(GV) – Turkmenistan’s president is at it again. Just few days after Global Voices highlighted Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s high-profile talents, which include singing and biking while his country falls into a deep financial crisis, a new video of the president started to circulate. This time, Berdimuhamedov is dressed in fatigues and showcasing…
According to the polls, the overarching driving force behind Trump’s win was anger toward “elites.” Donald Trump’s election is a tremendous challenge for freedom. But like most challenges, it’s also an opportunity. We may have never had this much bipartisan, cross-ideological, popular support for wresting power away from government.
As Jeffrey Tucker put it, “Everyone underestimated the vulnerability of the status quo.” The existing power structures are weak. It’s time to hit them with everything we’ve got.
In case you need a refresher on how powerful our government has become, Donald Trump now commands:
Given the widespread idiocy and mean-spiritedness of the 2016 presidential race, one of my favorite H.L. Mencken quotes has been making the rounds on social media:
“As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
Though I am happy to see people exposed to Mencken’s invective in any dosage no matter how small, I worry many are not quite getting the point. I fear they may only be wading into the shallow end of the pool. So, allow me to now baptize them in the depths of Mencken’s political cynicism. Forgive me if you are reading this and have already been christened in these waters. And if so, I say bravo! Encore! I suppose it won’t hurt to be christened again. I try to do so weekly. One can never be too certain about one’s intellectual soul.
There has been much debate among major stakeholders as to whether social media should be banned during the upcoming elections in Ghana. Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor hinted in May 2016 that Ghanaian authorities might consider shutting down social media platforms during December 7 elections to “maintain peace”. The IGP argued that the intention to shut down social media platforms during elections is based on the fact that some people abuse the space during voting. However, Ghanaian president John Mahama declared on the 14 August that social media will not be shutdown during the upcoming elections that “the government has no intention to shut down social media on election day.”
The Republican candidate for president of the United States speaks and writes approvingly of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” He is referring to a program run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that subjected people the US detained after the September 11, 2001 attacks to what amounts to torture.
Among other practices, government agents forced detainees into painful positions for days with no sleep, poured water through their noses and mouths until they nearly asphyxiated, and chained them to the ceilings of their cells.
Brazil has its own torture problem, despite many legal advances in recent years. The tribute paid by the parliamentarian Jair Bolsonaro—at the vote on the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff—to a notorious torturer from the period of the dictatorship leaves no doubt: Brazilian politicians, too, attempt to justify what is unjustifiable.
Back in February, I wrote an article speculating about what Donald Trump was trying to achieve with his bid for the presidency. Given the strong social ties between the Trump and Clinton families, I concluded that Trump does not actually want to be president and that the likely reason for his candidacy was to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I argued that his campaign was a deliberate attempt to alienate the demographics that the Republican Party needs to win the general election. Since I wrote that article, Donald Trump has done just that and has become the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Hillary Clinton has also come close to winning the Democratic nomination. In light of these developments, it is worth revisiting my previous theory about Trump.
Since my previous article, Trump’s actions have largely conformed to the theory that I put forth. I argued that Trump would probably gain a following amongst the most extreme parts of the GOP and then leave the party, which would leave the Republicans divided and unable to contest the general election. However, Trump’s campaign has been unexpectedly successful and he has since become the frontrunner of his party. In this position, Trump has been able to sabotage the Republican Party. Trump has increasingly taken extreme “policy positions” and has, in the process, made him and the Republican Party very unpopular with important voter demographics. This has basically assured his defeat in the general election. His antics have also tarnished the reputations of many of the other Republican candidates and are threatening the reelection prospects of Republicans in the House and Senate. This has caused civil war within the party that has left them in disarray.