The 2016 Presidential Election is something I’ve never witnessed before. And honestly, I just can’t fathom it. The Republican Party have selected as their candidate Donald J. Trump, despite most pundits claiming he wouldn’t get out of the primaries. This is a man who, much to the aghast and outrage of even his own party members, openly attacks the families of fallen soldiers, is openly racist, openly bigoted against members of the Islamic tradition, openly misogynistic, and who is so unprepared and unsuitable to hold the office of President of the United States that it’s laughable he would be given this platform.
But given this platform he has, and by nominating Trump to be President, the GOP have proven they have not learned the lessons of the past. It is widely understood that they lost the 2012 election because their candidate had to move to the right quite severely in order to win the nomination – but this level of conservativism is not appealing to the vast majority of Americans who identify as Independent or Non-Party; this is a key target demographic any candidate must do strongly with in order to win.
It’s simply unprecedented for someone with the national unfavourability levels that Trump ‘enjoys’ to be a party’s candidate for President. It’s similarly unheard of in recent times, indeed in modern history, for a major party’s nominee to be as openly antagonistic, cruel, and ignorant as Trump is. He wages a filthy campaign, with dangerous rhetoric, and there’s still just under 100 days left until election day.
Compare to this the candidature of Hillary Clinton; former First Lady of Arkansas, and the United States, former US Senator for New York, former US Secretary of State. She has been variously described as perhaps the most qualified candidate for President that the US public has ever been offered. She’s centrist, diplomatic, and well-respected across the world. And yet the American public don’t like her. How much of this is misogyny I don’t know, but there seems to be this unfair perception that she is a liar and can’t be trusted.
And even Democrats themselves had to be convinced to support one of their party’s stalwarts. Her main challenger came in the form of Independent US Senator for Vermont, Bernie Sanders. Sanders is older than Clinton, isn’t even a Democrat, and is far too left for mainstream America, but the Democratic Party went absolutely nuts for him. It just boggles the mind. Though Sanders is the complete antithesis of Trump, and is arguably entirely suitable to be President, his stature and experience is nothing compared to what Clinton was offering. That he came close to unseating her as the nominee is just crazy. It doesn’t make sense.
But the party conventions are over now, so we have Trump and Clinton. What’s done is done and we must make do with what we have.
I’m a big Clinton fan. I’ve wanted her to be President for about 10-12 years now – basically ever since I took a big interest in US politics. Her experience, her demeanour, her plan for American going into the 21st Century – they’re all appealing to me. And compared to Trump, it’s an absolute no-brainer. She is 100% the best candidate. But judging how well Sanders did, and how well Trump is doing, I’m not sure that matters anymore.
I have this dread that Americans will make the wrong choice and choose Trump as President. And although I’m not American, this choice does affect me. Who is President of the United States has a legitimate and real global impact; they have the world’s strongest army at their fingertips, their economic circumstances directly affect the global economy, and they have the power to initiate nuclear war. And when Trump could be that person with all this power … well, that’s just terrifying. And to be honest, because of this I think it’s only right that global citizens and world leaders express their dismay at Trump’s hate-filled speeches, and their concern what someone totally unsuitable for the role of President would do when in office.
Americans have less than 100 days until Election Day. Less than 100 days to come to their senses and rally behind Hillary Clinton, the only candidate who is clearly qualified for the job, who has the temperament and the competence, and who has the intelligence to formulate and enact real and lasting policy for the United States. And there are hopeful signs they are beginning to do this. Media polls currently give Clinton between a ~9 and ~14% lead over Trump, with even traditional GOP States like Georgia said to now be in play. Clinton has a 92% favourability rate with the African-American Community – Trump is on 1%. These are completely unprecedented numbers.
In the past week, since officially being confirmed as the Republican Party’s nominee for President, Trump has been spiralling into territory where even high-profile Republicans have begun to admit they can’t vote for him as President. He has refused to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan in his re-election, a sign showing how strained his relationship with the GOP actually is. I don’t endorse hate speech at any level, nor do I tolerate Trump’s dangerous rhetoric, but if his continuance of it means his chances of election become even less likely, then I could turn a blind eye to his conduct. Americans need to realise how unstable Trump is and how utterly unsuitable he is to hold office.
But Clinton needs to also step up to the plate. She is the best candidate. She is the most qualified, the most suitable, the most experienced. And she needs to convey that to the American public. She needs to convince them to overcome whatever wariness they have of her as a person and as a candidate to ensure that the US prospers and the world remains safe. A Trump Presidency will ensure the world becomes even more unstable than it’s already become.
There are less than 100 days left in this Presidential Election cycle. I hope and pray that Clinton wins. Honestly, the alternative is just too scary to consider.