United States “is a deeply divided nation”

Political experts talked about deep divisions in the USA at a Fulbright New Zealand forum hosted by the University of Otago last night.

ODT: Next president would preside over ‘deeply divided America’

Otago University politics professor Robert Patman told the audience at the College of Education auditorium that no matter whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump prevailed, the next president would preside over a ”deeply divided America”.

Despite a sustained economic recovery, changes to healthcare and combat troops leaving Afghanistan and Iraq under President Barack Obama, the signs showed ”many Americans feel alienated from their country’s political system”.

”For an increasing number of US citizens, the optimistic American dream … seems to be increasingly beyond their reach.”

Racial division had widened and economic inequality continued to deepen.

”Even the winning candidate is likely in reality to have a limited capacity to govern a polarised country and manage its relations with the rest of the world.”

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have high unfavourability ratings so whoever wins will have have a hard job gaining confidence and support.

Assistant professor and Fulbright scholar Simon Nicholson from American University, Washington DC spoke (via a pre-recorded video) about how divided the USA was on climate change.

Whereas in the past there was bipartisan support for environmental causes, the stance on climate change was now split on Republican and Democratic lines, Dr Nicholson said.

This meant the election was a ”big deal” for climate change and if Mr Trump was elected it would be a ”severe blow” to international efforts to battle it.

I don’t see the chasm between mainstream climate consensus, and strong scepticism and opposition, changing.

Carla Lam (Otago University)…

…said a Clinton win would be a victory for gender equality, but would not bring ”substantive change” on gender.

”That there is even any doubt that Hillary could win, given the alternative, to me says enough about gender politics.

”Consider for a moment what would be made of Hillary Clinton as a candidate if she were known to be married to a man 24 years her junior, married twice before, and as someone who openly declared sexual attraction to her child in his presence on national television.”

There’s no doubt that Trump seems to get a free pass from many on things that Clinton would be absolutely trashed for if they applied to her.

However Clinton may be seen more as ‘establishment candidate becomes President’ than being a huge victory for gender equality. That the first woman with a chance of making the top job in the White House has emerged from an established political family is barely a ‘woman makes it to the top on her own merits’ victory.

Leave a comment

10 Comments

  1. unitedtribes2

     /  6th October 2016

    well that was a very one sided forum on a very two sided subject

    Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  6th October 2016

    Funny you describe her as part of an established political famly. Not as dynastic as the Kenndys anyway. I thought Hillary really overcooked the ‘daughter of a poor humble draper’ spiel in the first Presidential debate. She herself certainly hasn’t been poor, or humble, for decades. That line must be at its use-by date. Would recommend she pack it away.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  6th October 2016

      The Kennedys haven’t been in politics long enough to qualify to be a dynasty-not enough generations.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  6th October 2016

        I hope you haven’t come here just to make trouble 😠

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  6th October 2016

          Yes, I have 😦 Do you want to make something of it ?

          Her father wasn’t a draper, he owned a big and prosperous fabric shop and she grew up in a ‘leafy suburb’. I can’t find that line anywhere-did Trump say it ?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  6th October 2016

            🖕 No. She did. She banged on about it a couple times. Did you watch the debate? 📖❌

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  6th October 2016

              Some of it. Did she really use those words ? Maybe he began as one.

  3. Hillary…. tarnished with a brush that hints at money for influence via the Clinton Foundation. The persistent rumours about nasty happenings to those who give away the game. Someone who’s judgment must be seriously question from her days at the State Department

    Versus Trump. A jack the lad, live on wits hustler made kind of good, tarnished with possible mob connections through his NYC property business, a man who can’t focus on anything for too long. A man who has run his business in pretty cavalier way

    What a choice…. NOT

    And all at a time of breaking bonds and collapsing order in Europe, the Middle East with China stirring the pot in SE Asia with some pretty questionable territorial claims. When a strong effective POTUS is need we have to weak, brittle and bare competent offerings for the big job.

    Bloody sad. Hopefully the World survives the next 4 plus years and some real candidates emerge for the job…

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  6th October 2016

      The Clintons as serial killers-the only thing that varies is the number-is an urban myth that persists despite all reason and evidence to the contrary.

      I have yet to see either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump ‘bare’.

      Reply
  4. The US may be deeply divided, so what is new? The divisions in its society have been stark and continuous. However, I sense that it is also very frightened about its place in the world to the point that someone should speak to Putin and Xi and suggest they back off the threatening economic and security speak now current from them both. We will all be losers if events escalate.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s