“I could stand in the middle of the street and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters”. On the face of it , it appears that this is a quote from an authoritarian dictator from a Third World country – where people aren’t literate enough to understand the power of the ballot. Thus it comes at us rather as a surprise that these words were spoken by none other than Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s nominee for the post of the President of United States. Ironically, the country which promotes democracy and the rule of law around the world is considering electing this violent lunatic to the highest post of the land. Although the probability of his winning the Presedential election in Novemeber is bleak, it is not negligible. No one would have thought that he could defeat 16 Primary rivals – politicians, who had spent their whole lives preparing for this race, but in the end, he proved us wrong. Suppose the unthinkable does happen and Donald Trump is elected as the President of the world’s oldest democracy. Will it be the death-knell for the Western ideals of unity, democracy and non-violence?
The Trump Campaign is effectively utilising the current state of fear and uncertainity in the country. Terror attacks in the continental U.S. are on the rise, the economy is sluggish, the unemployment rate is high, and the federal taxes are pinching the middle class. And to rub salt on the wound, the immigration rate is also at an all time high. Global environment like the rise of China, and the blunders commited by the leadership during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led the people to develop a certain distrust towards the power centre in Washington, what the Americans commonly call the “Estabilishment”. A majority of Americans have sunk into monotony after 8 years of Obama Administration. To them Donald Trump is a fresh change of air.
This election season in the U.S. is all about change. And Donald Trump offers just that – a radical departure from the “Good Boy” image of the U.S. and a basher of political correctedness. Donald Trump has thrown the handbook of decency out of the window and has done everything a politician should not do and said everything that a politician should not say. He has blasted the Muslims, flabbergasted a sitting Supreme Court Judge, abused a woman and mocked a physically handicapped journalist. He has violated every ideal for which the United States has stood for the past 100 years. This has lead analysts to debate that whether the United States, or for that matter the Western Civilisation can survive the blow to its credibility made by Donald Trump. Fortunately history tells us that the U.S. has emerged strong through many unfavourable circumstances in the past and there is no sign that it wouldn’t continue to do so in the future. The United States is, not suprisingly, very resilient and I have no doubt that a Trump Presidency would not be more than an embarassing chapter in an otherwise glorious American history.