Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency has been declared dead.
This would be more impressive if this wasn’t the umpteenth thousandth time the media had announced that Trump was going down in flames. Seriously … people have been gleefully celebrating his political defeat long before he became a serious candidate, then beat fourteen of the most powerful Republicans in the country and then posed a serious threat to Hilary Clinton’s poll numbers. Trump has been declared dead so many times that the political afterlife must have a revolving door.
I noted, back when I started watching Trump, that when a Republican candidate commits a ‘gaffe,’ the gaffe is promptly blown out of all proportion by the mainstream media. The candidate barely has a moment to realise he’s under attack before he finds himself being drowned in negative media coverage. Most candidates stagger under the hail of incoming brickbats, retreating in confusion rather than ploughing onwards. Trump’s success owes a great deal to his willingness to keep going, rather than surrendering to the judgement of the political and media elites.
The last two weeks have seen a whole string of devastating political exposes. President Obama not only knew about Hilary’s illegal email server, he was involved in it. The FBI soft-balled Hilary’s aides, to the point where they agreed to destroy evidence rather than leave it around for any future investigations. Hilary’s taxes are more dubious than Trump’s, she hired actors to ask questions in public appearances, her Wall Street speeches have started to leak out, the media deliberately misrepresented Trump’s words (again), Obama is risking war with Russia over Syria …
… And Donald Trump was terribly rude about women, back in 2005!
Guess which one the media considers most important? Hint – it’s not the possibility of a war with a nuclear power.
This has been said before and will probably need to be said again. This is an election between Donald Trump, master of the foul mouth, and Hilary Clinton, mistress of political corruption. Issues of political corruption are much more serious, whatever the media may tell you, than comments from eleven years ago. (Coming to think of it, Hilary insulted at least a third of the entire American population with her ‘deplorable’ comment.) Trump still has a very good chance of winning.
Let me see if I can use an example.
You spend your life savings for a trip of a lifetime … on the Titanic. Captain Smith and his crew reassure you, time and time again, that the ship is completely safe and that there’s no danger in charging through a field of icebergs in the pitch dark. You are uneasy, but allow them to lull you to sleep.
A man next to you, at table, is an extremist. He’s such an extremist you find he annoys you terribly. His views make you uncomfortable. You really don’t want to be next to him. And yet …
The ship hits an iceberg and starts to sink. Captain Smith keeps assuring you that all is fine, but it’s very evident that the ship is sinking. And the only lifeboat is one rowed by the extremist. Do you climb into the boat or do you stay on the Titanic until it sinks?
You get on the boat, of course. There’s no other way to survive.
The problems facing America were caused by the political establishment. Those fourteen Republicans trounced by Trump were establishment candidates. Hilary Clinton, too, is an establishment candidate. There is no reason to assume that Hilary will be good for anyone beyond the establishment itself. Trump, the extremist, is the only challenge who isn’t openly part of the establishment. Trusting him is the only way to defy the establishment.
The RNC failed. It allowed reasonable, moderate candidates to be driven out. The DNC failed. It pushed Hilary forward, even though she’s a strikingly poor candidate and there’s a strong perception she cheated when she beat Sanders for the nomination. Both parties should have looked for someone with broad appeal, someone who actually understood the problems facing the country. Instead, both parties are now hoist by their own petards.
Trump has been accused of wrecking the Republican Party. There is some truth in that – Trump showed that a non-establishment candidate could take the nomination, no matter what the establishment said. But the real damage was done long before Trump burst onto the political scene. And the same is true of Hilary and the Democrats. Her past hangs over her just as much as Trump’s hangs over him.
It isn’t a good choice. But the race isn’t over yet.