A belief in the paradigmatic nature of mature Western democracies is notoriously widespread. Nothing could be further from the truth. We, here in the U.S., have an ongoing election for president. Ongoing because the process whereby the two major parties first select a nominee, through primary elections in individual states, is a dog and pony show that runs for about six months starting in Iowa.
If the peace agreement that the government of Colombia has negotiated with armed revolutionaries is voted down by the Colombian people, the country would again be plunged into conflict and the guerrillas would engage in urban warfare, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos warned in a session on the peace plan at the World Economic Forum on Latin America.
“Yes, people pull the trigger - but guns are the instrument of death. Gun control is necessary, and delay means more death and horror”--Eliot Spitzer
The latest and most grievous mass shooting in America has just occurred in Orlando, Florida, less than 200 hundred miles from where I live. The culprit lived some 50 miles from the town I reside in. A bit too close for comfort, as the saying goes. But that is not what prompts me to put pen on paper. It’s that it’s hard to wrap one’s mind around this recurring event in American life.
Both in the US and abroad, but especially abroad, there is a cliché making the rounds that goes something like this: Bernie Sanders would make a good president, he is certainly preferable to a Donald Trump, but he does not have a chance at winning the election. That kind of assessment can only be imputed to lack of attention to the latest polls and the details of American history. Let me explain.
As the Upper House voted for Ms Rousseff’s suspension, many questions were raised. The people, the media, opportunist and well-intentioned public figures, they all had something to say. Like any good scripted fiction, too, factors and variants were (and remain) many, generating a plethora of theories and, unfortunately, not much of productive debate.
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."-- Isaac Asimov
The political right in America has been flirting with dangerous ideas for a while now, particularly on issues involving immigrants and minorities. Lately, with the advent of Donald Trump as the leading presidential candidate in the Republican Party, the rhetoric has gotten particularly insane.