Monday, February 22, 2016

Waiting For Trump

Everyone has an opinion about Trump. Which is okay, because he has an opinion about everyone. So, though I do not get to vote in the American Presidential election, I shall add my two bits!

Right now, after South Carolina, the path to a Trump-Clinton match-up looks clearer than it ever was. All the predictable candidates of the Republican field, save Marco Rubio, have started dropping off, and soon, Trump would achieve what seemed completely unachievable even a few weeks ago - sound the most sensible among the group! His economics may eventually sound better than Kasich, his xenophobia more moderate than Cruz, and his common sense more than, well if he had it at all, Carson's. Oh, Rubio! Though he is still going strong, he may indeed be too smooth, too official, to go all the way in a year like this. 

Now, if Trump faces Clinton, it will be easy to see it as an ultimate Insider versus Outsider race. There is no one more on the inside than Clinton, she even lived in the White House! Besides, while Republicans may hate Trump, they hate Clinton even more. In the end, the prospect of seeing Bill back in the White House may be a bit too much for them to bear. And, therefore, it is hard to be optimistic about Clinton! The middle class is really feeling squeezed, and all the official news about economic growth and job data have been so out of touch with the day to day reality of anyone that it has started losing meaning. At this time, claims of a safe pair of hands is just another euphemism for business-as-usual, not good enough for most people. 

So, rest of the world has to contend with a really possible 45th! However, regardless of the naive assumptions of businessmen like Trump, America is not the world. The odious insults that may have won him the viewership on quarrelsome American television would be a handicap when dealing with people who are more respectful of each other. And, as we have seen in statecraft, when you wish for a Wall, you get a wall, and Trump would perhaps get his! All this put together, we will get an unmitigated disaster - and possibly a world-changing one!

Irony may not be welcome in America, but one can not escape one when watching Mr Trump. His punchline - Making America Great Again - is combined with ideas which aim to do anything but.He punctures, very effectively for rest of the world, the hot air baloon of American Greatness, laying bare its ugliest ideas and discarding the mythology and rhetoric of freedom, tolerance and opportunity that has caught the world's imagination ever since Wilson, another opportunist who belonged to a different age, made them principles of international policy. A hundred years after Wilson, it is Trump's turn to parade naked self-interest, xenophobia, belligerence and idiocy as the new Fourteen principles that America should be known for.

So, I am waiting for Trump to be unleashed on an already fragile year, when stock markets are shrinking with fears, the Chinese economy tottering, the Indian banks desperately seeking public funding, Europe tearing itself apart in the fears of the refugees, Britain hurtling itself to a crisis on European Union, and assorted Islamic terrorists preping themselves for a mother of all meltdowns in the Middle East. Add Trump in the melee, and one gets the apocalypse in all its perfection, one that would be democracy's very own!


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