Well, I watched it.
Trump, prowling around the stage like a caged lion, large and intimidatory. Incoherent in his analysis of any specifics, vociferous and boisterously ready to rip and tear whenever another rag strayed into his jaws.
Clinton, unintimidated and disciplined, delivering her party line in practised prose- a consummate political professional who occasionally referred to policy, and cunning in disguising that not one item of policy was hers, but a declaration of her sponsors’ shopping lists, ticked off one by one. Why, when I look at her face, is her mouth the only thing I see?
Anyway, my thought was (because I’m British and it is not my problem) who the hell do you vote for?
I do not count myself among those who smugly dismiss Trump as a fool. That camp has been wrong on so many levels. I believe that in the face-off with Russia that must inevitably happen Trump has the necessary steel – he’s no JFK, (although his womanizing tendencies might suggest otherwise) but then Putin is no Khrushchev. He had the common sense to avoid being embroiled in the Syria issue, too, and a great proportion of the art of diplomacy is knowing when to stay out. I’m also persuaded that he will at least try to resolve America’s issues at home with something more than rhetoric, although that must be dependent upon his support from his fellow Republicans. His stance on law and order, though, restricted currently to a few sound bites, intrigues me. How exactly does he intend to resolve the ‘problem with our inner cities, with Chicago; it’s terrible’? And oh, his stance on the Second Amendment!
Clinton, on the other hand, is a woman who proudly proclaims her record in public service; and that would be okay if her record was spectacularly good, but from an outsider’s standpoint it seems average, possibly even a little self-indulgent. I tried to pick through Hubby Bill’s testimony (at her inauguration) to her fabulousness; and certainly she has had a very active political life, yet did I discern a long series of ‘she attendeds’ and ‘she worked fors’ without too much emphasis upon the things she actually achieved? The conclusion I reach is of someone who has had thirty years to become politically tired, who has built up so many associations in the political class she has no hope of extrication, or ambition left for independent decision-making. That’s probably wise, BTW, because there is evidence her judgement is not always that good.
If Hilary succeeds in becoming President, I see her uneasily enthroned in the Oval Office, under constant siege by Iran, blackmail by the Sauds, and bullying by Putin, Assad, and Xi Jinping in turns. Her heels will be riddled with bite-marks from Kim Jung Un and clawed by Rodrigo Duterte – in short, I don’t believe she has the strength to deal with a world of which a strong President is a vital component.
Should Donald find his way to that chair, however, what then? A whole spectrum of wonderful – some might say frightening – prospects will be unveiled. His quixotic nature coupled with his blunt terminology is capable of delivering him into a scrape or two, isn’t it? But I am more perturbed because when I watch him all I see is his latent anger, and that, I am certain, could place half the world in peril.
Two households, then, both alike in indignity; both allegedly dishonest, neither prepared to deliver a cure to the inequalities that are at the root of America’s ills, and neither really bent upon tackling the gun laws in any meaningful fashion. I don’t think we should require our leaders to be superhuman – on the contrary, the greater the leader, as history has proved, the greater their foibles. We only ask for the ability to lead, and to instill faith in we who are compelled to follow.
That is, of course, only my particular view. If I were an American voter this year, I think I would be inclined to stay at home on polling day.