Sunday, July 24, 2016

Presumptuous lessons from US elections

A very supportive friend which lend me a helping hand when I was starting my enterprise explained why she is supporting Trump by sharing a link to a blog post on Facebook.

As non Americans we need to go beyond the candidates for president to how Americans might vote. I hope the have and have-not gaps haven't become so wide that Trump is able to gather enough supporters to win the White House.

One person, one vote is quite fragile when we look at voters are none other than them and us. We take things for granted when things are going well. Democracy is in mortal danger when the broader society is badly divided, overly stressed and people are more emotional than rational. Voters rather than any foreigners become their own worst enemies.

People choose the facts to fit their feelings and not the other way round. That is how I see that they were supporting Trump. The men who understand this well is Timothy Geithner the former US Treasury secretary and his boss the President. How these men could bring the pitch fork to the bankers but you cannot do that without hurting those you are trying to protect even more.

If most people could really know what is best for themselves they would not have been suckered into helping to make the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 possible. Neither would we see them every day be cheated of their money by money grabbing doctors and financial advisers.

The lesson for us in Singapore is that democracy can be a very fragile system of governance and to make it work we must always make sure that voters are always rational and hard headed. It is much more than finding the right leaders.

Unfortunately I do not know how to put this lesson into practice. It can only at most serve as an early warning when things begin to go wrong. I don't see the PAP doing much about this too and I am two minds if they are the right people for that role since they are fighting elections every few years. The leaders who invest heavily in this was the late LKY because he brutally shaped our thoughts and habits to ensue our survival. Future generations must also have that survival and fighting instincts but who is going to put iron into them? We assume their families would do that but without supporting civic and religious organizations, I don't think it can be done. What about our justices and the President? What about the occasional larger than life humanitarian and public intellectual? I don't know.

No comments:

Post a Comment