Five Things I Really Dislike about Engaging in Politics in the U.S.

I have been a political activist for many years. I’m an author of a book dealing with international affairs and foreign policy. I have been a university lecturer in political science and international relations as well as a candidate for public office. So one could classify me as being consistently politically active and engaged over the course of my adult life. Having gone to grad school in France, I generally found a different culture of discussion regarding politics — a wider canvas of ideas and better ability to engage in discussion. Here in the states, I’ve rarely found that to be the case. On occasion, I have had the pleasure of in-depth and rewarding discussion, a give and take of ideas, and a respect for the other in the search for, perhaps, the truth. But that has been, in my opinion, the exception not the rule. As the U.S. political marathon of an election gets roaring full steam ahead, I present my top five things I dislike about politics in the USA.

1) Too many people– no matter how ill-informed, no matter how factually inaccurate their ideas– are passionately convinced they are right and that their ideology or vision of the world is reality. I have seen this too many times and it’s not even worth talking to some people about remotely anything political. God could come down out of the clouds and tell them they were way off and they would twist it to fit their vision of the world. I never really see that with computer programming or technology or mathematics– if there is a better, more efficient algorithm, then people acknowledge it as so.

2) There are way too many racist people in this country. Yeah, that’s no secret. The fact that Donald Trump has as much support in this country as he does, says something about a huge chunk of the population. You have a man running for president making hateful remarks about ethnic groups, women, and engaging in name calling. To call it juvenile or sophomoric would be an insult to young people. I didn’t engage in that kind of rhetoric when I was younger. It is never okay to be cruel and being young is not an excuse. Anyway, Trump’s rhetoric has an early 1930’s Hitler quality to it. He wants to build a wall and deport 11 million people. Are you people completely insane? How about we deport all the people who think that’s a good idea and put them on an island? I saw the movie “Idiocracy.” It was kind of silly and out there, but it is supposed to be the USA five hundred years in the future. I am seeing a lot of similarities between this election so far and that movie.

3) The militarism is off the charts in this country. It’s as if people don’t learn. Listen to a lot of the politicians– “We have to bomb this, or go here, go there.” Don’t they ever learn? The U.S. government has created chaos in the Middle East. The refugee crisis is a result of the U.S. and NATO’s bombardment and occupations, year after year. Yet, you hear the same rhetoric from most of these politicians. And it comes from both parties.

4) They are all blindly pro-Israel. It’s truly sad– all the suffering the Palestinians have endured is supported and paid for by U.S. tax dollars.

5) If you talk like I do…to speak the truth, even if you have a Ph.D. and a book and a list of credentials and recommendations, you won’t be teaching in the U.S., at least not permanently. I find the debate in academia in the U.S. to be rather more narrow than advertised, especially in regard to #4 on this list.

So, while this election has been entertaining in parts due to Trump’s foolishness, it has also been highly disgusting and has reinforced how much I really don’t care for U.S. politics. On a positive note, I look forward to Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. Some people out there, who disgustingly spew hatefulness toward our Muslim brothers and sisters, should listen to the words of Pope Francis and try to understand the Gospel message and the Islamic faith– in fact, all of the major religious faiths of the world, the major tenets of which are love, mercy, and compassion.

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