It’s the day of the US Presidential Election. After all the build-up, the arguments, the accusations and the investigations we STILL wind up with Donald Trump possibly becoming President of the United States. I’m convinced 2016 is one big honking glitch in the matrix. (Honestly, the world fell off its axis when Bowie died.)
A few thoughts…
Among many uneasy feelings there’s one inkling I can’t shake off. I feel it every time I hear perfectly intelligent people say: “Well, you know, Hillary Clinton isn’t exactly trustworthy / a great speaker / perfect…”
OK, that’s true, but… so? Donald Trump is none of those things either, but he’s getting away with it just fine and dandy. These flaws are not holding him back. If anything, they are part of his ‘USP’.
(Still remember hearing a Trump supporter say, “I don’t agree with what he says about women and Muslims and all, but we need a leader who’s not afraid to say those things…” No, world. That is not something you need. Nobody needs a leader who is willing to be a total asshole to decent people. And that shouldn’t count as someone’s USP.)
To me, this argument is pretty revealing: loathe as I am to sing the gender song here, it has been a key refrain in the soundtrack to this election. We have a long way to go towards genders being measured equally as well as being equally accountable.
Not saying anyone has to agree with all of Hillary’s policies, but aside from some wildly outrageous threats, her opponent doesn’t seem to have any fully formed policies to get on board with. (Hyperbole are not policies, Donald.)
As for experience, Clinton has been Obama’s Secretary of State and has been First Lady. Mate, she’s lived in the fricking White House! She knows how it works. Donald Trump is an oft-failed businessman who used to host a TV show.
(Yeah, you’re right. It’s the same.)
Ultimately, I suggest you think about it this way: if Clinton was a person of exactly the same character and experience but male, I have no doubt she would be doing better in the polls. And imagine if Trump was a person of the same character and experience but female: there would be no Presidential Candidate Trump. His personal life and tax scams and failed businesses would have had him torn to shreds before his campaign even got off the ground.
Clinton is an imperfect candidate. But show me a perfect politician! (No, no… leave Justin Trudeau out of this, he’s not perfect either. I don’t think.) Seriously, for all Clinton’s faults and failings, Trump has countless more. Well, maybe you can count ’em if you want. You might want to start with journalist Kurt Eichenwald who already found 129 bad ones. That both Clinton and Trump’s questionable faults are measured the same comes down to the fact that the bar with which a woman in power is measured is set much higher than that which we measure powerful men. We are happy to accept a flawed leader: if they’re male. The world still expects its women to arrive at the top squeaky clean.
Tonight I’ll be watching the election results unfold, shaking my head in utter bewilderment, and wondering how it is that in 2016 these two characters can be pitted against one another and it’s STILL TOO CLOSE TO CALL.
PS – If, yegads, it’s The Donald in the White House, then drop me a line – we’re all going to need to pitch in if we’re going to build that underground bunker. (It will need to be yuuuuge.)