The Iowa Caucuses are just six weeks away, and that means the real race for the Presidency in America is just about to get underway – but this year, more than ever in recent years, both nominations seem as though they are already sewn up.
For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is a shoe-in to be selected as the first ever female Presidential candidate for one of the big two parties. She’s got a big lead over Bernie Sanders in the polls and has the name recognition, experience, policy base and money-raising potential to make her a great candidate. It’s been refreshing to have Sanders in the race, as one of the most left-wing serious challenges for the top job in decades, but it does seem it will be a step beyond him as things stand. Here’s the poll of polls at the moment:
For the Republicans, Donald Trump’s stranglehold on the nomination grows tighter by the day as he has dominated the campaign so far and denied the campaigns of other, more professional, politicians the oxygen they desperately need. Here’s my poll of polls as thing stand:
Trump is still not a nailed-on certainty to win though, as the way Americans feel now could be very different from when they go to the polls in the primaries. American poll guru Nate Silver is adamant in his belief that polling is overestimating the Trump-mania going on at the moment, and I’m more than inclined to hope he is right.
Donald Trump as President would be a nightmare for America and the world. His latest comments that Muslims should be banned from coming to the USA – even on holiday – have been the latest in what has been a campaign based on the radical right that is a danger to the world’s leading democracy. These comments stoke up racial hatred in a way that is much more problematic both within America and around the world than anything that exists at the moment and seriously jeopardise America’s role as a safe haven for those fleeing the atrocities of ISIL. With these attitudes, Trump could never call himself the leader of the “free” world, and that is the damage that he could do to the country if elected.
He has been outwardly xenophobic, kicking off his campaign by denouncing Mexican immigrants – who form a vital backbone of key industries in the South – as “rapists and criminals” before this week’s stunt. This is despite his own mother being an immigrant to the country.
His current five “positions” on his official campaign site are about immigration, US-China relations, Veterans Administration reforms and, if you couldn’t guess, the 2nd Amendment a.k.a. gun rights. These are not the five tenets of a four-year plan to “make America great again” as he claims he aims to do. These are five topical news stories that he is playing up to win votes.
Trump is a reactionary that is basing his policy base on populist arguments rather than sound ideological argument and vision for America. That is no way for a Representative or a Senator to behave, and is exponentially more dangerous for a President.
Presidents need to be visionaries and they need to have a coherent plan for what they want to do in office, and Trump has neither of those. Despite his business acumen, which I’ll leave to one side in this piece, he lacks any sort of political experience that one surely needs to take the most politically significant job in the world. You wouldn’t let a random guy of the street run a bank, so why would you let a random guy run the country?
The real election is in eleven months’ time, but there is a real possibility that the next year could be dominated, like the last few months have, by Trump’s baseless rhetoric and that he could sweep to power on a wave of anti-establishment feeling. This worry is real.
There is still time for America to save itself from this nightmare. Republican candidates such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are beginning to step up to the plate and provide a professional and more measured conservative vision for America. While I don’t personally agree with them, candidates such as Rubio are a whole lot more moderate and will give America the choice it deserves at the ballot box rather than a game of Russian roulette. Rubio is still ahead of Trump in the betting markets as the most likely Republican candidate because of this.
So with Iowa almost ready to kick-off what’s going to be a roller-coaster year, I say one thing to America. Pick your best candidate, just don’t let that be Donald J. Trump.