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According to the pundits of the mainstream media, it looks increasingly likely that the US election in November will be a landslide victory for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her only genuine rival, Donald Trump, is all but out, they say, having wrecked his chances of winning over the ‘moderate majority’ with a series of astonishing lapses of judgement and discipline.
I wish I could say with certainty that these pundits are wrong, but I can’t. To do so would be to place hope over observable reality.
The truth is the past fortnight has been by far the worst of Donald Trump’s short (if dazzling) political career. In rally after rally, the New York mogul has allowed his tongue to get the better of his political intelligence, making statements that can at the very best be described as ‘ill-advised’ and at worst as ‘politically suicidal’.
And of these clangers, surely none seems destined for greater infamy than the following comment the Republican nominee made in Wilmington, North Carolina on Tuesday, August 9th: “If she (Hillary) gets to pick her (supreme court) judges, (there’s) nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said, before adding, “although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Now, there are two ways in which this remark can be interpreted. One interpretation – one that gives Mr Trump the benefit of the doubt – is that he was simply suggesting ‘2nd amendment people’ might be able to organise into a legal, peaceful political force and persuade the Clinton regime to pick pro-gun judges. Another interpretation – that which the media has uniformly preferred – is that Mr Trump was suggesting – jokingly or not – that pro-gun activists assassinate Ms Clinton before she gets the chance to pick any judges.
It doesn’t really matter which interpretation is correct – at least politically speaking. The remark, whatever its meaning, was stupidly vague, needlessly provocative and incredibly unwise.
Donald Trump is not the idiot many liberals make him out to be. He is a clever, competent businessman, a graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of Finance and the son of successful professionals. He must have known as soon as the remark left his lips that it was the vocalisation of a grave error of judgement.
Personally, I do not believe Donald Trump would ever sincerely advocate political violence. It just isn’t the kind of man he is. Those people who know him personally are unanimous in their testimony that the billionaire is. at heart, a kindly, charitable and honest person; much softer and gentler in private than in public. He is not a Putin, in other words, let alone a Hitler.
But even his supporters must be honest enough to admit that remarks of this kind are a gift to the opposition. Even we should acknowledge (in the spirit of tough love) that if such provocations continue to issue from Trump’s mouth, the November election is almost certainly destined to result in a Clinton rout.
As I said at the top, the media (both in America and Europe) have been quick to interpret the recent controversies as signalling the death knell for Trump’s entire campaign. In the words of the (liberal and pro-Hillary) New York Times: “The effort to save Mr. Trump from himself has plainly failed. He has repeatedly signaled to his advisers and allies his willingness to change and adapt, but has grown only more volatile and prone to provocation since then, making comments that have been seen as inciting violence and linking his political opponents to terrorism… Advisers who once hoped a Pygmalion-like transformation would refashion a crudely effective political showman into a plausible American president now increasingly concede that Mr. Trump may be beyond coaching. He has ignored their pleas and counsel as his poll numbers have dropped… And (even) Mr. Trump has begun to acknowledge to associates and even in public that he might lose. In an interview on CNBC on Thursday, he said he was prepared to face defeat.”
Of course, no-one can really say for sure whether it is ‘all over’ for Trump at this stage. It is still far too early to jump to any conclusions. Nevertheless, at the time of writing, Hillary Clinton enjoys a terrifying 8 point lead over the Republican in most national polls. That lead represents a massive turnaround from just a few weeks ago, when Trump led in most polls by an average of 2 points. To be honest – and there is no point in being dishonest – this looks very grim indeed.
We – the Western World as a whole – simply cannot afford for Trump to lose in November. If the New Yorker fails to resuscitate his campaign in the next three months, America will find itself led by one of the most corrupt, opinion-less and manipulative executives in living memory.
Let there be not a doubt in your mind, reader; Hillary Rodham Clinton is considerably more dangerous to America’s well-being than Barack Obama ever was.
Unlike the current CIC, Mrs Clinton is not an ideologue. She is something far worse than that. She is an opportunist, a beneficiary of funds and a puppet of the special interests that have so corrupted American politics for decades. She will not, as president, do as she wants. She will do as she’s told. And that (in my opinion) is a million times more unpredictable, dangerous and sinister than the stable, pedestrian liberalism of Barack Hussein Obama.
In Trump’s own words: “Hillary Clinton has perfected the politics of personal profit and even theft… She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund, doing favors for oppressive regimes, and many others… in exchange for cash, pure and simple. Pure and simple.”
At several of his rallies Mr Trump has listed many of the foreign countries known to have lent material support to the Clinton campaign – states which include such beacons of liberty as Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. What, I ask, do they have in common?
Like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton is notorious for refusing to use the words ‘radical Islam’ when talking of the crimes of ISIS, preferring to use more culturally vague terms like ‘terrorism’, ‘murder’, ‘criminality’ and ‘violence’. Perhaps the list of nations backing the Clinton effort goes some way in explaining this, but not all the way.
While Clinton is not – as Trump needlessly alleged – the ‘co-founder’ of ISIS, she is nevertheless on the same page as ISIS in regard to certain vital regional issues. Clinton is, for example, quite fanatical in her insistence that Bashar al-Assad (a man who has done more to combat ISIS than anyone) is the greatest evil currently active in Syria and has spoken more often in criticism of his regime than of the band of maniacs currently at war with it.
This stance would appear to be in sync with a school of thought devised in the murkier corridors of the neo-conservative movement; one which argues that ISIS, far from being a grave threat to America, may ultimately be good for it; that if ISIS can overthrow the Assad regime, even by instituting a medieval theocracy in its place, then that will benefit the US by knocking out a long-standing threat to its regional interests – (by which they presumably mean the Assad government’s stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, some – but not all – of which have been dismantled).
This is all hypothetical, of course; but given the intransigence of the Clinton campaign, we can only be hypothetical. And that, in many essential ways, is just the point, isn’t it?
Nothing is for certain with Clinton. She has no clear agenda. Everything about her is blurred behind a film of dust, money and Middle-Eastern smog.
So please, Mr Trump – play a smarter game. Stop giving the press exactly what they want. Stop feeding them headlines. Stop lighting unnecessary fires. There is no honour in losing on principle in this election. The stakes are considerably too high for that.