I tried. I really tried. I tried to put aside my personal feelings for the man and let the politician come through. But I failed. Donald Trump is, quite simply, awful—unstructured, nasty, vindictive, unapologetic for past misdemeanours, unaware of the impression he creates, and with more hubris than Tony Blair. The man lives in an alternative reality (Hillary Clinton’s words, not mine). I listened to his outbursts last night in the second presidential debate in St. Louis and I both marvelled and trembled at how such a man has ended up as the Republican Presidential candidate.
Two weeks ago, I followed the first debate and then wrote up my thoughts in a blog titled Peppercorn Politician. The blog’s title alluded to my impressions of Trump and my intention this morning was to redress the balance and say more about Hillary Clinton. But I can’t say much. She comes across as a seasoned consummate politician who, like almost all politicians in high office, has skeletons in the cupboard and past deeds they now profess to regret. Her replies to the questions were well-rehearsed but her tone of delivery does nothing to convince that her policies are sound or that she can deliver on them if she becomes the next President of the USA. After thirty years in public service, her track record is not good.
Trump is like a magnet however. When Hillary speaks we know we are about to get a party line, a set of false promises delivered in measured tones. When Trump speaks however, all bets are off. When challenged over the so-called 2005 sex tape, he brushed it aside as locker-room banter. Locker-room banter? He was 59 at the time he made the boasts about groping women. That’s not locker-room banter. Locker-room banter occurs between young adult men, and possibly women, at the start of their sexual activities and conquests. No, Trump’s remarks fall more into the category of a form of misogyny wherein women are regarded as inferior to men and kept indoors where they are only good for sex, cooking and having children; a view, incidentally, held by many sects in the religion that Trump despises—Islam. Nigel Farage dismisses Trumps remarks as ‘alpha male boasting’. Farage is wrong and I’m not sure what bandwagon he’s trying to get on with his throw-away remark. He’s a rudderless ship at the moment.
Earlier today, I read several reports of the second debate from respected opinion writers. They asked questions such as ‘who won the debate?’ or claimed that Trump made a ‘barnstorming comeback’. Nobody won the debate. There was no debate; just an angry shouting match based on sleaze, insinuations, irrelevant or unproved accusations, and a high level of disrespect and disregard for those watching or listening, and for the hapless moderators.
I despair of American politics. I thought the UK political scene was bad enough, especially when Blair and his manipulative cronies Mandelson and Campbell ran the show but this was nothing like what could happen in the USA if Trump gets into the White House. Tsunamis, hurricanes and other natural disasters will pale into insignificance if President Trump takes over as Commander in Chief.
And for chrissakes, will somebody buy the man a handkerchief. His incessant sniffing drives me nuts!