Sunday, 23 October 2016

Poised for failure?

The question above pertains to Donald Trump’s candidacy in the oncoming US presidential election. Despite recent serious slip-ups which arguably could disqualify him straight away, he is not yet bound to lose it all.

According to a popular (don’t know to how extent it is true) belief, a president of the United States should boast of set if traits which pre-destine them to take this office. To cut the long story short, the president should be successful in all areas of life: should have a first spouse (to whom they are faithful) and children, boast about brilliant professional / academic / political career, be an exemplary citizen (e.g. not evade taxation, donate money to charities), crystal-clear in terms of honesty (no outstanding criminal charges / accusations), plus they should display impeccable manners and class.

Even if the description above is just a stereotype, it would not hurt if the bar for the president of the United States was raised that high. Bearing in mind the above, they very nomination of Donald Trump as Republican Party’s candidate has been mind-boggling. The very list of his numerous wrong-doings (BTW, an excellent summary containg what I miss in Polish journalism, i.e. citing sources substantiating each paragraph, hats down to the author):
- allegations of several attempts of sexual harassment,
- tax evasion,
- mistreating his wives, cheating on them,
- four bankruptcies of casinos he controlled,
- various cases of misconduct in running real estate business (dealing with tenants),
- mistreating his employees, including failing to pay contractors and workers, or hiring migrants illegally,
- running shady businesses, including a foundation, an university and an institute, all Trump-named,
is long enough to put a bunch of ordinary people into prisons, yet despite unprecedented slew of controversies around his name, the republicans decided he would run for presidency.

The recordings disclosed over a week ago, caused more uproar, but have not been a nail to his coffin. I would safety bet as the tapes of Mr Trump bragging about seducing married women and telling technical details on how he was making a pass on them could win some voters.

There will always be voters who would expect someone akin to them to hold such office. Mr Trump did what several males do when females are not around, proved he is a regular guy, not a spick-and-span well-mannered politician, but an ordinary chap from the neighbourhood, some who despite his richness has common ground with the underclass.

There is a theory that a statesman should adhere to higher moral standards than an ordinary citizen. The concept holds water in general, but conduct which is acceptable cannot be unambiguously defined. I am a straightforward man and never take umbrage when public figures commit the same sins as I do in their private time. I swear like a trooper (as many educated people in this Poland), even when there is no reason to use foul language. Swear words have become for me a part of communication with all people who have developed the same despicable habit, especially in the workplace (unfortunately foul language is tolerated there by everyone and hence thrives). I should be ashamed of it, yet if I broach this topic, I prefer to admit it that to pretend my civility is beyond reproach. Besides, I might not disapprove of eavesdropped politicians who swear in private conversations; by stooping so low, I have denied myself that right. The locker-room talks also do not shock me, since though I have never talked about any particular woman in such vulgar way, I am familiar with that style of language, but use it rather in self-deprecatory context (e.g. asked my a mate if I am fine, instead of straightforwardly confessing it could be better I tell him that “nobody wants to do me a blow-job”).

What might really drag down Mr Trump’s chances in the race of presidency was his declaration in the last debate he would not accept the victory of Mrs Clinton and would look into it fairness of the election procedure. By undercutting the foundations of democracy, Mr Trump moved closer to Mr Kaczynski who also implied several times elections won by PO or its nominees had been rigged.

Incidentally, Mr Kaczynski, as a bachelor, having no children, having not accumulated any property over more than 40 years of adult life, never taking private travels abroad as an adult, not having a driving license and not fending for himself over most of his adult life, also does not fit the profile of a statesman, yet for totally different reasons than Mr Trump.

The very existence of Donald Trump is not a problem, as there are many freaks roaming around our planet. His very willingness to run for presidency, if he can afford it, is not a problem as well. The issue is that for some reason he earned the nomination of the Republican Party and the biggest issue and a puzzle is why people want to vote for him. We need to bear in mind he does not tread the path of PiS in Poland and does not pamper the poorest with benefits raising their standard of living and does not resort to the most blatant economic populism for masses. The possible answers lean towards ideological reasons: Mr Trump wants to reinstate law and order, lift America from its knees, revise relationships with other countries, wants to make the United States an empire again, is a backbone of conservatism, finally some voters would sooner kiss their own arse than vote for a democrat.

Not being actually fond of Mrs Clinton, I keep fingers crossed for her victory on 8 November, thus I am keeping fingers crossed for well-being of the whole civilised world.

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