It is the Thursday after both the Nicaraguan and U.S. elections.*
Not surprisingly, in Nicaragua, the Sandinista incumbent candidate, Pres. Daniel Ortega, won with 72.5% of the vote. The Sandinista Party has had the presidency since 2006 along with the clear majority in the Assembly. The party is very popular mostly due to their successful policies and programs to ease the crippling poverty that plagues the majority, to improve the infrastructure of the country, and to expand business and access to the internet, as well as in other areas.
Surprisingly in the United States, the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, won the presidency and there will be yet 2 more years of a Republican House and Senate. Why is this surprising?
The Republican House and Senate in the past 6 years have had some of the least productive sessions in the last decades which have resulted in people’s ever-growing needs not being addressed adequately.
Add to that, while campaigning Donald Trump made comments that were degrading to people of color, immigrants and women; encouraged violence; and questioned loudly the election process itself…if he did not win, that is. Most past presidential candidates have given voters an inkling of an idea of what kind of policies they would enact but he gave little indication of what his future policies would be; therefore, no one knows how he will govern…not really.
So now the “conservatives”** will have all three branches of the United States federal government which also includes the Supreme Court, because the Senate continues to refuse to allow our current president to appoint a judge, ignoring the U.S. constitution. In other words, there will be no checks and balances, which scares many people and thrills others.
Despite many U.S. citizens not caring what the rest of the world thinks about their country and its politics, the rest of the world deeply cares about what goes on inside the United States. Why? The reasons are many.
The U.S. is currently the world’s greatest power, like it or not. The U.S. has the most powerful military force in the world and has 7,100 nuclear war heads.
Because of international finance and trade, when the U.S. dollar crashes so go many other currencies around the world. Add to all that, the U.S. consistently ignores the sovereignty of other nations.
For example: before both elections, the House and Senate began looking at blocking all loans to Nicaragua because Daniel Ortega ran for a third term and “does not represent his people”. Let’s recap: Pres. Ortega got 72.5% of the popular vote while the U.S. Republican candidate, Donald Trump, did not even get 50% of the popular vote or - as I write this, it looks like - not even as many votes as Hillary Clinton.
Where do we go from here with no checks and balances? I feel that we the people must assume the role of being the checks and balances for our government…and maybe that is the hope in all of this. Maybe we will internalize what Abraham Lincoln said so many years ago,
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
Maybe we will accept the challenge and actually become protectors of our most vulnerable, of our nation, and of our world with our voices and our actions.
*We originally posted this on that date but subsequently deleted it by accident! Apologies to those of you getting this twice, the link on the website will now be this one.
**I put the word 'conservatives' in quotes, because in some areas (don't snort!) I feel like I am a conservative, I want to conserve our environment. I believe that freedom for all is a conservative idea…the freedom to pursue happiness for ALL people. I believe that valuing our work force is a conservative idea. I believe that ending poverty is a conservative idea. I believe that people paying their fair share for the infrastructure of a nation is a conservative idea. I believe that investing in the future by investing in our children's well-being and education is a conservative idea. I also believe that our constitution is mostly a good document and it includes the right to an attorney even if you are a rapist.