So Donald Trump has, once again, shown himself to be a total dingus. His public support of Putin - or, well, his complete inability to speak out against Russia's president - has reiterated what we continue to learn about him; Trump lacks integrity and is motivated by personal gain.
I don't for a second think that this is the first time leaders have colluded like this in an effort to cement a future partnership. However, the only real reason why this is scary is because is because Trump showed his cowardice in such a public forum.
Russia has always lurked in the shadows of the world's consciousness, like a Bond villain plotting to take over the world. Or Brain from Pinky and the Brain.
I'll be completely honest, I don't know anything about Russia. I'm not going to pretend to. I know that it's best to be cautious of Russia. Not that it makes sense for me, an individual in Australia with no political connections, to be scared of an entire country, but I'm sure you understand the sentiment. I know that Russia is riddled with corruption and has a political structure that not only allows for dictatorships but almost encourages it. I get these things, not in the depth that perhaps would make for a more informed discourse about this situation, but enough that I feel entitled to scream into the void regardless.
Russia is a tactical nation that has always had strong associations with espionage and underhanded behaviours. As a Nuclear Super Power, the threat of the scale of destruction that could be caused is enough to keep the rest of the world hyper vigilant. It also means that if the 'Leader of the Free World' cowers in the presence of a known dictator, the fear for security is, of course, huge.
I understand all of that but my brain goes to a really frustrated place. I can't look at politics on a moment to moment basis. I always end up thinking about how unhappy with each new leader we become, no matter the circumstances seemingly. I say this as someone who thinks Trump is one of the worst things to happen to the world in my lifetime. But his election is indicative of the desperation of America's population and desire for change more than anything other. I think it should cause us to pause and reflect on what lead us here.
Sometimes I wonder about the structure of politics. In a really broad sense. Obviously, elections are held and we choose our leader. But, of course, this inevitably means that we vote for a person less than we vote for their policies. I'm not convinced that the average person really knows much about policy or really cares. I certainly don't. Life is hard enough figuring out the social politics of your own life, let alone local, national or international politics. I have enough interest to be scared all the time but not enough to become a politician.
And therein lies the problem, right? The sort of people who want to be involved in politics either have to have a macro view or the world or the complete opposite. Plus there's so much politics within politics. There's rules, regulations, miles of red tape. And the beautifully slow turning wheel of beurocracy.
We only ever have a few candidates to choose from. In Australia it really all basically comes down to Liberal or Labor. Some middle-aged white male usually fronts the party and says absolutely nothing of worth but talks in circles occassionally featuring big words. More commonly it's actually a whole bunch of buzz words that are used to illicit fear in the voters instead of hope. Which feels wrong to me.
I met this guy at uni who honestly made my skin crawl. He was condescending, rude, super classist and just a total nonce. And then I found out he was studying political science because all he wanted was to be a politician. He had zero social skills, came from a wealthy family and held attitudes that seem the total opposite of the kind of considered, empathetic person you'd want to be in charge. But he is the type who dreams of becoming involved in politics. I'm pretty sure he is still involved in politics these days.
It occurred to me that we don't really require a huge amount from our political candidates. Nor do we know anything about them until their faces start to show up on posters everywhere. My brother is a doctor and he is required to sit an exam and complete some study every year he practices. It's crazy to me that we don't ask our leaders to do the same.
In fact, the idea that politicians don't complete a rural rotation like teachers, nurses, doctors and the like, is absolutely beyond me. How can a politician represent a country if there are vast experiences they have no real life perception of? It's one thing to make your presence known in places when there's cameras, but what about the desire to learn and grow and actively contribute to the society you lead?
Then, when they get into office they actually have thoughts, opinions and feelings instead of purely making decisions based on what is essentially chinese whispers through Parliament (no, I know that's not how it works but there are a billion government jobs passing shit on and then up and then policy propositions go up and well, it may as well be chinese whispers it's so convoluted). Purple monkey dishwasher.
But I digress.
Trump's narcissism in combination with the structure of America's republic is what scares me.
My Dad made a good point actually that short terms can be super damaging. Yet, could you imagine if we held elections only every 10 years? At least we'd be able to create some more long term plans, but too bad if the elected representative turned out to be an idiot as they often do. My Dad said that if we wish to make long term changes for our society we have to accept that it will be both extremely slow moving progress, and also that at some point there will be generation that has to cop a rough patch for the next generation to really benefit.
Realistically, when were electing a representative, we are asking them to predict our future and make allowances for what it looks like. And yet there's no innovation, government seems to be reactive rather that insightful.
Politics really do bug me. I used to think I might want to be a politician. But I think that's so far from what I want now. Anyhow, I've screamed into the void. And I suppose in a tiny way I feel a little better. I'd prefer just to be good and kind to my fellowmen instead though. Because fuck it.