My Take: US Presidential Elections

Fortunately, or unfortunately there remains little doubt that Hillary Clinton will be inaugurated in January 2017 as the first female president of the US. Most opinion polls have been strongly trending that way, most notably after her Republican rival, Mr. Trump, indicated (in a not so humble manner) last week that he would accept the result of the Nov 8 election if and only if he emerges victorious.

Trump I believe has undermined himself in multifarious ways, most likely shooting himself in the foot due to his multiple failures in handling his campaign and his inability to mask his true intentions.

Skeptics, however remain unconvinced the original source. Most of them fear (or, in some cases, hope) that the polls are way off the mark. They tell you that Donald’s stunt candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination was, for a long time, deemed rather hopeless. That in the case of this particular republican candidate, it would be foolhardy not to expect the unexpected.

This naive tendency to view him as little more than a bad joke was short-lived however. By the time the nominating convention came, he was clearly a frontrunner. What is equally clear now, is that he isn’t one at the moment. In the past few months, some polls placed him neck-and-neck with Clinton, but that is certainly no longer the case. She appears to have pulled way clear in the aftermath of the three ill-tempered and shabbily managed presidential debates and a series of sexual assault allegations against Trump, whose strident misogyny was anyhow hardly in doubt.

Yes, there is a slim chance that the opinion polls by mainstream media could all be drastically off-mark and a probable November surprise looms a couple of weeks ahead. But as per my understanding of the US polls this probability is minuscule. And diminishing day by day.

That said this event does not necessarily translate into a cause for celebration. Sure, it is by any standard high time a woman ascended to the highest office in the land (and arguably the world). After all, it can be said that nearly all important  nations barring North America, many with considerably less experience of democracy than the US, have for decades been voting women as heads of their government. The simple fact that it has taken nearly a century after women won the right to vote for this to become a viable option in the US is a travesty of fate to say the least.

There is hardly any reason, at all, to hail the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. She is the most unpopular major-party nominee in American history can be attributed in part to sexist attitudes. But that is by no means the whole story. The private mail server scandal has dented her reputation in a huge way.

Bernie Sanders to my surprise managed to whip up a considerable degree of enthusiasm inspite of socialist views in a country where socialism is supposed to be a dirty word. He seemed to have offered an unusually progressive alternative to the dienchanted. His message often resonated with the growing numbers of discontented young Americans who find cause for despondency in the status quo, yet are sensible enough, not to repose faith in the kind of change presaged by Trump.

Personally speaking, a direct contest between Sanders and Trump would have been a fascinating battle over vehemently contrasting visions for America’s future. And the same may well have taken place had the Democratic establishment remained neutral in the conflict between Hillary and Bernie. Predictably,or unfortunately that did not transpire.

The Wikileaks expose has thrown light on Hillary’s inclinations, like a deplorable enthusiasm for disastrous military interventions and regime change, not to mention an unrestrained passion for Israel’s Likud party. Her comfortable attitude towards sources of wealth, from Goldman-Sachs to the likes of Donald Trump himself, is not much of a secret. And it goes almost without saying that most of her poll bound promises will never translate into policy.

For all that, it seems to be mind-boggling to me that as president as many suggest she might be more dangerous than Trump. But the simple answer is “No”. There can be plenty that can be said against the status quo and there is little cause to pretend that the second Clinton presidency will represent a welcome watershed. Sure, ‘lesser evilism’ is a societal curse all democracies have to abide by. But Donald is definitely not a risk worth taking. Under any circumstances.