Every single politician ever claims to be thinking of their country when they stand on the hustings and begin their campaign for election or re-election. For many, however, it is often more Party first, follow the line, give the people what they want to hear and secure a victory. What follows is often completely different to that which has been promised.
Sometimes it is possible to see through the lies and the propaganda, the spin and the playacting; whether this makes a difference or not is another matter. The news media will always be accused of twisting stories, of taking sides, of having an agenda and, in many cases, this is also true. Media sources do have their preferences, and they often show them with endorsements and column inches. A truly independent media, interested in the story and not just selling copies, would never endorse, should never endorse.
In the USA the electioneering between the Democrats and the Republicans is all about Party and winning, very little about the country itself. Policies are brought out and suggested which appear popular, but which have little chance of success, little hope of getting through the legislative process. This year, however, we are being treated to a spectacle like no other: this year we are seeing two candidates investigated in a manner no other politician has ever been handled. We are seeing the true colors of those attempting to gain the highest position in the land. And none of it is pleasant.
Screenshot Source: Twitter / Fortune Magazine
Neither of the two main candidates has a clean, white vest. Both of them have either a long career in business or politics behind them where decisions have been made which effect ordinary people, which could be considered illegal, which have gone against the grain as much as against good sense or taste.
Hillary Clinton has been involved in politics for much of her adult life. She has held positions which command respect as well as carrying a great deal of responsibility. She has made mistakes as well as good choices, and her life as a politician has been blessed or damned, according to your point of view, by the parallel life of her husband.
Screenshot Source: Twitter / Politico
Her greatest problems have been – and are – the Clinton Foundation, her private server and Bill Clinton. For the first two there are enough revelations to cover many posts, and which have been covered in hundreds of articles throughout the media. Undoubtedly there will be many more, especially on the activities of the Clinton Foundation and its influence on her political activities. Her mail server has also been the subject of many reports, a FBI investigation and, more recently, a series of leaks by the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. It is worth remembering here that her server, unlike the State servers she should have used, were never hacked. The copies of her privately paid speeches, now being released, reveal nothing unusual, nothing out of the ordinary. It would have been far better for her to have released the speeches openly and early: a bad decision on her part.
The infidelity of her husband is another matter entirely. What seems to have been forgotten is that no one has so far claimed that the sexual liaison between Monica Lewinski and Bill Clinton was non-consensual. They are, and were, both adults. Hillary Clinton’s decision to remain with her husband could be seen as a political move, but it also tells us a great deal about her strengths and her belief in the family, no matter where fault may lie.
Donald Trump is a different matter entirely. He has no experience in politics, as has been amply shown over the last months, and is a businessman who does not allow small matters such as tax payments, worker’s rights and the settlement of invoices for work done bother him. He is plagued by the Trump Foundation, by several bankruptcies, by possibly less than legal business practices, by his outpourings of misogynistic attacks on individuals, his sexism and racism.
Screenshot Source: Twitter / Kara Swisher
His attitude toward women has now overtaken that of his abhorrence of foreigners in the media. A recording of comments he made a decade ago – which has been mildly described as lewd – has surfaced and been widely publicized. In it he details he attitude towards women in a manner which can leave no doubt whatsoever in anyone’s mind that his macho attitude is not just playacting: he believes that women are there for the taking, for sex, and are mere playthings for the alpha male. His vilification of other politicians are perverts can now be seen in a new light, as he joins their ranks and, for many, is their leading star.
His continued attitude towards sexual transgressions can also be seen in comments about the Central Park Five who, as we all know, were innocent of the charges placed before the courts. He attacked them as sexual monsters for something they did not do and spoke of the death penalty. The actions they were accused of – sexual assault and rape – are actions which he condones, when it comes to himself. Sexual assault, non-consensual sex appear to him, and only for him, to be acceptable. His personal standards reflect a completely different perspective to that which he has always propounded when it comes to other people. His initial apology for the comments made a decade ago was not so much an apology – not even close, since it only apologized to those who might have been offended – but an attack on Bill Clinton and other men, claiming that such talk is normal, locker-room banter. His former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, now working for CNN, claimed that such talk was quite normal, even held around the dining room table at home, an idea which should send shudders down the spine of every single family member of every single family in the United States.
The Republican Party is a mess, and has been for several years. There has been talk, earlier in this campaign, that Donald Trump will be the death knell of the party. That will most certainly be so if all those Republican politicians and Republican-leaning newspapers do not withdraw their endorsements and condemn their nominee immediately. The various Evangelicals – God-fearing churchgoers – who have endorsed Donald Trump should go the same way and not, as some have already done, play the whole thing down. His actions and words are not those of a Christian, or a member of any other law-abiding religion with principles.
No matter what happens over the coming month, voters should look to their country and not to their chosen party. The idea that a man such as Donald Trump could be in the highest position in what is arguably the most powerful country in the world is untenable.
- Viktoria Michaelis.