By Prof K.C. Abraham*
Donald Trump has deepened his political trench with the exposure of the 2005 video tapes, revealing his promiscuity with women. With the mainstream media in hot pursuit of his blood, his party leaders led by influential Congressman Paul Ryanare deserting him. These include the former Presidential candidate John McCain and former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice. There is a continuing inflow of Republican leaders to the anti-Trump wagon.
Late Climb-down and Moderation – Exercises in Futility
Surveys throughout the campaign process say that a large majority of youth and radicals are opposed to Trump. There were vociferous protests against him in many places of his campaign. Of late, he played two cards, one to court the youth and the other to appease the African Americans. Trump publicly endorsed the rights of the LGBT community, sensing the mood of the large majority of youth, even from among the Evangelists. His rationale for the support was that banning Gay Rights was a foreign ideology borrowed from Saudi Arabia. However, this polemic has alienated the extreme Right Whites and Church Hierarchy. Trump went out of his way to woo the African Americans by expressing sympathy for their life conditions, especially low income, unemployment and poor education. For a man who ridiculed ‘Obama Care’ and scorned at welfare programmes, his promise of more jobs for the community members to improve their income and life status does not seem to have gone down with them. Moreover, the coloured population, the African Americans in particular, have been victims of White racism, which have led to fatalities in recent times. It is not surprising that Trump,who is the alter ego of the ultra-White racist,cannot gain an iota of trust from the minorities.
Trump was reckless when he criticised the gun control policy of Hillary Clinton and called for the use of Second Amendment by people, inadvertently asking them to use gun against Hillary.The media and critics were quick enough to interpret it as an invitation to violence. This has aroused genuine apprehension in the minds of well-meaning Americans about the risk of this man becoming the US President, who will also be the Commander-in-Chief of the US army. His abrasive comments on minorities, immigration population and women have cast doubts on his credibility. His unorthodox social and cultural policies, like on the LGBT community, augur ill with right-wing Christian fundamentalists.
Trump’s economic policy of protectionism and anti-globalisation is not acceptable to the business establishments and multi-national corporations that fund the Republican Party. ‘Isolationism’, a deviation from the traditional American foreign policy, has irked the policy thinkers and core leaders of the Republican Party.
War Within and Without
It is rather an irony that Trump, who emerged as a rebellious candidate to the Republican Party establishment and won the nomination with no challengeable rival, has transformed the party into a rebelling band. With prominent leaders denouncing him and even joining the rival camp, Trump is forced to open a double-faced war front –one against his rival outside and the other within his own camp. It is a war within and without. It maybe unprecedented in the US Presidential Election history that a party candidate is fighting the election without an army and machinery (party support) with deserters, betrayers and rebels aplenty.
With Trump declaring open war on the Republican establishment, the Congressional contestants from the party are in a Shakespearian dilemma, to be or not to be a Trumpian. Being a protagonist, the candidate would lose the votes of liberal Republicans, conservative Evangelists, minorities and neutrals,and being an antagonist would cost the support of radical Republicans,White working class and progressive Evangelists. In either case, the ensuing Presidential and Congressional election will witness the sordid drama of mutual annihilation in the Republican Party. Therefore, the inevitable choice left is to swim or sink together. Supporting Trump will cast a devastating impact on the electoral fortunes of many a Republicans.
Unfit Candidate & Missed Opportunity
What looked like a close contest is turning out to be a Trumpian Tragedy. Lately, public opinion divide has risen to an average rate of 6.5 per cent. The transformation came after the video revelation about Trump and his unimpressive performance in the second Presidential debate.
Trump failed to exploit the WikiLeaks disclosures on Clinton’s email handling and the Democratic Party national committee’s manoeuvres against Bernie Sanders to his advantage. Her popularity rise is, by default, the contribution of Trump demeaning himself.
Donald Trump with his intrinsic personality traits maybe the most unqualified and unfit candidate to lead America in the fast moving unpredictable world order. The nation deserves a statesman with a clear vision for the country and the world. A candidate with coherent socio-economic and foreign policies to resolve contemporary American discontentment would have been a strong rival to Hillary Clinton. The strength of Clinton’s candidature is drawn from the weakness of Trump’s candidacy. Some extraordinary events have to take place or major issues crop up, adversely affecting Clinton, to bring the boon of victory to Trump. Eventually, Donald Trump will tumble out of the 2016 Presidential contest and American political history.
* Prof K.C. Abraham is the Academic Director of Centre for Public Policy Research. The views expressed by the author is personal and does not reflect that of CPPR.
This article was first published in The Dialouge: Donald Trump on a Slippery Road– Part II
(This is the second article in this two-part series. Please click here to read the first part)