All Debate Is Good

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The US presidential election perhaps can be called the World Cup Soccer of democratic elections. It is quite spectacular to watch. It is designed well. It is designed to sweep through the entire political spectrum, from left to right. Even fringe candidates have followers, and of course they matter. During a presidential election Americans become aware of each other's existence. As in, I did not realize you were also around.

Personally I am surprised how well Trump is doing. I am also surprised how well Sanders has been doing. But then who am I? There are tens of millions out there who will get heard. The fermentation is spectacular.

And Bloomberg stares from the horizon. People talk about taking money out of politics. There is a Bloomberg way to do that. For a guy who has been both a Democrat and a Republican, who Al Sharpton likes. This is not a born rich billionaire. He is self made. He is 10% of Steve Jobs. A lot of people don't look at him that way. But he is. He is a divorced billionaire like Donald Trump. He is Jewish like Sanders. He would be a first Jewish president like Hillary would be the first woman. He has been a Republican like Trump and a Democrat like Hillary. I am tempted to go meet him.

I am also amazed how everybody who is running is a New Yorker. Everybody, from left to right. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders. Bernie has the most pronounced Brooklyn accent. The looming candidate Bloomberg is a New Yorker. Has this ever happened in history when everybody who was running for the top job was a New Yorker? And Barack Obama is moving to New York when he is done. Capital city of the world.

I was expecting to not even tune in until the two parties were done nominating. But now I find myself checking in daily. I am already looking at the twists and turns. The churn is spectacular.

The Indian election of 2014 was also pretty spectacular. But the polls in India are not there yet. They tend to be way off from actual results. And there are not yet organized debates between the leading candidates. In India the spectacle is at the level of mass rallies. They tend to be huge with no parallels anywhere on the planet. In 2007 Obama gathered 30,000 in Washington Square Park, and that was announced a record. That was a culture shock to me. Even in Nepal, which is smallish, a 30,000 strong crowd is a joke. A small time politico could pull that off. In India there is a "million man march" going on somewhere in the country every year. Often there are multiple ones. And they don't even stand out locally. A large rally is just landscape. Politicians organize large rallies for no rhyme or reason. In Bhutan they have a Gross Happiness Index, in India they have a Gross Democracy Index. You attend rallies, just because. It is like a New Yorker hitting a bar. You don't need a reason.

Donald Trump is running so hard, because he thinks he is getting paid for this. This feels like reality TV, but this is not, Donald.


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