And the Trump, it shall sound! Bill Clague
Coming out of right field
By Roger Childs
It will be no big surprise that Donald Trump, who has never been a politician, is our choice for 2016.
When he lined up with a dozen other Republican presidential hopefuls 15 months ago, the odds on him getting to the White House were probably as good as Elvis being found alive in Nashville, or Leicester City winning the English Premier League.
Regarded as the joke candidate, he was written off by every media analyst in the world and even on election day the odds were heavily in favour of the US electing its first woman president.
How did it happen?
Well the answer may lie with the Russians hackers, however proving that may be impossible. Many Americans are still trying to figure out why the billionaire tycoon is about to become their next president.
All through the complicated election process, Trump was under-estimated. The Republican establishment were sure that a safe, happily married, conservative, church-going Christian family man like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, or even Ted Cruz, would wrap up the GOP nomination to take on Hillary Clinton.
However, Trump didn’t go away and clearly enjoyed watching the GOP leaders scrambling and squirming. Many Republican politicians said they wouldn’t vote for him if he got the nomination, but get it he did, at the convention in Cleveland.
But in the battle with Clinton for occupancy of the White House, Trump consistently alienated groups like Muslims, Latinos, women and others with insults and outrageous statements. How could he possibly win the presidency?
The media wrote him off and TIME had two covers late in the race, which they will now regret, showing cartoons of Trump, first in “Meltdown” then in “Total Meltdown”.
Tapping into dissatisfaction with government
Trump’s biggest advantage was not having ever held public office. He could not be identified with “government” or “Washington”, which were regarded with suspicion by many voters.
He tapped into a rich vein of popular disaffection with the political establishment and the federal bureaucracy. The fact also, that he was not dependent on Wall St financial backers, also worked to his benefit.
Meanwhile, Clinton was very much political establishment and did get funding from Wall St. She also had skeletons in the closet which Trump made sure walked free in the glare of the public spotlight.
He also made a meal of the tangled web of the insecurity of the Clinton emails, and the Democrat candidate couldn’t shake off the constant references to crooked Hillary.
To many, Trump was the fearless strongman who in the words of one academic, would go to Washington and say to the vested interests: “you’re fired!”
He appealed to people who
- wanted to see the inexorable flow of Latinos across the Mexican border stopped
- feared the continuing immigration of Muslim peoples
- had lost jobs because of out-sourcing, and restrictions on fossil fuel extraction
- were worried about the additional threat to employment posed by freer trade
- were caught in a debt cycle
- were frustrated by government bureaucrats
- didn’t like the current environmental restrictions
- didn’t want tighter gun laws.
For many who are well educated and well off, an intense loathing of the Clinton family saw them flock to the Donald Trump banner.
Maybe he would MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN and tens of thousands wore the familiar red caps with this appealing message.
The undemocratic system of deciding the presidency
It’s happened before and this time Trump was the beneficiary.
Clinton gained a staggering 2.9 million votes more than her rival.
However, because of the crazy electoral college, state by state allocation of votes, the GOP candidate prevailed.
Under this archaic, 229 years old system, Donald Trump narrowly won the key states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, and took all the allocated votes, whereas Hillary Clinton walloped her opponent in the two most populous states of New York and California.
The Americans love their constitution, but surely it’s time to ensure that the next presidential election is democratic and fair.
Nearly 3 million more Americans voted for Clinton, but the reality is they’ve got Trump for president.
Against all the odds and predictions, Donald Trump will be inaugurated in Washington DC on January 20. He had no close rivals for the award of KIN’s politician of 2016.
The United States, and the rest of the planet, will be holding its collective breath waiting to see what will happen in 2017, as the presidency is handed to a man who has no political experience, a low attention span and limited knowledge of the realities of world politics.