Being away from the US for such long periods of time, we're always out of touch with politics and what's happening on the political front. Usually, that's not a problem, but here we are in a presidential election year and we need to learn a bit about the prospective candidates. We don't consider this blog an appropriate place for discussing politics (or religion for that matter...much too controversial for us laid-back sailors). But the process of catching up is an interesting exercise. We took a look at who was running first … Democrats and Republicans et al. There were a few familiar names … Clinton … Trump ... and some we didn't recognize at all. There's a pretty full roster of Presidential hopefuls out there. We're used to hearing about American politics through the eyes of people in the countries we visit. Amazing how much other countries know about American politics and how little we know about theirs (or ours). Can you name the Prime Minister/Premiere/President/Head of State of Great Britain? France? Germany? Australia? I'll wager most Americans cannot, yet most of the citizens of those countries know Barack Obama's name.
So, we searched on-line to find the major issues of contention and where individual candidates stood on each. Immigration, gun control, ISIS/terrorism, the federal deficit, health care, environmental issues … seemed to top the list. The issues are complicated. It's hard to figure out, sometimes, exactly what the candidates are advocating. They tend to spout about what's wrong and how they disagree with the other candidates … but they have a hard time defining exactly what would be right. Understandable … there are no easy answers, and to quote the 15th century monk and poet, John Lydgate, “you can't please all the people, all the time.”
We found several quizzes on line that matched up our political views with candidates. Sometimes I couldn't figure out the question; sometimes the questions were phrased in such a way, I couldn't answer. Then there were those questions, I'm sorry to admit, where I was totally ignorant of the topic, e.g. Do you advocate American exceptionalism? (Yikes, what the heck's that ... I had to look it up). Depending on the quiz you chose and the wording of the questions, it was possible to match up with a different candidate each time, even though my views hadn't changed. Just google “presidential candidate quiz” and see the results.
So, between now and November 8th, we'll stay tuned to the American political scene and try to figure out who best represents our own ideologies. We'll make a sincere effort to learn more about the issues and the candidates and vote accordingly. David and I certainly do not always agree on each issue. We do agree however, that it would be nice if the Democrats and Republicans could, perhaps work together for the good of the country versus their own political agenda. Enough said … let's move on to something even more controversial. Sail or motor? Stick or stinkpot?