A friend sent me a link to a Donald Trump video he wanted me to share with you. He said it was going viral.
It wasn’t, at least not when I looked at it on YouTube. Unless the definition of viral has changed. And, quite frankly, the video was boring. Maybe another time I’ll come up with a more interesting one. But it has been a month since I last looked at the US election, so we are due for some commentary of some sort.
Now they are two. The primary season not quite over, but the major American parties have their presumptive nominees: Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
There will be other names on the ballot in November. There will be a Libertarian, a Communist and I don’t know who else, but only Trump and Clinton have a realistic shot at winning. One of those two will be President of the United States this time next year.
I am so glad I am not an American and don’t have to decide how to mark my ballot in November. I think I might have voted for the Communist in protest.
Ten months ago I noted that the media didn’t think Donald Trump was a serious candidate. I pointed out that night be a mistake. I was right about that. I also suggested six months ago that his candidacy shouldn’t be taken seriously. I was wrong about that.
I my defence, I failed to realize just how much the Republican Party had managed to self-destruct. I’m not the only one. Republicans are rarely the majority in the U.S., at last not in recent years. Their strength comes from their ability to identify their supporters and get out the vote on election day. I couldn’t conceive that Trump could out-organize the establishment candidates. Trump should never have won the nomination.
Yet he did. He now should never win the presidential election. That is the perceived wisdom after all. But I’m not a big fan of perceived wisdom these days.
Nor am I a big fan of Hillary Clinton. I suspect I am not alone, and that is going to make a real difference when Americans go to cast their ballot in November. In 2008 I saw her as a much better, more substantial candidate than Barack Obama. In 2016 I see her as yesterday’s news, a tired, stale politician who represents all that is bad about American politics. She is past her “best before” date and I wonder if the American people will want to buy what she is selling. And I wonder if the Democrats have a clue how to beat Donald Trump.
He could self-destruct of course. But it is tough to imagine anything more outrageous than his past performances during this campaign. He has come across frequently as a racist, bigoted misogynistic neo-fascist, and his popularity has increased. His outsider campaign is going to rev up even more as he moves from presumptive nominee to candidate. Hillary Clinton has a track record as Senator and Secretary of State (and First Lady) that she will be held accountable for. Obamacare is disliked, even hated by millions. American died in Benghazi on Clinton’s watch. And then there are those private email servers. I doubt she’ll be criminally charged over that one, at least not before the election.
Trump on the other hand has never been in government. Trying to hold him accountable for his track record in business and his personal life hasn’t worked so far. I don’t see why it would work now.
So I’ll go on record and make a prediction. Last summer I predicted that Jeb Bush would take on Joe Biden in November 2016. Neither of those names are on the political landscape now (though I suppose there’s a theoretical possibility either one could be a vice-presidential candidate, though I don’t expect it). So given my less than stellar track record, I predict Donald Trump will beat Hillary Clinton in November.
I didn’t say that was a good thing. But it is the way I see it. At this point in June. I reserve the right to reevaluate in September.