The United States And The Rest Of Us
It has been pure box office stuff for the media all around the world over the past few months. Never in the history of the United States has a build-up to the general elections afforded viewers with such untold pageantry, razzmatazz and to a large degree, hate mongering. The gladiators have been a certain New York based business man, Donald Trump and former first lady and secretary of state, Hilary Clinton. The sub-plots have been the stuff of dreams. From the murky waters that were the Clinton email scandals, to the shady tax returns accusations that has enmeshed Trump, this campaign has seen it all. Sadly, the campaign has also seen political hatred go on rampage in the United States. Candidates and party men and women have hauled hate speeches and indecent rhetorics at each other in such a toxic manner that borders on making a nonsense of the free speech mantra. However, when all is said and done, and the campaigning train gets to it destination in November, the realization will kick in that this election is truly not just about two candidates but about America and it fledging future as super power. It is also about the rest of the world and it relations with the world’s number one elite state since the end of the Cold War in 1991.
What we witnessed in Cleveland and Philadelphia at the Republican and Democratic conventions defies normal political vocabulary. We are used to speaking of American politics as split between the two major parties. It’s Democrats versus Republicans, liberals versus conservatives, left versus right. But not this election. The conventions showed that this is something different. This campaign is not merely a choice between the Democratic and Republican parties, but between what a political commentator called ‘normal and abnormal.’ It is the infiltration of ‘anything goes’ in modern day politics and in Nigeria’s current political parlance ‘The unbundling of an empire.’
How Donald Trump with all his imperfections and infamous brashness has gotten to the peak of political relevance will forever boggle the mind and be a study for emerging political analysts and historians. Trump has lied, bullied, insulted, divided and shrugged off a career’s worth of stepping on others because he has tapped into anger at being economically left behind, socially denigrated or politically forgotten among a broad swath of the electorate. He is a man Ted Cruz described as a "pathological liar," "utterly amoral," and "a narcissist at a level I don't think this country's ever seen." In the words of Rick Perry "a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded." The National Review, the flagship journal of American conservatism, said Trump "is a menace to American conservatism." And Rand Paul said Trump is "a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag. A speck of dirt is way more qualified to be president." Yet, despite the name calling, his popularity has continued to soar and accept it or not, there is a vast number of Americans who will crest an image of Trump on their chest. He has succeeded in selling the ‘United States weak and crime infested’ mantra to his acolytes while the facts suggest otherwise. That Trump has disciples is not the issue; after all, a certain Adolf Hitler had his own disciples. But for Trump to have such a massive following in Today’s America is disturbing, and for all the jibes that have thrown in his way throughout the campaigning period, there is the real possibility that he might yet emerge the president of the United States of America.
Then, there is Hilary Rodham Clinton. A prominent feature in American politics for a quarter of a century. The critics believe that as secretary of state she left a trail of policy failures from Libya to Syria, from the Russian reset to the Iraqi withdrawal to the rise of the Islamic State. Yet, the apologist believes she is ‘the political come-back queen’ and in the words of Bill Clinton, her husband ‘The best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life.’ Hilary is by no means a finished article as far as presidency for the herculean plum job is concerned. But then, who is? Her imperfections are well chronicled. In all honesty, she comes across a tad uninspiring and doesn’t inveigle the much needed believe some Americans wants to hear and feel. But take nothing away from her; she has given so much to the American society. Married to Bill Clinton in 1992, she went to Wellesley and Yale Law School and worked with the Children’s Defense Fund and the oldest law firm in Little Rock, Ark. As first lady, she was put in charge of health care, wore headbands, wrote “It Takes a Village,” was investigated for Whitewater and Travelgate, dealt with the suicide of the Clintons' longtime friend, Vince Foster and for those who love statistics, she has visited over 110 countries. And after a 35-year history in American politics in the shadow of the men she served, it is about time Hilary emerges her own person. One is never quite fully prepared for the presidency job; one grows into it. However, you need an above average candidate to fit in and Hilary is not a bad choice.
From Africa to China, Europe and the Middle East, a Trump presidency will be a disaster. Make no mistakes about it; all we have been seeing in the entire campaigning era is not an act. This is truly who Donald Trump is. To think that he might one day have access to the biggest military apparatus and the small matter of the nuclear weapon will be under his beck and call leaves a fretful feeling. It is not enough to criticize Donald Trump. Everyone, including non-Americans must work hard to ensure that he does not live one day in the White House. He is a potential menace to himself, Americans and the rest of the world.
The summary of the matter has to be that Heaven help America and the rest of the world were it to be, unthinkably, Clinton fails. She is all that stands between the United States of America and never-before-seen proof that the Founding Fathers weren’t all that they’ve been cracked up to be. Like or loather her, she is the lesser evil, the better half, the preferable poison and the palliative in the scheme of things.