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Posted: November 7, 2016

Election crystal ball murky but don’t hit the panic button

Gerry WarnerPerceptions by Gerry Warner

So the world is coming to an end.

By this time next week, the world’s greatest democracy will be ruled by either a corrupt, secretive woman who should be “locked up” and never again allowed to send an email or by a bigoted, racist, Putin-loving bully who believes “building a wall” will solve our political problems and should never be allowed within groping distance of a woman.

Not inspiring choices, I admit.

And even though I look at this salacious soap opera from afar, it concerns me because, like it or not, as the US goes, so goes the world, and if the American Empire is suddenly reduced to the status of a dysfunctional, Third-World banana republic there’s going to be a gaping, power gap in terms of who’s leading the world. We all know nature abhors a vacuum and vacuums always get filled.

So who’s going to fill the coming vacuum of world leadership?

China, the second biggest economy in the world, but the most polluted country on earth with growing imperial ambitions to become the strongest military power in Asia and all the scary implications that goes with that? Can’t you see Japan looking anxiously over its shoulder as the Middle Kingdom casts a covetous eye at the real estate around it? Maybe that’s why the Japanese government is currently debating scrapping its pacifist constitution?

And what about Russia, the former empire of the Soviet Union, which is lusting to restore itself to its former imperial glory? Putin is a mean and vicious SOB, but he’s by far the best geo-political, strategic thinker on the world stage today and not to be under-estimated.

Then there’s the European Union with the biggest economy on earth per capita, but a stumbling giant with Britain soon to be negotiating its way out and Germany bending under the pressure of dealing with more than a million dirt-poor refugees escaping the Middle East and Africa.

And we won’t even talk about the Middle East powder keg and the potential it has to trigger the next world war with such toxic and unresolved issues as the Israeli-Palestinian standoff, the Syrian Civil War and the Sunni and Shia divide which spawns terrorism world-wide. Nor has the world economy recovered fully yet from the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Yes, Virginia, we live in a dangerously, unstable world and there’s nothing Santa Claus can do about it.

Not to be unduly apocalyptic about things, but one can’t help but think the world is facing a perfect storm of problems now with modernism clashing with traditionalism, Christianity with Islam, rural lifestyles with urban, secular with religious, the top one per cent with the rest of us and – let’s be honest – coloured versus white.

The crystal ball is dark and murky, and it’s at times like this, it helps immensely to have strong, ethical and intelligent leadership at the top. And the choice Americans are facing is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, two heavily, compromised candidates.

No matter who wins, I think some earnest praying would be advisable now. Sometimes great leaders emerge in spite of themselves.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist, who remains optimistic about this election because he believes Americans always show their best when things seem the worst.

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