Hilarious. Just. Fucking. Hilarious

The damage caused is not confined to public confidence in the United States government.

Being leader of the free world is not a casual concept. That cold war phrase encapsulates the long-prized notion that the United States is a beacon of freedom and democracy for the world.

As his own transition came to an end, President-elect Kennedy best summed up the notion in his final address in Boston in January 1961: “I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arbella 331 years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a new government on a perilous frontier. ‘We must always consider’, he said, ‘that we shall be as a city upon a hill – the eyes of all people are upon us’.”

The eyes of the world are on the Trump transition right now. They see a president-elect who lost the popular vote by more than 2 million votes and almost 2 percentage points.

This is a difficult notion of democracy to explain to a world struggling against authoritarian regimes where votes are routinely ignored and discounted. The work of democracy promotion by the National Endowment for Democracy, established by Reagan, is immeasurably harder as a result of the 2016 election.

The work of spreading corruption-free government has become just as hard as a result of Trump’s business dealings. If a sitting president can enrich himself while in office, then why can’t a president of a developing country set up his own businesses to do the same? Why should they not do both?

After all, as Trump told the Times, “In theory I could run my business perfectly, and then run the country perfectly.”

Corruption – the seeking of personal profit by government officials derived from their roles – is a plague that condemns the most vulnerable people in the world to poor or non-existent public services. If the US can’t talk credibly about the need to stamp out conflict of interest, the world will struggle to eradicate corruption and improve life for the poorest people on the planet.

America needs to lead by example and that starts with the president. That’s not a conflict of interest. That’s the national interest.

I might even agree with the basic sentiment. But the world looks up to the US?

In the fucking Guardian?

21 thoughts on “Hilarious. Just. Fucking. Hilarious”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    They have a point about his business dealings. Whether or not he can be president and not be influenced by what’s going on with his businesses is irrelevant, a man who campaigned to drain the swamp must be seen to be squeaky clean, and that means at least blind trusts.

    Influence peddling is, after all, what he and most of us on here thought was one of the worst aspects of a Clinton campaign and presidency.

  2. Millions of Hispanics think that the US is a very fine place to want to live. As an American I see no problem with the shiny beacon of freedom line.

    I would think that a British paper would want to say the same about Britain though. After all you’ve given the world a lot of great things. [sarc]It’s almost as if they are ashamed of your history. [/sarc]

  3. If a sitting president can enrich himself while in office, then why can’t a president of a developing country set up his own businesses to do the same?

    Well, yes. I’m sure many a developing world tyrant has looked at Clinton and, on other issues, Obama and said “Hey, if the Americans can do it…”

  4. UKIP got more votes than the Lib Dems and SNP added together… I don’t see the Grauniad calling for this iniquity to be resolved.

  5. The “popular vote” line gets my goat. The electoral college was a brilliant thing when it prevented a Southern segregationist piling up the votes in one part of the country and riding to the White House on those votes. Well this time a dodgy faux-feminist has piled up the whackadoodle votes in California and her supporters are claiming a popular mandate based upon that. If those loony tunes had been prepared to move to other states and live amongst real boys and girls then they would have won. But they weren’t, so they didn’t.

  6. Third line = “Being leader of the free world is not a casual concept.

    1) Spot inability to express simple idea.
    2) Stop reading.

  7. I can’t really see much difference between the mismatches of the US Electoral College versus our own first-past-the-post system.

    The number of votes require to elect a Labour MP in an inner city constituency is far less than a the equivalent number of votes received in a rural Tory one such as Richmond in Yorkshire.

    It’s all about population counts and approximations, with constituencies being adjusted, created and destroyed (as with the 2018 boundary changes), to try and keep some balance.

    The problem with the US is that the electoral college is rather lumpy and cannot be easily adjusted, other than by adding or taking away votes in the electoral college to more accurately reflect voting.

    A move to discard the electoral college in favour of just the popular vote would be a diminishment of states rights as well as making the election of a Republican president much harder, as it would essentially pass determination of the POTUS to East and West coast voters.

    If Hillary had gone to the places where she was unpopular and attempted to gain their support then she might have won, as it was, all she did was reinforce states where she was already popular (or at least not Donald Trump) which would not make a difference.

    This argument is not really about the electoral college, it is about how Hillary lost the election by losing Democratic voters who elected Obama in 2008 and 2012, but wouldn’t come out for her.

    Donald Trump didn’t really win this election, so much as Hillary Clinton lost it.

  8. “That cold war phrase encapsulates the long-prized notion that the United States is a beacon of freedom and democracy for the world.”

    Lol. Just proves the Guardian will say and do anything if it suits the tactical needs of the moment. Absolutely anything.

  9. The problem with the US is that the electoral college is rather lumpy and cannot be easily adjusted, other than by adding or taking away votes in the electoral college to more accurately reflect voting.

    To be fair, the size of the House of Representatives hasn’t been changed since after the census of 1910. We’ve gone from one representative for roughly every ~210K people to one for every ~710K people at the last cenus.

    After 2020, it’s likely that either Montana or Rhode Island (or both) will have more than a million people and only one representative.

  10. “That cold war phrase encapsulates the long-prized notion that the United States is a beacon of freedom and democracy for the world.” Pull the other one; “is”, indeed.

  11. The Electoral College is a red herring. Had the election been by popular vote, Trump would have campaigned differently. He would have spent some time in California.

    The system is flawed because Trump won. That’s the message. Had the Hildebeaste won, we’d be hearing none of this. Everyone knows it.

    The Guardian, being leader of the Left World, wishes to delegitimize Trump. Any method is fine; if this tack doesn’t work, they’ll try another. That he owns a business is hardly extreme. BTW – The voters knew Trump owns a business.

    ‘Just proves the Guardian will say and do anything if it suits the tactical needs of the moment.’

    Exactly.

  12. Gamecock

    Your first paragraph is spot on. Trump focused in – and worked his arse off -on the states that would swing the election. They did; he won them.

  13. The Guardian and Trump’s conflict of interest. What delightful chutzpah.

    The problem with a conflict of interest is the possibility of corruption.

    Hillary’s ACTUAL FUCKING CORRUPTION is of no interest.

  14. Ironman,

    I was thinking the sarc tag wouldn’t even be enough.

    JG,

    While it’s nice to fantasize about having fewer Republicans I see no reason why the party wouldn’t change tactics.

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    “The Electoral College is a red herring. Had the election been by popular vote, Trump would have campaigned differently. He would have spent some time in California.”

    There’s more to it than that. Rep voters in California would have been more incentivised to get out and vote instead of thinking it was a waste of time. As would Dems in a Rep State.

    So it really is a waste of time trying to extrapolate the results of a general vote from one that took place for an EC.

  16. And now some groups are calling for a recount in key states in case there was hacking and manipulation of e votes, their argument is that as the result was different from the polls there may be something wrong, admit they have no evidence.
    The hypocrisy of all the crap about trump not accepting the result before hand is wonderful to behold

  17. Would be interesting to look at Obama net worth now vs 8 years ago and similar for Blairs time in office, especially the business dealings of his wife

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