March 17, 2016
COMMENT: My University colleague, Dr. Mike, as he is popularly known on campus, is disappointed with the state of American politics today. The party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Reagan and Bush The First has been shamed by Donald Trump, a political novice, and his rowdy supporters and followers. Listen to his campaign speeches and you will realise that they are devoid of real substance. He is dangerous to America and the world and yet he is the front runner in the race for the Republican Party nomination.
I am an admirer of the American tradition of democratic discourse, but I now find that American politics has degenerated into a sort of shouting match among the various contenders from both parties. Apart from Bernie Sanders, none of them make any sense. Slogans, cliches, fear and threats, sound bites, insults, and mudslinging have taken over and the state of democracy in America is precarious and deplorable.
I find it sickening to listen to political pundits on CNN who are trying to make sense out of nonsense. As Mike says, “[T]his is the politics of showbiz, where success is measured in air time and column inches”. No wonder, the celebrity Mr. Trump is a master at the game. He wants to make America great, but he is actually making America grotesque. ” God Help America, the Land of the Free” if Mr Trump is elected President in November, 2016.
As for Secretary Hillary Clinton, she neither has the charisma and leadership qualities nor the political savvy of an Obama or a Bill Clinton. She has not been forthright and most Americans cannot trust her. Her campaign has so far been bland and pedestrian. Septuagenarian Bernie has been telling America something about her, but no body is listening. But I would say that the world will be safer with Hillary in charge at the White House. — Din Merican
“I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that I stand firmly against the politics of division, the politics of fear, the politics of intolerance or hateful rhetoric.If we allow politicians to succeed by scaring people, we don’t actually end up any safer. Fear doesn’t make us safer. It makes us weaker.”–Justin Trudeau. Prime Minister of Canada
Trumping Democracy–The Dysfunction of American Politics
by Mike Minehan
The Donald Trump 2016 campaign for the US Presidency has now added violence to its mix of confrontation, bigotry, racism and confrontation.
Trump’s campaign rallies recently included a bloody stop in St Louis, and chaos in Chicago. And far from trying to contain the violence, Trump is exacerbating it further by threatening protestors with comments such as “I’d like to punch him right in the face,” and saying “that’s what we need a little bit more of.”
Trump has also threatened that if the Republication nomination goes to someone else, there could be even more violence. “I think you’d have riots,” he said. “I think you’d have problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen.”
Of course, Trump relishes confrontation. In a campaign that’s devoid of policy, and which feeds on racial divide and gratuitous abuse, confrontation itself is the substance. It’s all about grabbing the headlines and forcing your way into the news. This is the politics of showbiz, where success is measured in air time and column inches.
But how much can we blame Trump? America is now about celebrities and the silver screen. Accordingly, Trump is now running his own new reality TV show. Himself. He’s graduated from The Apprentice, which was on TV only once per week, and he’s on the news and the talk shows every night. He is also tweeting at every opportunity.
It’s not only the rest of the world that’s starting to feel uneasy about this megalomaniac.The Republican Party itself, which Trump supposedly represents, is now worried about this genie that’s out of the bottle. In Trump’s overblown rhetoric, he claims that “the biggest people in the party are calling. They want to sit down.”
But Republicans quickly distanced themselves from this claim. The only name that Trump dropped was House Speaker Paul Ryan. When contacted, Ryan’s spokesman tweeted that the Speaker had called Trump at Trump’s own request.
It seems like the Republican Party and the American media are now reaping their own whirlwind. This is a voracious whirlwind that has already sucked up and spat out common sense and civility.