Choosing the American President

Chernobyl HeartThe voting is over and President Obama has won a second term. This election took place against a background of rallies and conventions, social media, biting political satire, and billions of dollars of television commercials blanketing the airwaves.

Through it all, the debate on the role of the federal government became increasingly polarized.

The US has not been this divided since perhaps the civil war. But this is a battle that has been brewing for decades.

Throughout the campaign, the candidates positioned themselves as leaders of two opposing camps, but their actual records suggest many fundamental similarities.

Some argue that the real question is not the size of the government, or even its role, but rather whose side the government is on. Has it been bought and sold by the one per cent, or is there still room for the 99 per cent? Or even the 47 per cent?

How different will the US look in the next four years? With a divided Congress and citizenry, will partisan gridlock rule, or will the Obama administration, given four more years, alter the path of the US?

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Ratings: 6.40/10 from 5 users.

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24 Comments / User Reviews

  1. I AM POP SLAG.

    Has it been bought and sold by the one per cent, or is there still room for the 99 per cent? Or even the 47 per cent?

    If you dont already know the answer to this one then i cant see a documentary helping at all....

  2. D4V1D LVPT4´K

    Why the heck do they play the "background" music in the beginning so loud that one hardly understands what the commentator says??? This often happens in amateurish youtube videos but this one is supposed to be an official Al Jazeera product...

  3. Geoffrey Grekin

    The political climate is polarizing?
    I beg to differ,
    To sum it up in an analogy:

    It's like half of America want's Chocolate ice-cream while the other half wants vanilla. Each fight to blows over the quality and superiority of their Ice-cream over the other.
    What we truly need is a candidate that says, "screw ice-cream altogether, there are other forms of desert."

    In other words, these poloraizing differences are merely different sides to the same coin.

  4. fonbindelhofas

    "Choosing the American President" really? presidents are selected, not elected.
    Now you may ask by who? Check the dirty money books.

  5. Jay Foley

    the music in this documentary is louder than the commentator

  6. Patrick Adrien Varencaus

    cheating a dumbed down society !

  7. N B

    @Geoffrey Grekin

    An appropriate allegory in principle, but maybe a little too kind or too optimistic from my taste. Here's an alternate version:

    Half of America wants chocolate ice cream, half want vanilla. But they are forced to choose between two candidates; one offering a steaming pile of horse sh** and the other offering a steaming pile of cow sh**.

  8. slpsa

    Exactly. What flavor of poop would you like, says the candidates.

  9. Matt Kukowski

    Here is an example of people so ignorant to reality, that even when the truth is presented to the masses right under their noses, they miss the point.

    Example: Presidents win by Electoral majority and become President even though they LOST the popular vote.

    This tells you that your vote does not mean ANYTHING unless you are an Electoral Voter. Yet, people still go to the 'polls' believing their vote matters.

    People read this and say, 'Naw not true.' Because, they do not want to believe that they are being lied to. In fact, there is no lie here. The polls are just a way to count what people want. But, the polls are NOT a vote in an election. Again, right in your face, that you just go to a POLL and NOT a voting booth.

    But, people say, No no ... they count the popular vote. Well yes they do, but it makes no difference. The Electoral Vote is what matters.

    If you are in denial. Do not worry, you and millions just like you.

    Remember, this key point. If you want to deceive someone, or hide something, do it in plain sight and use proper wording as to make the lie a truth in the mind of the ignorant.

  10. Matt Kukowski

    @ zatarra :) Did you not get the point of my post? Your vote DOES NOT COUNT... only the Electoral College (as it is called) elects the president. You are a perfect example of how the majority of people think. Which means, do not listen, to miss the point and to ignore things that may make you feel bad.

    I'm sorry that your vote does not matter, or that our Popular vote does not matter. Again ONLY the Electoral Votes elect the president.

    This means the popular vote is just a poll and NOT a vote, and it does NOT elect the president.

    If you STILL miss my point... well we can see why truth never gets a foot hold. In one ear and out the other as they say.

    Now when it comes to Local and State... yes I think voting counts and matters. They DO count regular peoples' vote... Example would be State Props and Initiatives.

    But, my point was... that when it comes to the President Vote... your vote is not relevant.

  11. Matt Kukowski

    Well I did not vote at all... I will be honest. I do not mean to discourage people from trying to make their vote count in the way you describe.

    But, you obviously 'get' many things that most do not. So, my whole rant was the Electoral and all those lies.

    I guess my biggest WOW moments come when I find things hidden in plain sight and never notice them.

    One reason for this is the lack of understanding the problem tree by tree for the forest. The way I deal with life and issues and intellectual things is to do it one at a time.

    Point is... voting for Pres (which is just a puppet that likes to stroke his own ego for fun by becoming Pres) is a dog and pony show. And if people realized that their vote does not count when it comes to the Pres, would focus the point as to make it visible, to even the most thick among us.

    But, smart people tend to rant on and on about ten thousand issues at once, and in doing so the point is lost.

  12. LJ

    Matt, I understand what you are saying! Although, I did vote, as my family instilled this NEED(as if it really matters). Can someone explain to me the Electoral votes? Because I have been wondering exactly what Matt is saying. And, just for an FYI---I voted for Obama. Hoping that makes a difference in our nation.

  13. Pysmythe

    Whichever candidate in your state wins the popular vote is the candidate the Electoral College voters for your state will unanimously cast their votes for (with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, which have split votes in the College), and which, in fact, they don't literally do until January 6th, I believe it is. The system was designed to keep states with lower populations from usurping the will of higher populated states, which is why California has 55 electoral votes, for example, and South Carolina only 9.

    There are certainly some things about it that ought to be changed, but the bottom line is, your vote DOES count for something. Don't ever let anyone convince you it doesn't! Look at the nearly half a billion Rove and his superPAC spent on this one, and he still ends up with only 1% worth of success to show for it...

  14. Code000

    Gerrymandering is the ONLY reason why republicans held onto the house. Its a move that should be illegal in politics becauses it only purpose is to allow the controlling party in the House to rewrite district boundries. So u can see they will design districts that only cover republivans regions making it impossible to get demorcratic wins. It needs to be removed.

    Shame these people dont know this in the video. Besides that democrats destroyed republicans on the Senate side and actually won a few more house seats than republicans and a president that won more votes than any other president in history (popular vote)

  15. Ian Hulstein

    Am I the only person who thinks that all these people(except congresswoman Cynthia) sound brainwashed? That secretary of state? What a f****** numbskull. How much militaristic propaganda has that dude consumed?
    Can anyone actually deny the fact that corporations have bought government? and that America is empire building?

  16. John Rintala

    Marwan Bishara, the host, and Cynthia McKinney have a clear understanding of reality; the other turkeys are from the same establishment which has run this country into the ground over the past several decades. They are living in an alternative universe. They seem to have no idea what is going on in the world.

  17. deliaruhe

    When the Republicans get over their sore-loserism, they will want to deny that they were ever sore losers. So, for that reason, it's probably good to have this episode of Al Jazeera's *Empire* handy.

    McKinney is always laser sharp in her perceptions -- too dangerous for the perpetuation of the bamboozelment of the American public -- which is why we don't get to hear from her via the Western media and why her stint in Congress was cut short. Congress is no place for the truth.

    Kupchan is, as usual, bland and superficial because he believes in the system and analyses quite well its surface narratives, completely ignoring the powerful subtexts -- the undertow that threatens what used to be a reasonably functional democracy.

  18. Lovro Šari? Kora?evi?

    whats with the sound technician on this one, was he deaf??

  19. James Shawver

    During a presidential election there are 50 individual elections going on all at once. You vote within the system your state has set, and of course you vote counts in that state. In my state of Ohio, as in most states, the law dictates that the electoral votes must go to the person who won Ohio's presidential election. So now you see how every person's vote does count within their own state, and that an electoral college vote is really impotent because the vote must be used but can only be used on one canidate. I'm sure you'll continue to spread your fictional bs thick still, I've become aware that's what seems to happen during most discussions on this site.

  20. Kyle Douglas

    The electoral college is designed to protect us from the "tyranny of the majority;" that is, the tyranny of ignorant masses who are all gathered in certain regions where you are demonized for being a part of another party For example, places like California where you are treated like an immigrant who can't even speak the language if you are a republican, yet California is the state with the most electoral votes and NEVER changes it's stance, because the people there are ignorant and only vote for ONE party, since they can't think for themselves and vote accordingly, instead clinging to weak party loyalties.

    I don't care if you didn't like Romney, and/or voted 3rd party, which I did; with that said, everyone who voted for Obama is functionally r*tarded when it comes to both politics and finances. It's ludicrous to think that someone that could create that much debt, and who does nothing but pander in a sad, sick attempt to become "everybody's best friend," instead of using his brain to come up with healthy policies; he treats America like a s*upid popularity contest, and you people bought it. He is statistically worse than George W. Bush and you can't even deny it; he is worse than the one man that most of the country hated, and you voted for him AGAIN after saying you wouldn't vote for an i*iot twice. This country is absolutely disgusting, it's embarrassing; even Russia is laughing at us for making the SAME mistakes that they made.

  21. I AM POP SLAG.

    brown poop is most natural and best...with organic wholesome obama poop the whole country can smile whilst we bomb the villages!

  22. Richard Kaczmarczyk

    Everyone has a philosophy of life, while very few have facts that back up that philosophy; The plight of most humans. The progress in the last 100 or so years has been based on facts and not personal bias. In a 5 minute conversation, most people commit a couple of dozen fallacies of logic and don't know it. It takes hard work, study and an open mind to get to the facts which most people don't do or have. Being arrogant about what you know, eventually circulates back to the the originator, and proves detrimental, whether individual or government. Almost all of humanity's progress in the last two hundred years has been based on science and not mythical idea's and perceptions most people think they are smart, while being ignorant to 99.9999999 percent of all information, if not even more. With only .00000001 percent of knowledge or less, you have to know your limitations to functions and make educated decisions.

  23. edward

    let us, for one time, try the Russian example:
    maybe we find an American Putin at the CIA.

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