The world appears to be steering through some kind of hellish hairpin turn, where politics and public attitudes are colliding then breaking apart in a pattern with dangerous potentials not seen for decades. This collision of factions isn't par for course, but instead takes on a heavy and potentially disastrous meaning. It's the "trust me" voters against the "listen to me" voters, and that is not a good match-up for the most powerful nation on Earth to be entering into. There will be a breaking point, but it could still be a peaceful one.
Donald Trump – a worm who knows which way to wriggle his way to safety through the mud regardless of the state of the ground above him – is vying for presidency, and having secured the Republican candidacy he has left the country in a state of great vulnerability leading up to the election.
Yes, all signs point to a landslide loss for the Ultra Capitalist, morally-bankrupt demagogue of day-glow intellect, who surely has more skeletons in the closet than any Ghost Train carnie across the US of A – but that ignores the fact that the country now sits one major scandal away from the public at large being rallied into an angry, frustrated protest vote against the recent establishment. I can only hope the right people foresaw this danger at the right time.
Unlike almost every US election before it, we do not have two candidates who represent (to varying extents) different but viable facets of the nation and their widepread political appetites and identities. We have a candidate who is de facto Republican and highly questionable on key points when it comes to the core beliefs of Democrats – given her past voting history – and a strange, brightly coloured puppet straining at every nerve to become puppet-master, stuffing antagonism down as many throats as possible, as forcefully as possible, standing for nothing except a short-list of very short talking points he dreamt up as a marketing campaign combining hatred, excitement, and dark desires of national greatness which he has attempted to tie to his nation's previous track-record: completely unrelated and disconnected to his surface-level policies.
He tries to make it sound like a personal courier could compete with the efficiency of electronic communication within the military – and he has a completely straight face when he says things like this. It's like watching a human in animation who is missing a core part of their brain, or who has somehow been rendered incapable of the healthy emotional responses towards their own behaviours and instincts that would normally keep them within the realm of basic moral judgement. He entertains like a drunken uncle at a family function, but he is somehow being taken seriously by many who are neither drunk or young enough to excuse such naive judgements.
Trump has had his eyeballs on the prize of presidency for a long time. Everything he has done points towards some kind of delusional dream of primacy, superlative quality, or the illusion of such. The recognition of greatness by the nation at large is the jackpot he hopes will one day pour out of society and drown him in golden coins, each coin pushing his un-soothable ego further up by a tiny notch. Only then will he have broken free from the shackles his father placed on his innate greatness – once he has established the most tangible status symbol the world has to offer. Of being in the most powerful position within the most powerful country on Earth.
Trump I believe came out the gate a damaged individual, thrust into a position he must have been bewildered by to begin with, and the only route forward he appeared to see was to adopt the values that preserved his privilege, and then escalate and pervert them into a new brand that might help him establish his own presence and identity in the world. To break free from the idea of him being a direct and unavoidable, unfortunate product of his father’s success – which he certainly is.
The extent to which he followed through on this easy psychological escape route is bewildering. He carries the hallmarks of a man who has never thought twice, or doubted himself, as he follows an individualistic and extremist thought process through to its conclusion. Rather, he has doubled down on every hand he was ever dealt, designating himself a winner who cannot take a wrong turn, decorating himself in gaudy gold, and spending his brain-power learning the art of wriggling out of tricky situations when they arise under the subterfuge of diversions into irrelevance, or sticking his fingers in his ears while maintaining an unwavering front and figuring out which crack he can temporarily slip through this time.
When that doesn't work, all-our aggression is the man's forte, but in a naive form. He throws the same insults back at people as he was given like an anti-social child who thinks he's in a mud-slinging contest, rather than a debate.
It goes almost without saying that President Trump would spell the end of the United States as a global power. He would turn the country inwards on itself within months, and it would take decades to sort out the mess. The instantaneous loss of global esteem would result in severely diminished power in all kinds of places the US previously held a strong influence, ultimately due to respect for the country’s well-considered and nationally-interested choices when it comes to maintaining their standing and control in world affairs. That respect would be lost within 24 hours following a Trump win, putting the wheels in motion for all kinds of disastrous results around the world as China and Russia would quickly step in to take their position as the new “steady” twin global powers – first to be listened to on the international stage.
And then we have the United Kingdom, whose public were always wise in their decisions up until their vote to exit the European Union in July this year. They were always wise when it came to maintaining an image of relevance and power, essential to the ability to propagate and uphold modern and progressive values throughout the world, despite the loss of their empire over half a century ago, which bestowed that questionable image of prominence on them in the first place. The public there have vetoed their continued relevance in the world by voting themselves out of the EU, and they can no longer function in the long term as a bridge between the US and Europe. The notion of “splendid isolation” now has a new meaning in the UK. They have a splendid opportunity to isolate themselves from the world outside, but little opportunity to play a part in its long-term future direction – without forging an entirely new co-operative enterprise from scratch – when it comes to global issues.
The UK is now as minimally splendid as they could have made themselves, and unavoidably will be seen as a self-destructive political entity by many powerful countries around the world. The erosion of power and relevance there has already been assured. But not the US.
If Clinton wins by the landslide we might expect, the world should enjoy some protections against instability in the near future, but here is the problem I was alluding to earlier: the US is now – in a world of countries whose leaders stand in a room together, most armed to a dangerous capacity, and some armed to a potentially catastrophic extent – stripped naked, exposing its chest, and welcoming a metaphorical bullet into vital organs. Tempting other significant powers to interfere and steer the perceptions of the US public towards a Trump vote.
Whether they could accomplish this largely comes down to how clean Hilary’s history is. The responsibility after-the-fact for Clinton is enormous, and as an optimist I think she will prove to be the heroine of democracy who prevented a catastrophic disaster of freedom in The West. I think she’s solid where it counts in this election race, and I don't anticipate more scandals on the way. God knows she’s been under the microscope more than almost any other candidate in US election history, and the lack of a derailleur up until this point bodes well for the future of not just the US, but the world at large.