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Americans: Abstain on November 4th

By       Message Jean-Luc Basle       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Author 75077
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American voters are offered a Faustian choice: selling their souls for an evanescent peace and prosperity. The two remaining candidates share the same platform. They are both neoconservatives and neoliberals. Only their style differs.

On foreign-policy issues, Hillary Clinton is a female version of George W. Bush, only smarter. Her tenure as Secretary of State leaves no doubt as to her future conduct. The only unknown is how far she will go to achieve world hegemony? Nobel Prize Barack Obama turned out to be a weakling. But, as a pragmatist he weighed the pros and cons and knew when to stop. Hillary is a bully. Remember her pompous statement about Gadhafi: "We came, we saw, he died". Bashar al-Assad's fate is sealed. So is that of Vladimir Putin. However, the Russian leader is a much tougher nut to crack...

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Donald Trump is a narcissist who will reach his Peter Principle (incompetence) level, if ever he is elected. Anyone needing proof about his ineptitude in foreign-policy matters should read his answers to Michael Wolff's question on Brexit! Here is an excerpt:

"And Brexit? Your position?" I ask.

"Huh?"

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"Brexit."

"Hmm."

"The Brits leaving the EU," I prompt, realizing that his lack of familiarity with one of the most pressing issues in Europe is for him no concern nor liability at all.

"Oh yeah, I think they should leave."

No comment! Unlike Hillary Clinton, he will at least talk to Vladimir Putin. The question is: how can a loose cannon communicate with a chess player? Sanders believed a Trump presidency would be a "real danger to the entire world". Unfortunately, the same is true of Hillary Clinton.

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On the domestic front, neither candidate has anything interesting or believable to say. This is sad in view of the state of the American economy. Contrary to official data, growth is negative when adjusted with the real inflation rate -- the rate the average American is subjected to -- and unemployment exceeds twenty percent if discouraged workers are included. Quantitative easing is a monetary strategy without an exit. It produced a financial bubble pending to burst.

The choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is illusory. The best way for Americans to express their frustration and anger is through a blank vote. This would break the mold of forty years of senseless policies. Under normal circumstances, abstention is poorly regarded and rightly so. However, these are not normal times.

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Former Vice President Citigroup New York (retired) Columbia University -- Business School Princeton University -- Woodrow Wilson School

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