Politics

Where Would You Like Your Conflict Served?

Ever found yourself eating in a greasy diner – not because you want to – but because it’s the option at hand? The environment is unclean and the menu choices are not very appetizing or healthy. This presents a conflict between the need to eat and the desire to. But since it’s what’s available you cross your fingers, make a choice, and hope for the best. Sounds a lot like our presidential election this year, doesn’t it? Except there is much more at stake than just indigestion or food poisoning.

So how to decide which poor choice to go with at the polls? It’s common practice for lies to be told and campaign promises to be broken, so other factors need to be considered. One important area is the potential for increased future conflict and war, and both candidates show signs of it. The difference between them is where it’s most likely to be played out.

An escalation in international conflict and war under Clinton is highly likely. She has aligned herself with the neoconservative warmongers and in fact doesn’t hide it. She will be an aggressive president pursuing aggressive policies all over the world. Top of the list is Russia. Further and severe deterioration in relations with Russia will occur. We have been pushing and provoking them for quite a while now. Eventually they are going to push back. What then? Assuming they could be easily defeated is a dangerous mindset to have. Such things rarely proceed and play out as people expect.

Nuclear war has been avoided for many decades, but cooler and saner heads in Washington no longer prevail. I cannot help but wonder if mutually assured destruction is turning into self-assured destruction. If Clinton is elected – and this is the most likely outcome – be afraid. Be very afraid. The tension level is going to ratchet up considerably. She is going to push them, and she will push hard.

While Clinton’s penchant for conflict lies abroad, Trump’s  – with the exception of Mexico – lies mostly at home. He is adept at bringing to the surface people’s base emotions. Perhaps because he is so expressive with his that people feel more freedom to vent their own. He likes to stir the pot because he is good at it and he knows it. Stirring the political pot hasn’t been a bad thing because our political system needs shaken up. But I very much fear that this would be his normal mode of operation in domestic matters if he is elected.

Tact and diplomacy don’t seem to be traits Trump possesses. If he does he hides them well. His aggressive rhetorical style has the potential to raise tensions in this country to an extremely uncomfortable level. Of course some of that over the top rhetoric is because it’s campaign season. It always increases during this time. However, in Trump’s case I don’t think it can all be put down to that alone. I think we’ve been getting just a little taste of his true personality. He is good at antagonizing prejudices, thereby undermining efforts of cooperation and negotiation. He could very well be a president of one step forwards, and two steps back.

I realize that this is an oversimplified generalization of both candidates. But when I step back and view them this is what I see. Clinton representing increased international conflict and war, and Trump increased domestic conflict and – who knows – a possible future Civil War. Perhaps I’m wrong. In this case I definitely wouldn’t mind being wrong. In this present environment of worldwide unrest, conflict, and war – anything is possible. Anything is what we should be prepared for.