by Peter Kellow, Leader Democratic Republican Party
The big story concerning the last presidential debate is, according to the mainstream media, the fact that Trump said that he might not accept the results of the presidential election on 9th November. This was supposed to be an unprecedented scandal.
But Trump would have to be a fool to vow to accept the reported results unconditionally. That would open the floodgates all manner of rigging that Hillary and her allies are capable of – with Trump pledged to ignore them. As Trump said in the debate there are millions registered to vote illegally and these are certainly going to be new entrants to the US who will fear a Trump immigration policy.
Earlier Hillary said all residents in the US, illegal or not, should be able to vote. This has not happened but it speaks to her methods
It is a matter of record that Al Gore was cheated out of the presidency by George W. Bush in 2000 by irregular manoeuvring of the count. (And how different the world would be if Bush had not been elected.)
The indignant posture of the pundits shows how little the real world impacts on the media bubble they inhabit.
That “big story” is not a story at all but just another ploy designed to discredit Trump. But the American people are not fools. They understand exactly why Trump made that statement.
So why do I say Trump might still win?
To understand this fully you have to stand back and compare the two candidates as personalities with their own record and histories. If, as I have, you have watched the presidential debates they emerge as complete opposites personalities. I will discuss policies just briefly at the end of this piece.
But let’s start with the polls which are showing Hillary a long way ahead and apparently pulling away. I predicted that the Conservatives would win the 2015 UK elections, five weeks before the event, when according to Nick Robinson, BBC, the day after the election,
No pollsters, no pundits, no political leaders saw it coming. Even David Cameron, himself did not see it coming. This was a day no one expected. No one could take it in.”
One of the reasons for all the commentators getting it wrong is that, despite a long history of polls being wrong, commentators still believe them. They ignore one simple fact. People don’t tell the truth when they respond to pollsters’ questions. They reserve their true opinion for the ballot box.
This is very much the case when one of the contestants presents what is in many ways an unacceptable profile. In 2015 people did not like to say they would vote for the Conservatives because of poor image of being on the side of the rich and the cabinet being made up of Old Etonians as well a few other PR problems.
It was the same with the Brexit vote, where Brexiteers had been presented as “fascists”, “racists”, “xenophobes”, “ignorant”, and so on by the mainstream media. These slurs prevent people answering honestly outside the ballot box.
So it is with Trump. He has been so vilified by the media that people cannot face justifying their true opinion to a pollster and so take the easy way out – as is their right.
A week or so ago the headlines in the US and UK were filled with unproven claims that he had insulted women and put his hand up their skirts on planes. This nonsense offends people and degrades American democracy and American media reporting – and it makes people retreat into their own opinion, until voting day
All this has to be put in the general context of disillusion with the political establishment that extends right across Europe and America.
People, given the chance, will vote anti-politics. This was definitely an important factor behind the Brexit vote. It is what is behind the anti-politics movements in Spain, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, and elsewhere.
America is probably even more anti-politics and political establishment than most countries for this is an ancient tradition going back to the early days of the republic.
Now it is in full flight, as Americans see the devastation wrought on American industry and its humiliation in costly foreign wars, carried on in the name of an endless “war on terror” – a war that has done nothing to benefit ordinary Americans. The deaths and maiming wrought on the people by this war without end are a visible and constant tragedy that Americans are forced to witness.
Trump will be the beneficiary of anti-politics sentiment. He comes from a business background and is decidedly a political outsider.
His claim to able to run the American economy, because of his business success, rings true. To run a business you have to have an eye for detail and to be able to judge character however big the business is. Yes, he will bring a fresh attitude to delivering jobs and prosperity. He will not kowtow to Wall Street and the Fed. Those are not his natural constituencies as they are of Hillary.
All this feeds to his image of being anti-politics, and in our day this advantage cannot be overstated.
The anti-politics feeling works doubly against Hillary because of her dynastic position. Having been already in the White House with husband Bill and having been long associated with him as ex-President does not help her
Americans have had enough of dynasties. The Bush dynasty which continued alongside the Clinton dynasty adds fuel to the fire that people would like to see consume the very idea of dynasty. Dynasty is anti-American and anti-Democratic.
Hillary’s position as Secretary of State under Obama suggests that Obama did not make any break in the dynastic succession. All this damages Hillary’s prospect. Americans are sick of politics and sick of dynasties. They will defy the political establishment as a matter of principle. They may even make a decisive break.
In spite of what the mainstream commentators may say, for me, Trump won the debate hands down. In also most every subject Hillary lapsed into what one of her sympathisers termed, “clichéd and stereotyped thoughts”.
Every time she opened her mouth she was clearly repeating a well-rehearsed, well picked over, line. She displayed no nimbleness of thinking or spontaneity. She was boring to watch. She repeated generalities that had no purchase on the subject matter and vague undertakings to address problems
Against that Trump homed in on detail – all of it relevant and used the detail to construct an argument. He never used politician-speak.
I am not going to discuss here in detail all the policy matters for these are secondary to the personality/history differences I have referred to.
In this sense they are less fundamental. Policies on the national debt, immigration, economics, war/foreign policy and the US Supreme Court, as discussed in the debates all fed into the construction of character.
Of course, I share doubts about Trump’s judgment, his tact and his predictability but what I am discussing here why he will appeal to Americans in a way Hillary does not.
An election is never about choosing your ideal candidate but about making a choice – even though you make not particularly like either candidate
And lying behind all this is the record of Hillary’s misdemeanours which may well be criminal.
This means that if she is elected the Republican Party will immediately implement impeachment procedures. As they did against her husband – although his letting his student aid, Monica Lewinsky, crawl under the Oval Office desk while he was dealing with state business is nothing as compared to what will drive the impeachment of Hillary.
Do Americans have the appetite for this? I think not much
Hillary comes with a lot of baggage and a lot of history and a lot of scandal. Many Americans will want to draw a line and relegate Hillary’s wrongdoings to the normal civic and criminal courts, where they belong – and not have their consequences enacted on the national political stage and broadcast to the rest of the world
Her bid for the presidency is as much as anything an attempt on her part to escape justice
And potential future First Gentlemen’s record of rape and abuse will be brought into play. The unproven accusations of sexual harassment by Trump pale in comparison with substantiated accusations against Bill.
Again, do Americans have the appetite for this? Whether they do or not will affect how they vote?
The last thing to say, even if we do not like to admit it, is that Trump is a man, Hillary a woman. Just because Americans have shown themselves to be capable of electing a black president does not mean they are prepared to follow that up with a woman president.
And the experiment of turning away for the standard white male model can hardly be counted a success. This is not because Obama is black but because he proved himself to be in the pocket of Wall Street, the military security complex and the political classes as much as any white male president before him.
In terms of bringing something new to the office, his colour was symbolic – nothing more. As everything that Hillary has said and done in her long political career confirms, she too is firmly in those self-same pockets. Indeed, she is financed by them.
Trump’s last words in the last presidential debate were “Vote for Clinton and you vote for four more years of Obama”.
This is true – except to say that the warmongering policies of the Nobel Peace Prize president will be continued at greater dymanic and viciousness by Hillary.
Hillary’s womanhood is a big disadvantage – and particularly as a female type she is hardly appealing. She evokes more than anything the Shakespearean characters of Lady Macbeth or the Shrew rather than more appealing examples of femininity.
Whatever you might want to believe, her being a woman will work against her.
In addition, she is up against an alpha-male and one that corresponds very much to certain, admired American mythological types. That does not mean he is always the nice guy, but it means he is the strong guy with resolution and an independence of mind.
He is fearless as he takes on the most dangerous and treacherous forces in the US – the CIA, Wall Street and the military industrial complex.
If he shoots from the hip, without self-censorship, that will not work against him. Americans are electing a future leader, not making a judgment of every past detail of character.
Sit him down in a negotiation with foreign leaders and you know he will be present as a personality not as a product of the Washington machine as Hillary would be. She has no opinions of her own, only those manufactured in the closed world she inhabits. She would be completely unable to think on her feet.
Hillary cannot negotiate because she is not her own person. Putin would laugh her out of court.
And she has form with regard to foreign policy. As Secretary of State 2009 – 2013 (ie Foreign Minister) she presided over one of the most disastrous and humiliating periods in recent US foreign policy. The US actions in Libya and Iraq speak for themselves and, even more important, the US role in the creation and sustaining ISIS is becoming more and more apparent to the American people. They have been betrayed by Hillary and her cabal
Americans do not trust their government and they do not trust the candidate that is so thoroughly implicated with it. Americans will not want to send Hillary aboard to sit at negotiating tables in other countries on their behalf. They will not want to trust her to be president.
Lastly, just a few words on policy:
- Trump vows to repeal the NAFTA agreement whereby US companies can shift production to Mexico and benefit from cheap labour and relaxed environmental regulation there. He is right.
When he brought this up in the first debate, Hillary revealed how, in common with most politicians and economists, she does not understand the difference between free trade and free movement of capital. It is the latter that is so damaging to individual economies not free trade. It is this that is worse of the evils of globalisation. Trump showed he understood the difference and says he will force US companies to repatriate their manufacturing. This is the only way to return jobs to the USA.
He never stopped reiterating that NAFTA is the worst foreign agreement that America has ever entered into. Enacted by President Bill Clinton it was clearly designed to benefit multinationals and the US financial elite against the interests of ordinary Americans. Hillary has no answer to this and attempted none in any of the debates.
- Trump will seek rapprochement with Russia and stop the vilification of Putin. Russia is not a real threat. But that is not the point for Washington. The anti-Russian warmongering, just like the War on Terror, is driven by the 1.3$ trillion American arms industry who prosper from war or the threat of war. Trump says he will reverse this policy. This is a very brave position for he is coming up against some of the most powerful and ruthless people in the world. Whatever you make think of his policy, he deserves credit for courage. The mainstream media never allows him this.
- I cannot hold with his anti-abortion policies, but on the other hand Hillary’s abortion policy is far too liberal. We need a sensible balance (such as we have in the UK).
- I cannot hold with his pro-gun opinions. But honestly to reverse the second amendment that confers the right to bear arms is a virtual impossibility. Due to Article 5, changing the US Constitution is all but impossible. Whoever is elected, it will make little difference to the outcome. (Incidentally, Hillary’s claim that 33,000 deaths in America caused by firearms ignores the fact that 66% of these were suicides not homicides. It is still as massive figure, of course, but she distorts the reality.)
- On immigration, the political classes of America are about to learn the same lesson as those in the Britain and the EU. This is a central issue for voters. This will shift votes from Hillary massively.
- On tax, Trump’s low tax policy in itself will not solve any economic problems but combined with his policy of repatriation of American industry and a halt to further export of jobs we will certainly see an improvement on America’s disastrous growth and employment figures.
- On the environment, Trump says he does not believe in manmade global warming. Well neither do many Americans (and neither do I, as it happens). Hillary has a cart load of policies that will address climate change alarmists concerns in which she is a strong believer. All these will be a burden on most Americans. She wants to shut down the coal mines. Trump will keep them open. The figure trotted out that 98% of the world’s climate change scientists believe in manmade global warming is a lie – as a quick internet search will reveal. I won’t go into the rest of the bogus science and the real driver behind climate change millenarianism here. That Trump rejects it, whatever your own beliefs, is a plus to the majority of voters.
I write this primarily as a correction to the prevailing view of the election outcome, but I favour Trump for the break he will make with the existing politics and for his sympathy with Russia and for, what I believe is, a genuine desire for peace. In power he may change and be better or worse than hoped. Everything will depend on the quality of the people he surrounds himself with.
I am sure he is a listener. His choice of aids to date give grounds for optimism. Hillary on the other hand is entirely predictable for she rides on the back of existing the vested interests of Wall Street, CIA and warmongering agendas. Trump is of independent mind. And he is a man (in the other important sense of that word).
Lastly, never forget the time-honoured American criterion for deciding who you will vote for when you an in the voting booth
Which candidate would you rather get stuck in a lift with?