I’ve been watching the political news filtering up from dahn sarf in the good old U S of A with interest. This Donald Trump guy certainly has polarised voting opinion, and unlike the other candidates seems to be an über-pragmatist of the first water. Within the Sticker household opinions are sharply divided. Mrs S says she thinks he’ll be a ‘disaster’ if he wins the presidency because he doesn’t understand how the levers of power work, but I’m not so sure. I’ve a sneaking feeling he’ll deliver a few bitter pills, but overall he will undo some of the damage done by the current administration. Not all of it, but some.
From what I can see from this side of the border, his win is an increasingly likely eventuality, if not, according to a certain Dr Helmut Norpoth, a 96.1% certainty. Having checked out the good professors track record, I’m inclined to think he may be not far off the mark.
Now I think Trump will win the US Presidential election because he’s a better showman than his republican competition, and comes over better than the shrewish Hillary or wimpy Sanders. Because if there’s one thing the Yanks love, it’s a show, and if there’s one thing they hate it’s perceived weakness. Barack Obama understands this, which is why he’s won the last two US presidential elections, despite policies that have been highly unpopular in a great many quarters, as well as pissing off allies of the US and extending the current economic crisis, now beginning it’s epic ninth year.
What would overturn the good professors speculation is that some nutjob will probably try to kill Trump if he gets confirmed as the Republican candidate. This isn’t a laughing matter, no matter what some pundits might think, but it’s my observation that US presidential candidates, especially those as flamboyant and outspoken as ‘The Donald’ might as well have a bigger than usual target painted on their back. The US Presidency is a high risk job which often attracts the odd stray round from the mentally unbalanced. But that has always been the penalty for any high office of state. The raiments of Kings, Presidents and Ministers might as well come with a big bulls eye painted on the back, because there are always those mistaken enough to think that by smashing the figurehead you can divert the ship.
So yes, I think it’s more or less a done deal. Notwithstanding accusations of possible ‘election rigging’ or other malfeasance like voter bribing as pointed out in the Chicago Sun Times back in 2014. At that time a Rasmussen telephone poll indicated that 68% of Americans agreed with this point of view.
Of course I could be wrong, but in order for Trump to lose, he would have to self destruct spectacularly for the comparatively weak opposition to beat him or, as I mentioned earlier, he might even get killed by one of the lunatic fringe, but that’s the US Secret Services headache. As an aside it’s worth noting that Trump got his Secret Service protection back in November 2015, while Sanders got his in January 2016. The only other hopeful to get a protective detail is Ben Carson, while Hilary Clinton already had hers because of her previous rank as US Secretary of State and former first lady. Cruz and Rubio get Capitol Police protection because they are sitting Senators. Jeb Bush would have had a suits and sunglasses detail because of his family connections, but he’s out of the running now, so that’s by the by.
Any old road up, that’s enough speculation for now as Mrs S and I are hopping on the ferry tomorrow for a visit to the fleshpots of Vancouver. We’re also going on an extended US road trip in April and will be able to get a closer view of the American political machine in action as we pass through the afflicted states. Could be interesting.
Update: After a couple of comments from my last two readers, I found Conrad Black’s editorial in Saturday 27th February’s National Post enlightening. Not just about Trump, but of the sea change his rise represents.