In 1936 Austen Chamberlain (brother of prime minister Neville) gave a speech in which he recalled a conversation with a diplomat who spoke of an ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” A synonym for “Go get your life fucked by war and anarchy, mate.”
Of course there’s absolutely not one iota of evidence to support that it was ever a Chinese curse, but I think we all know by now that folks in politics tell lies, so let’s not act too surprised.
We are indeed living in interesting times. Times that are becoming increasingly more confusing. Yesterday I saw two bumper stickers supporting Trump. (Well, one was pro-Trump the other was anti-Hillary, but in a two candidate election if you’re emphatically refusing to vote for one person, then you’re doing the other candidate an unconscious favour.) If you live in California, you know this is a big deal, we’re fourth out the fifty states in terms of being committed to voting Democrat.
Gut churning fear of a Trump presidency has been my main reaction to this year’s election antics.
However after reading the Trump stories, and taking in all the anti-Hillary sentiment floating around from both Republicans and Bernie-or-Busters, I am now beginning to feel concerned that Trump will drop out of the race.
His remarks over the past week clearly reveal the growing strain he is feeling. He has declared it unfair that the media is recording and reporting every word he utters, and says he only wants to debate if he is treated fairly but not if the press are going to broadcast everything he says; and has ejected videographers and journalists from his rallies for committing the sin of recording him. I… I mean… what did he thi… did he really… ugh.
Donald’s experience lies in being a D list celebrity and a crooked business man. His enemies prior to this, have been people who don’t have the resources to fight him. This level of daily scrutiny, and intense exposure of his inadequacy is new territory. To put it bluntly, his ego is having a hard time with this and he is cracking. I assume he’s also worried about exactly how much the media will be able to uncover about him, his business practices that are public knowledge are shady and unethical… possibly there’s some illegal shenanigans in his past worthy of jail time.
Add to this that members of the Republican party are coming out in droves to denounce him, and in some cases stating not only are they not supporting him, they are going to actively vote for Hillary Clinton instead; and Trump is crumbling.
One would think that this would be joyful news to my ears, instead it is instigating a nagging anxiety within.
For a start the media is celebrating Hillary’s current popularity in the polls, but the election is still two months away. Everything can turn upside down and inside out during that time, and over confidence in a win leads to voters deciding not to bother to turn out because their X in the box won’t count anyway. Learn from Brexit, the votes of individuals mean everything.
On that note, whilst dozens of Republican officials are deserting Trump, the millions of people that will turn out to vote for him are not going anywhere apart from to the ballot boxes. He’s losing support within the party, but not from the people. Angry people, desperate people, whether you support or abhor their beliefs, are passionate people who turn out to vote.
The NY times published a three minute video of supporters at various Trump rallies during his campaign, you can see it at the link below. Should you be feeling ambivalent about voting, bare in mind that the people expressing themselves in the video are not feeling the same way, they will be voting and having a say in your future.
Then what happens if he does drop out? Perhaps the Republicans already have an alternate candidate waiting in the wings, one who is a quiet conservative with a gentler approach who would shine like the sodding lighthouse of Alexandria as a new option for the Busters, for the Anti-Hillaries, for the -Just-Give-Me-Anyone-But-Trump-etists. Hillary’s doing well in the polls now, but would that still be the case if she suddenly faced an opponent who wasn’t so obviously teetering on the brink of insanity?
Although perhaps Trump’s retirement would open a Pandora’s can of crazy, with potential candidates falling over themselves to be the nominee: picture Anne Coulter and Paul Ryan cage fighting after they’ve rolled Pence’s body off a cliff. (Coulter would decimate him, she is made from the atomic dust of nightmares.) In years to come, children would learn about this election in history class and question us suspiciously, “My teachers told us all this stuff about what happened back in the olden days, but they’re lying right? I mean, that would never really happen. The videos are fake…right?”
Of course they are fake! We also made up dinosaurs and a time before the internet.