Go with a smile!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Donald Trump

There’s a disturbing trend in the US presidential elections. Let’s look at the elections of the years past, since 1960, when there was television. In many of those elections, the guy who was more telegenic, and had more charisma and presence won the elections. In 1960 it was JFK. In 1964, while there wasn’t much to choose between LBJ and Barry Goldwater, LBJ won because there was sympathy for JFK being shot. In 1968, Nixon may not have been telegenic enough to win, but people were upset about the Vietnam War enough to vote for the opposing party. In 1972, the incumbent was Nixon, and he seemed like a decent enough guy and everybody voted him in. (we now know that that election was so dirty that it started the Watergate scandal). In 1976, Jimmy Carter may not have won, but he was up against somebody who was the US equivalent of Goh Chok Tong, the wooden man Gerald Ford. In 1980 and 1984, the winner was the telegenic Ronald Reagan. In 1988, George HW Bush had the incumbent advantage over Dukakis, who wasn’t more telegenic. In 1992 and 1996, Bill Clinton had that star quality. In 2000 and 2004, the only advantage Dubya had over his rivals was that he was more charismatic. And finally, in 2008 and 2012, Obama had more star power than his rivals, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Mitt Romney. So star power is a very powerful factor in presidential elections.

I’m getting worried that Donald Trump is going to win the elections. He might have an advantage over Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders does appeal to people, and he is the decent man, like Jimmy Carter. But does he have more showmanship than Donald Trump? Trump appeals mainly to the white people of America, because I think he’s pissed off enough guys of other races that they’re never going to vote for him. But that enough to keep him from being elected? It didn’t stop George W Bush from getting elected. The problem is that the people who mainly don’t want to see Donald Trump get elected are mainly concentrated in a few states: the coastal, more cosmopolitan areas, and the southern states on the border with Mexico.

Basically there are three states which determine who’s going to be the president, unfortunately. They are Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio. That’s because they are swing states. First Past the Post sometimes means that you can poll slightly fewer votes than your opponent, and still win the election, as what happened in 2000. When you look at the road that George W Bush led America down, you sometimes wonder a little bit about what a Gore presidency would have been like. I doubt he’d have made a great president, but he’d still be 10 times better than Dubya. There are times when I think about great tyrants of history, and sometimes I wonder how and why they can get away with what they’re doing. But some people are authoritarian. They just love the idea that somebody is in charge. They love the idea of heroes, the idea of idols. When things are going badly, a superhero will come in and save them. We were very lucky in 2008 that somebody looked the part, and he has been a pretty good president (unless you’re talking about foreign policy, and he doesn’t seem to give a shit). But I’m getting quite worried about Donald Trump, and I’m wondering – if he becomes the president of this country, either I’m going to take a gun out and shoot him, or I’m going to get out of this country.

One year before the 1992 elections, we didn't think that Bill Clinton was going to be president.

One year before the 2000 elections, we didn't think that George W Bush was going to be president. (Well it was half Bush half Gore.)

One year before the 2008 elections, we didn't think that Obama was going to be president.

For the longest time, whenever it's a new guy taking the seat, we haven't had the expected guy winning. Anybody who believes that it's impossible for Trump to win is just kidding himself.

If you look at Putin, Xi, Modi, Cameron, the trend these days is for authoritarian mediocrities with cults of personality to take charge.

The American presidency, more so than prime ministers of westminister states, is a theatrical performance. If you don't have good acting skills, you will not get the part.


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