Since the beginning of his campaigning a year ago, Donald Trump has been in the news for his fanatic statements so frequently that his image has often been reduced to that of a clown. But ever since securing his nomination as the Republican Party?s candidate for the President of the United States, one thing has been made clear – Donald Trump?s views cannot be made light of, however atrocious they might be.
The past week has been particularly disastrous for the nominee. Apart from witnessing poll numbers plummet to a ?crisis? level, Trump went to great lengths to make his personal bucket list on Ways To Offend Public Sensibilities, not only extensive, but exhaustive. For instance, he told a mother with a crying baby to leave one of his rallies, insulted the grieving parents of a Muslim American war hero, and refused to offer his condolences to the fallen soldier?s family – all of which only reiterated his image as a racist, a misogynist and a rampant xenophobe.
Trump has also been habitual of inciting political violence. Recently, the candidate took a dig at Japan, a country America recognizes as one of its closest allies. Donald Trump claimed Japan will ?sit home and watch Sony television? if the U.S. is ever attacked. ?You know we have a treaty with Japan, where if Japan is attacked, we have to use the full force and might of the United States,? Trump said, threatening to walk away from the treaty. Whether he actually plans on walking away from the treaty is, of course, impossible for anyone to determine. This is because Donald Trump?s positions on various policies have always been in flux.
Donald Trump changes his mind so frequently and so dramatically that an evaluation of his current policies is an exercise in vain. Take Trump?s abominable policy to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, for instance. While it was initially argued that the policy would be applicable to all 1.6 billion people practicing the religion across the world, Trump later altered his position to exempt citizens, members of the U.S. military, and his good friends, much to his convenience. He was earlier quoted as saying- ?[I am] calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country?s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on?. Subsequently, Trump flip-flopped again to say that the ban was merely a ?suggestion?. He has virtually exhausted his liberty as a Presidential candidate to change his position on this polarizing policy on various occasions every since. Thus, given his fickle-mindedness concerning issues of national and international importance, it would bear no fruit to try and analyze his definite stance on the Japan-US treaty issue.
Keeping in mind the consequences of having a person of such disreputableness as a potential leader, President Barack Obama was left no choice but to express his views on Donald Trump. In his harshest criticism of the Republican presidential nominee, Obama declared Trump “unfit” and “woefully unprepared” to be president. Obama posed a question to the Republican Party: “If you are repeatedly having to say what Trump says is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?”
The Republican leaders seem to have understood the gravity of the situation. With many of them concluding that Donald J. Trump is a threat to the party?s fortunes, New York Times reported that they have begun discussing how soon their endangered candidates should explicitly distance themselves from the presidential nominee.
But however much we censure Trump, the fact remains that his relentless appeal to the fears of predominantly white, middle-class voters has been working in his favor so far. To counter this appeal, Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, does not have much up her sleeve. Her struggle has always been to be perceived as not only relatable, but also as someone concerned about the agonies of the general middle-class. Her cautious approach and ?play-it-safe? attitude whist dealing with the media has only left these voters feeling increasingly alienated.
Nonetheless, with Hilary Clinton leading the polls for July, coupled with Trump?s inflammatory, and mostly backfiring, rhetoric – it is being reported by U.S. media that Clinton will win the 2016 presidential election.
? Contributed by Pragya, a Student of Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Journalism