In the years BT (before Trump), sex scandals, racism, sexism, immoral and reprehensible behaviour, financial misconduct, a lack of knowledge, a lack of ability, a lack of intelligence, telling constant and proven lies, or any combination of these things, would be enough to ruin the prospects of a politician. He or she would be forced to apologise and drop out for “the good of the country” and/or in order to, “spend more time with my family”.
But in the United States, this is no longer the case. Donald Trump has stumbled and lurched from one crisis to another including all of the above, with probably more to come, and yet — incredibly — he is still the Republican Presidential candidate.
An enormous number of words have been spoken and written as to why this is the case. The worldwide dissatisfaction with the political status quo, illustrated in the United Kingdom by the Brexit vote, and the fact that Hillary Clinton represents the ‘establishment’ so strongly no doubt play a part. The systemic and growing corruption of the democratic, capitalist system, which is contracting power to an ever-dwindling wealthy cabal, is eroding the middle class across the free world to such an extent that they are beginning to merge with the poor. Western governments are either ignoring this threat or pandering to extremist elements, which traditionally make the most noise.
While the people yearn for a more inclusive system of government, democracies are stumbling towards right wing regimes controlled by rich men and corporations. A logical conclusion is that it won’t be long before an entire country is privatised.
The natural human instinct of politicians is to attempt to control people, not listen to them. They feel they know what’s best and they ‘know’ that we will all be better off under their benign dictatorship. More intelligent politicians, like Barack Obama, on the other hand, realise that by removing conflict and unfairness from as many areas of life as possible, then people are more likely to feel enfranchised and included and will act in a positive, collective manner.
Which brings us back to the unique predicament being experienced by America. The Republicans — or Not-So-Grand-Old-Party — has been at war with the Democrats in general, and Obama in particular, for the last eight years. Their irrational hatred has allowed them to be taken over by the extreme right wing Tea Party. A group that has cobbled together a wish list of the worse traits of humanity, including racism, sexism, narcissism, dishonesty, religious intolerance & elitism, with the added bonus of an inexplicable animosity toward the very thing that actually made America great: immigration.
If Victor Frankenstein had been handed a brief by the Republicans to build a creature to those specifications, he could not have done better than Donald Trump, a man who embodies all those anti-principles and more. Someone you can rely on to ignore anything sensible or rational and go completely off the grid.
And yet, his defeat in next month’s election, while now very likely, is not certain. How are there still people, including, astoundingly, women, supporting Trump? Is it only because he is not Hillary Clinton, the establishment candidate, someone, unlike Trump, who has enormous experience and knows what she is doing? Are people so disenchanted by the status quo that they would elect a man so obviously and dangerously unstable? Even more amazing is that the very worst qualities anyone can attribute to Clinton are an improvement on the best that can be said about Trump.
I do feel some reassurance, however, when watching the news. Trump supporters, including the sadly deluded Rudy Giuliani, when interviewed, look and sound dumber by the day as they defend the indefensible. Even Fox News presenters are dropping off the bandwagon, and you know when people that stupid are deserting Trump, his support must be scraping the bottom of the barrel.
If the polls are correct, Trump may very well drag the Republican Party down with him and present Clinton with more power than Obama has ever enjoyed. The Republicans will then have to revert to very old and forgotten means if they want to push their agenda: negotiation and co-operation.
My thoughts are that America will recover from the embarrassment and humiliation of Donald Trump by handing Hillary Clinton a landslide victory, and the status quo will be maintained for a little longer until perhaps another Bernie Sanders emerges. I am not so sure about the Republican Party, though. They appear to be too far gone, having fallen into a hole filled with hate and negativity.
Many Republicans have never recovered from the shock of a black President and it’s hard to see them coping any better when a woman takes over. The party will probably split in two after the ruins stop smouldering, the moderates reverting to the old more reasonable version of the party, while the bitter Tea Party members will merge with the Ku Klux Klan or some other equally appropriate organisation.
And Donald Trump? Well, he will meet the same fate as Frankenstein’s tragic monster, drifting away into obscurity and misery. The only difference is that very few people will feel sorry for him.
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