TUMBY BAY - I wonder whether people in Papua New Guinea are following the run up to the election in the United States.
They go to the polls in November but are now enmeshed in the Democratic Party state ‘primaries’ that will eventually decide which leader will contest the presidency, probably against Donald Trump.
There is a hope among ‘progressives’ in the USA (and worldwide) that whoever wins will be able to oust Trump.
The current race leader is Bernie Sanders, a self-declared socialist. He is up against Joe Biden, who was vice-president under President Barack Obama and is a moderate, Elizabeth Warren, also a moderate, and Michael Bloomberg, the twelfth richest man in the world who is prepared to spend a billion dollars to win the Democratic nomination.
Other hopefuls have either dropped out of the race or are on the point of doing so.
Today is ‘Super Tuesday’ with 14 state primaries and American Samoa all having their votes as a result of which 1,344 delegates will be elected — one-third of the total which will eventually select the Democratic contender.
Whoever wins Super Tuesday is likely to be the person who runs against Trump.
Bloomberg is currently spending about K24 million a day of his own money, mostly on television advertising. Sanders and the others are running on public donations.
In the history of money politics with the advent of Bloomberg the current election in the USA is setting new records for capitalist obscenity.
O’Neill’s crooked spending in Papua New Guinea’s 2017 election and Morrison’s equally shonky use of taxpayer’s money in the 2019 Australian election pale into insignificance compared to what’s happening in the USA.
What is also worrying is what these hopefuls, including Trump, actually stand for.
Sanders calls himself a socialist but that’s not strictly true. At best he’s a social democrat, interested in the more equitable distribution of wealth in what is essentially still a capitalist system. Elizabeth Warren is similar.
Biden is a traditional Democrat in the fashion of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He stands for a softer form of capitalism. Trump minus the savagery.
Bloomberg used to be a friend of Trump. What he stands for is unclear but it definitely relates to the power of money.
Sanders might be the best option for a saner world but his chances are not great. One can only hope.
None of them, as far as I can tell, will do anything to tackle the greatest existentialist threat to the planet, which is, of course, climate change.
My instinct is that this year’s election in the USA is going to have a significant impact on the planet we call home.
We are currently in what has been called late-stage capitalism. This is the point just before where it is supposed to self-implode and disappear up its own fundamental orifice.
In that sense it is well-worth the rest of the world taking notice.
Even at that end of the earth occupied by Papua New Guinea and Australia.