Crucial political storm for America

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  • Bitter rivalry: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump share an uneasy handshake after the second US presidential debate at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri

    Bitter rivalry: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump share an uneasy handshake after the second US presidential debate at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri
    ((Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg))

Much of the world, including our island of Bermuda, has been watching with amazement the stunning twist and turns of the campaigns to choose the next president of the United States, which has turned into a political storm that is rocking the nation’s cultural core.

At the centre of the storm, which would be the eye if we were talking about a hurricane, is a billionaire named Donald Trump, who has managed to chalk up

a lengthy stream of comments that were deemed insulting and degrading — not only by many Americans, but also by observers in various parts of the world.

Despite what is generally described as bullying tactics, Trump has managed to retain support, which has kept him in the running as the key GOP representative for the Republican Party.

However, recent events with shocking disclosures of recorded conversations where Trump could be clearly heard making lewd comments about what he was able to do to women because of his star status, set off a chain reaction throughout the entire American political arena.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for the presidency, lost no time in branding Trump, once again, as not being qualified to be president. Although in the past Trump has been openly critical of Mexicans, Muslims and illegal immigrants, this latest disclosure must have been the last straw for many top Republicans, who decided it was time to withdraw their support, with some calling for the billionaire to step down as the GOP candidate.

Trump openly declared he has no intention of quitting, and that has much of America, and indeed the world, wondering how much damage will occur to the political infrastructure of the most powerful nation on Earth, one that prides itself on basic values of freedom and decency.

There is always a unified approach when the nation is faced with a major storm such as a hurricane, but that is not the case when confronted with a political dilemma that has deeply divided America, with increasing rage that Trump should never take a seat in the Oval Office.

It is not just the degrading remarks he has levelled at various ethnic groups, and those involving women, but a number of political veterans feel he fails to fully grasp the complex international scene and lacks the diplomacy skills to handle delicate situations that demand composure under pressure.

This was the setting as both Trump and Clinton engaged in a second presidential debate, with the stakes as high as they get, for whoever emerged victorious. Clinton has had a few storms of her own to ride out over her e-mail issues while serving as Secretary of State. Although she was cleared of any intentional wrongdoing by the FBI, and admitted an error in judgment on the matter, her trust level among voters was damaged. However, according to most polls, she continues to maintain a lead in key states.

The second debate was not too different from the first, with both candidates having feisty exchanges on a number of issues, and at times quite bluntly accusing each other of getting it all wrong. While there will be various polls as to who won, it is not likely Clinton will lose any ground that she has managed to gain in her bid for the White House.

Trump was obviously not comfortable when asked about the recorded conversation he had some years ago, plunging his campaign into a crisis mode. Although the two touched on a number of subjects, Trump appeared to focus on his base support, which some observers feel is not large enough to make a difference in the current polls.

Hurricane Matthew may be moving away from the US, but the political storm between the Republicans and the Democrats is far from over. In the weeks ahead, both candidates are expected to burn the midnight oil in trying to win further support. The American people after listening to both candidates, will have the final say next month, and only then will it be clear as to what direction the nation will likely take.

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Published Oct 14, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 14, 2016 at 1:27 am)

Crucial political storm for America

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