Saturday, October 8, 2016
Trump's sexist, Clinton's corrupt . . . so what else is new?
I must confess to a feeling of frustration at the latest kerfuffles erupting in this year's election campaign. They seem so damn pointless.
Donald Trump made a sexist comment? So what? He's made dozens over the years. Some of the most notorious are gathered here, if it matters. We've always known he's that way inclined - just like many influential figures in business and politics. It's not just in America, either - witness Sergio Berlusconi's scandals in Italy, or Mitterand's mistress in France, or the Profumo scandal in the UK.
Hillary Clinton's speeches have been 'exposed'? Again, so what? We've known for years that she's incorrigibly corrupt and dishonest. I think it was in 1996 that she was first publicly called a 'congenital liar'. Nothing appears to have changed in the two decades since then.
Both Clinton and Trump are deeply flawed candidates for the Presidency of the United States. I don't think either of them will make a good President if elected, and I wish there were better alternatives. Unfortunately, there aren't. The minor party candidates exhibit significant shortcomings of their own, so I don't think it's worth supporting any of them; and even if one of them were elected, he or she would never be able to muster enough support in Congress and the Senate to be effective. All that's left to us is to vote for the lesser of the evils confronting us in this election.
Who is the 'lesser evil' among the candidates? To my mind, that has to be Donald Trump. I find that thought deeply distasteful in many ways. Don't forget, I'm a retired pastor, and I assess candidates from that moral and ethical perspective. He doesn't check many of my 'positive' boxes, and checks far too many of my 'negative' ones . . . but he checks more of the former, and less of the latter, than Hillary Clinton. He's also made some campaign promises that I would like to see implemented, even though I'm not sure of his sincerity or their practicality. On those grounds, and with great moral reluctance, I see no-one else to support in the present election. That's a very sad commentary on the state of US politics today.
Joseph-Marie de Maistre famously said, "Every nation gets the government it deserves". I can only respond that the USA must have done a whole lot of pretty ghastly things to deserve this!