Political conventional wisdom dictates that when individuals decide to run for president, they swing far right ( for the GOP nomination), or far left (for the Democratic nomination), in order to appeal to the base voters in their respective parties. Then, once securing the nomination, they move back toward the middle, to seek the votes of moderates, independents, and undecided voters that don’t adhere to any particular ideology. But in 2016, Donald Trump has defied this supposed political theory. He did swing very far right in order to become the Republican presidential nominee. But once the GOP convention was over, he has gone even further right during the general campaign. He has doubled down on building that hideous monstrosity on the Mexican border that will become known as the Trump Wall. ( Although he has backed away from the ludicrous notion that Mexico would pay for such a wall.) He’s still asserting the policy of throwing all undocumented individuals out of the country, and refusing to allow Muslim refugees into the country. Reversing his previous positions, he has become anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and anti-free trade. He strongly advocates for trickle-down economics, as well as tax -cuts for the rich, while slashing government assistance to the poor, the sick, and the elderly. As well as for using “nukes” when he feels it’s necessary.
This calculated decision to go as far right as humanly possible is based on the assumption that he, Trump, can garner such a heavy white vote, especially among older white males, that it would more than offset black, Latino, Asian, Moslem, and other minority voters that will undoubtably vote heavily against him in the general election. An interesting theory, as white voters still comprise a major, although shrinking share of the electorate. Consider this election to be the last stand of white voters who fell the special privileges of being Caucasian in the U.S. is slipping away from them. And they’re very unhappy about that. There’s even a new book on the market, written by an extreme right-winger, called “The Angry White Male” that espouses and solidifies this political phenomena. As I’ve written previously, this “Whites Only” political thrust became reality when Trump decided that his overall campaign chief would be a guy named Steve Bannon. Who was previously affiliated with a neo-fascist group known as Breitbart News. It’s Bannon who’s directing this white majority campaign thrust; but it was Trump who hired him and decided on this direction in the first place. Trump, who used to be pro-choice, “but now has become anti-abortion for all of 15 minutes.” That last quote was from a column written by George Will, a conservative Republican newspaper pundit.
The last time a “whites only” reality existed in the U.S. was in the early 1970s, in the Jim Crow segregated South. There were “whites only” schools, lunch counters, bathrooms, water fountains, and every other public institution and facility that existed. When the federal government tried to intervene to break down these segregated barriers, Southern states began to howl that it was a question of “states rights” and the Feds had no business interfering in such matters. Eventually, sanity and human decency did prevail, as the walls of Jim Crow segregation finally started to crumble. But not before the lives of many black people and civil rights workers were lost along the way. And keep in mind that the Ku Klux Klan, the chief advocate for the segregated South and its practices, the murderer of many civil rights members, still exists to this day. And guess which candidate the KKK is supporting, the one it says is their kind of guy.
But, to me, the most worrisome aspect of the 2016 campaign is who will have his or her fingers on the nuclear trigger. While our founding fathers wrote numerous “checks and balances” into the U.S. Constitution, it’s unfortunate that they couldn’t foresee a nuclear armed world. Hence there is no check on a U.S. president that wants to launch a nuclear attack against some perceived enemy. It is solely at his or her discretion. Bobby Knight, a former Indiana basketball coach, and an avid Trump supporter, has stated that with the election of Trump, “at least we’ll have someone in the White House that won’t be afraid to to drop a few nukes.” Trump, himself, has indicated he wouldn’t hesitate to launch nuclear missiles when called for. The world would never be the same. His election would put the nuclear trigger in the hands of an unhinged, deranged, pathological narcissist. Abuse his ego, and bammo.
Current polls show Clinton in the lead, with 2 weeks to go. But at this same time in the 2012 election, polls showed Mitt Romney headed for the winners circle, and we all know how well those predictions turned out. I prefer to check what odds the bookies are giving, because unlike the pollsters, the bookies have to put their money where their mouths are. The bookies are giving more favorable odds on Trump victory, meaning they expect Clinton to win. (One can actually bet the election on-line with bookies in England.) But there’s an unfortunate sense of over-confidence in the Clinton camp, which could prove disastrous. As it did to Mitt Romney in the last go-round.
Since I’m an old guy, there’s not much a Trump presidency can do to me these days. Even if the worst scenario occurs, at least I’ve had a life. (Some may view it as a so-called life.) But for you younger people out there, I would imagine that there would be oceans of worry, should the narcissist wind up sitting in the Oval Office on January 20, 2017.