Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
Although I was born on the mainland in the U.S., after discharge from the military I lived in Alaska for 30-plus years until retirement. Alaska is approximately 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) from the nearest U.S. point, Washington State. In addition, Alaska has 51 native tribes, many who have closer ties to relatives in Russia than to anyone in the United States.
The European Union has 28 countries in their membership and covers 1,670,000 miles (4,325,280 kilometers). The United States has 50 states and covers 3,800,000 miles (9,841,954 kilometers). In addition to the separation of Alaska from the mainland U.S., Hawaii is approximately 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers) from the mainland. In the last 200 years Europe and its neighbors have witnessed countless armed internal conflicts, while the United States only one.
Democracy is always in state of compromise. There has never been a society, religion, country, etc. who was one hundred percent united in thought. If, in the future, there will be a group of multiple races who think identical, then I would not wish to live there.
I am 76 now, when I read one of your readers stating that the candidate should be from heartland America I am confused. With our complexity, the heartland has hundreds of definitions. Many of the heartland areas are doing all that is possible to disenfranchise voters who do not meet their ideal.
I believe there was a time (during mine and older generations of leadership) that America thought about people, about helping, about welcoming with open arms, about respecting other points of views. GONE. I believe it unlikely these values will fully return.
Almost everyone plays to the media now, and the pro and con commentators of a very big industry. There are news media that admit lying and misleading in court without penalty.
The U.S. has now privatized most prison functions, therefore big money, therefore more persons in prison.
The U.S. now has one of the best military units in the world, fully voluntary and highly trained. When you have thousands of employees who are highly trained, you must use that expertise or lose it. Therefore more combat action than really necessary. The U.S. defense budget is more than all allies combined. What other industry can you say the U.S. has that would come close to that?
The U.S. has a health insurance industry that employees hundreds of thousands and makes millions in profit, yet there are persons who do not have health coverage or go bankrupt because their costs were not covered. Then you have fellow Americans doing everything possible to deny coverage to those who cannot be otherwise covered.
In such a complex and diverse society, it is a wonder if you can have a candidate who garners close to 50 percent of the vote. Even then, there is always a vast percentage that will oppose anything you try to achieve.
What provides discredit to the national political structure is the campaigning. Sanders was most vehement against Clinton, now endorses her. During the 2008 process Sarah Palin was the vice president candidate for the Republican Party. Being from Alaska, I thought how stupid that was when so many other possibilities were available. Now there is Trump, when there are so many other possibilities.
Yet, the U.S. continues to allow big money, lobbyist and playing to the media and their consultants to dominate. Until this changes, the political process will remain a circus.
This current election has a choice that is probably more different than any other in the U.S. history, a choice that affects the entire world. I hope the voters choose wisely.
Birri, Santa Barbra de Heredia