A campaign based on negativity leavened with bombastic claims of how a ‘terrific’, rejuvenated United States led by Donald Trump will fix its problems – without details of how the US would pay for any fix – has all but officially captured the nomination of a once-proud and revered Republican Party.
Voters in GOP primaries and caucuses, including many independents and disaffected Democrats, have latched onto the proverbial pig in a poke.
Whereas most TV reality shows only last about four months there is a danger in this endless election cycle that American voters used to a TV diet of such UN-reality might think they are watching a season of Survivor or The Biggest Loser.
In reality the United States would be the biggest loser were Donald Trump to win the presidency. The country’s founding principles might not survive his term of office.
To many, Trump is a candidate to be not only scorned, derided and ridiculed but, mostly, to be feared; not because he is unqualified and so peripatetic in his views and opinions but because of what it says about the public’s willingness to support someone who appeals not to their hopes and aspirations but to their prejudices, anger and resentments. Instead of a nation of laws and equal opportunity we are becoming a nation of people who revile any institution whose view differs from their own. Misogynists are been emboldened by Trump’s crude verbal assaults on women. Those opposed to marriage between races have blasted the Old Navy department store chain’s use of a photo of an interracial family in an ad. Religious extremists decry the Supreme Court decision permitting same-sex marriage, believing the Bible supersedes the Constitution. Xenophobia rules, thanks to Trump, yet we forget that, unless descended from Native Americans, we are all the progeny of immigrants. Respect for our military suffered when our wannabe Commander-in-Chief demeaned Senator John McCain and other prisoners of war simply for getting captured. He has questioned long-standing alliances such as NATO and raised doubts about the supremacy of civilian control over the military (according to The New York Times, he would empower “military leaders over foreign affairs specialists in national security debates”.
It is indisputable that we have bifurcated into a nation of Haves and Have Nots. Equally true is that the population has segmented into groups with no memory or historical context for the harm evil demagogues, both foreign and domestic, can inflict.
This campaign will test the intelligence of the electorate. It will pit against each other stark differences in tone and substance. Will the public vote to roll back decades of progress in equality, economic opportunity, environmental/ product protection and American leadership in the world? Or will we opt for barriers and repeal based on a demagogue’s populist rantings?
Sadly, our USA has a history of turning its back on the future. Jim Crow laws
(enacted by Southern states in the 1880s legalise black/white segregation) followed emancipation. Isolationism and anti-Semitism followed victory in World War I. McCarthyism followed US ascendancy as the world’s premier superpower after World War II.
Central to the November presidential election is the question of which group will hold sway: that which rejects the last eighty years of America’ free world leadership or that which continues to believe the United States can be an example to all nations?
WOULD YOU VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP? IS CLINTON THE ANSWER? Leave your comments below