vows to fight on until the Convention in the hope that some of his ideas will be adopted by the Convention.

The US Senate has 100 seats a third of which are elected every 2 years. The House of Representatives has 435 seats, all of which are elected every 2 years. Every newly elected member of the House is expected and required to spend at least 30 hours every week in their respective party headquarters in Washington DC fund raising on the telephone, leaving little time for their legislative duties.

Trump, who pays his female staffers less than the male, has emerged as the probable GOP Presidential candidate, much to the chagrin of the GOP. The fact that he funded himself and got to where he is legally and fairly is not disputed - his plans and ideas are. He has alienated women with his misogynist remarks, Mexicans with his deportation plans and his proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border. He has proposed to ban all Muslims from entering the country, and lately criticizing the judge presiding over a major fraud case involving the Trump University. A number of leading Republicans have declared that they will not vote for Trump - I believe that some have even said that they would rather vote Democrat.

Sanders has shown a massive turnout by millennium voters. the new generation voting for the first or second time. He has radical ideas about curbing the power of the big banks, free education and others. Less than an hour ago he emerged from the White House and conceded victory to Hilary Clinton, at the same time vowed to work with her to create a platform to defeat Trump in the November election.