Monday, 10 October 2016

Tumultuous Trump

As I start to write this post the second presidential debate has not yet got underway. By the time I finish it, Trump's bid for the presidency may be as good as over.

In truth it should never have got this far. This is a man whose candidacy was always a hostage to fortune. A career of shooting from the lip was bound to leave a train of breadcrumbs the size of loaves of bread. Now those breadcrumbs are leading straight back to him. These are piles of crumbs that even Teflon Donald cannot disavow. 

And yet can anyone in all honesty claim to be surprised? We always knew that this was a man who plays fast and loose with the truth, who sees ordinary people like you and me as saps who are ripe to be exploited, lied to, liberated from our cash and then spat back out again. 

Think of Trump as a con man, a snake oil salesman, as the Wolf of Trump Tower and you undersell him. The worst part of it all is that he seems to think he really is a genius, some kind of business colossus to whom the rules do not apply. Last week we saw that he does not think that taxes apply to him. In the campaign up until now we have seen that he thinks that the normal rules of decorum and good manners do not apply to him. He does not think that he needs to prepare, to read, to educate himself. Now this week we saw that he thinks that normal decency towards women do not apply either. 

Yes some of those who remain hitched to his listing bandwagon try to defend him as just engaging in normal male joshing - frat boy talk. But this is frat boy talk between a man who was even then in his late 50s and has a daughter. At what point does a man like that grow up? Could we trust him to do so as he crosses the threshold of the Oval Office? Would be trust him to take the oath of office without sniggering and crossing his fingers behind his back? 

And what should we think of those who continue to defend the indefensible, who are not calling for this nasty inadequate man, this man who thinks it is okay, even boast worthy to claim to be able to grab a woman's genitalia simply because he is famous? It was bad enough when conservative politicians (even including some this side of the Atlantic who ought to be ashamed of themselves) continued to support him in this most divisive of elections. But what now? How can they possibly back him now? You might consider that much of what Barack Obama has done in power to be disastrous and this blog would not disagree with you. You might consider that Hillary Clinton will not be a great improvement and may well double down on some of Obama's worst mistakes. But we can be damned sure that, however bad she turns out to be, she will not be as dangerous, depraved and downright destabilising as Donald Trump could be. 

All members of the Republican Party owe it to their party, to their consciences but most of all to the country they profess to love - leaving aside the whole planet that is watching on in astonishment - to demand that Trump resign in favour of his running mate. This election has been a disaster for America. But there is just about chance to stop it becoming a cataclysm. 

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