Living on the West coast of North America in Vancouver, Canada, I have been closely following the ups and downs of the presidential election in the US. The Democrat Hillary Clinton is a highly qualified and abundantly experienced but a severely flawed candidate.
The Republican billionaire Donald Trump on the other hand has been engaged in dog whistle politics — the politics of racism. The David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan world and others of his ilk have realised Trump is the only vessel for their contemptible hate for the blacks, Jews and other visible minorities. Trump had a hard time deciding to reject Duke’s public support of his candidacy. After repeated criticisms he reluctantly rejected Duke’s support– initially pretending he knew nothing about who Duke was.
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Trump is best known for branding Mexicans coming into the US as “rapists and murderers”. He was the head of the Birther Movement that tried unsuccessfully to de-legitimize Obama’s presidency by questioning the place of his birth and his faith. His favourite rant during the primaries and the election has been to warn Americans, Republicans in particular, that this election was the last chance to “get their country back” — an illusion to the foreign-ness of Obama and the increasing population and diversity of blacks, Hispanics and other minorities; the implication being that if he couldn’t win this time they, meaning the white Americans, will lose their country for ever. The crowds at his rallies are generally exclusively white and angry at the changing America. His “make America great again” subliminally harkens back to the pre Marin Luther King period, to the era of segregated communities. The Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities have explicitly rejected that kind of America. It was never great for them.
Trump has proven to be an incorrigible misogynist. He has and continues unapologetically to call women–that won’t do his bidding or those he doesn’t like–slobs, dogs, fat pigs and ugly. He has no compunction in thrusting his tongue down any women’s throat that strikes his fancy. At least 12 women have come forward to accuse him of sexual assault. On November 2nd a women, who was allegedly raped by Trump when she was thirteen, cancelled her press conference because of threats against her life. As a star and a celebrity he has bragged he could do whatever he pleased with whichever woman he fancied.
And the threat of violence has never been too far if Trump felt he might lose the primaries or the election. He had suggested that if Hillary won, there wasn’t much anyone could do, except of course “the Second Amendment people” — the gun owners — “could do something”, hinting clearly at the violence in his heart and in the hearts of many of his supporters. He and his supporters talk of violence and revolution if Hillary won. He had warned his supporters might go on a riotous rampage if he lost the primaries. He has been alleging that America’s is a rigged system and the ‘establishment’ would rig the elections; that only his victory could prove the things aren’t rigged.
Trump and his supporters are moved by the fear of the country and diversity irretrievably changing, to circle the wagons around the idea of an America long dead — that only lives in his supporters’ imagination: the America of the early and mid 20th century where the blacks and other minorities were much less than equal. But America has now become increasingly diverse. The blacks are no longer satisfied — nor should they be — to be second-class citizens. Obama’s presidency has once and for all catapulted the US into a post-Obama revolution of uninterrupted black assertiveness for absolute equality. The college educated, and other progressive whites don’t pine for Trump’s dog whistled America. The Hispanics are increasing in number and so is their demand for equality and political clout. They aren’t interested in being ruled by the likes of Trump.
With America irreversibly moving to a more egalitarian and progressive future, 2016’s is the last presidential election a Xenophobe like Trump could ever have a chance of winning. It is the last hurrah of the “make America great again” crowd that really wants to turn the clock back to a less egalitarian, less fair and less just America. The days of domination of American politics by the likes of “make America great again crowd” are truly numbered. My bet is on Hillary. Despite her being a less than perfect candidate, I am With Her and cheering for her.