65 days to go!

The US presidential election will be held – or, more accurately, concluded – Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Whatever the outcome it is more likely than not that nothing much will change.

The election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America, the first African American elected to the presidency in 2008 and re-elected in 2012 for a second term, didn’t change the world from what I can tell. Certainly he brought dignity to the office and in my opinion represented his citizens well both nationally and internationally.  But there are still wars.  And unemployment.  And prejudice. And senseless killings by senseless people.  If one were to listen to Donald Trump, this of course is all the fault of the Democrats in general and Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton in particular.  However I don’t really believe that even if Mr. Trump is elected as President – or even Mrs. Clinton as the first female President of the United States of America – anything much will change.  There will naturally be the imperceptible changes wrought by the effluxion of time and the constancy of change but whether those changes will be discernible within my lifetime or that of the latest generation is doubtful. Many of the changes – especially those requiring legislative amendment – will take years to promulgate and then years again to filter down to the masses from the legislative assembly. Even legislative change frequently meets with truculent opposition, never mind the impenetrable resistance in people’s hearts and minds.

I am not quite sure what the Americans hope to accomplish in this particular presidential election but it is certainly being touted as one of the nation’s most important.  If I were to assign any special significance to this election it would have to be the well of involvement by the lower ranks of society.  That this election is singular in that respect is odd given the election in 2008 involving the first black man. Perhaps the Obama 2008 motto “Yes we can!” was too obviously directed at the black minority to support its movement as anything other than radical.  The Trump allegiance from what has been disparagingly called the “ignorant vote” is unquestionably attributed to the what some say is the current American majority – white, jobless and uneducated.  Though the Trump campaign spin-doctors attempt to spread their base supporters to include disaffected Latinos and other minorities who suffer similar economic deprivation, Mr. Trump is having difficulty distancing himself from the whites-only audience particularly when his own rallies are glaringly absent minorities of colour. It is doubtful that Mr. Trump will effectively mobilize the “ignorant voters” to vote on or before Election Day; they’re in it for the free entertainment at this time, the show, not necessarily the unglamorous business of standing in line and turning out to vote on Election Day.

What is evident to most people with whom I speak about Mr. Trump is that he has pulled the entire Republican Party into a black hole. I am certain that if the Republicans thought they could sweep into power in the White House with the “ignorant vote” they would do it. But it is painfully clear that many Republicans – women, educated men, blacks and Hispanics – are leaving the Party in droves or never intend voting Republican.  Unfortunately for the Republicans they need voters in those demographics as well in order to win the presidential election. While there are still those chastened pundits who now (on the heels of the alarming and unpredicted outcome the Republican primaries) adopt the philosophy that anything is possible, I prefer to stand by the instinct that Americans as a whole are not stupid (though of course many are) and more particularly that they are not about to be duped by the theatrics and duplicity of Mr. Trump who is now running his campaign like a circus pinwheel game of chance.  Anyone with half an ounce of intelligence and the least bit of circumspection will quickly conclude that Mr. Trump is unhinged and that his tactics are pragmatic to a fault and serve no other purpose than to get him elected. Under the circumstances it is superfluous – not to mention irrelevant – to scrutinize whether Mr. Trump is a bigot, a racist or a Nazi.  All that matters to him in the long run is what it takes to get elected; and in the short run what it takes to get applause. We’re dealing here with a man with a serious emotional instability, a man who needs to be treated as the “sociopathic, 70-year old toddler” that he is (as described by Samantha Bee):

Samantha Bee (born October 25, 1969) is a Canadian American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actress, media critic, and television host. She is best known for being a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where she became the longest-serving regular correspondent. In 2015, she departed the show after 12 years to start her own show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

When I last opined upon Mr. Trump’s presidential fortunes I speculated that he would of necessity modify and dilute his initial campaign promises made during the Republican primaries.  This appears to have happened as anticipated since it is unimaginable that any election of the scope of the US Presidential Election should not include an attempt at the widest diversity of appeal. The ambition has nothing to do with policy, just what it takes to get elected.  It is no accident that Mrs. Clinton has intentionally gone mute for the past month or so except to trot out some rhetoric about what a dope Mr. Trump is. Mrs. Clinton has already gone on record as attempting to appeal to a broad range of voters – something the Democratic Party has historically done in any event (quite unlike the notorious appeal of Republicans to white, rich, educated and conservative men). Mrs. Clinton is quite happy to let Mr. Trump dig his own grave incrementally which he appears to be doing in spite of his mistaken interpretation of popularity because his faux pas keep him in the news headlines.

I am going to predict that over the next 65 days Mr. Trump will reveal himself more and more as a sham, someone who is driven by narcissism and an unquestionable taste for power over subalterns. He may indeed eventually come off as well-intentioned but it will only be a sucker-punch for his pathetic motivations.  On balance I am confident the thinking populace of the United States of America will rise above this unfortunate interlude upon its historical map and elect a woman who at least is in control of herself. Her serendipitous alliance with Mr. Bernie Sanders’ followers will strengthen the fibre of the government; and Mrs. Clinton’s appeal to moderate Republicans will indirectly broaden the Democratic base philosophically.  I don’t for a minute imagine that any third party candidate will figure in the final outcome. If anything, America is moving more to a one-party system of democracy where “first past the post” is no longer determinative of the enactment of political will.