Living in Great Britain, it is easy to become so preoccupied with politics on our own pond that we neglect the caustic campaigns and repellent rallies produced by our simpatico states. Over here, we’ve had David Cameron nervously shredding anything remotely to do with Panama (including a real waste of a summer hat), Jeremy Corbyn working through a steadfast setlist for Glastonbury (we pray his time slot doesn’t clash with Clegg’s acoustic set) and Iain Duncan Smith weeping like Kate Winslet on William Hill. Over there, though, it’s slightly different.
We’re all aware of Donald Trump’s tumultuous campaign to become the next US President, in a move so concerning some people are beginning to remember the salad days of Mitt Romney. Not since World War II has there been such an unpopular candidate as Trump, who is currently behind Hilary Clinton in double digits and his recent loss in Wisconsin revealing even his alleged target voters, white people with college degrees, have turned their backs on him. He is deflating quicker than his fringe in a fridge, and yet here’s the rub – 26 per cent would still vote for him. And to allow your gasp to permeate further, that 26 per cent is of women.
With his campaign running out of puff, the only way he can hope to keep the cubic clout he’s amassed as a “political heavyweight” is that he falls short of winning the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination. With that, he can return to his other hobbies, namely The Apprentice and getting married.
At present, though, Trump is far from spent, and he’ll spend to avoid such a pitfall. Not in monetary terms, though, but in women, Muslims, Latinos and even some Americans. His current plan is to build a wall separating Mexico and the United States, but to rub further salsa into the wounds, he is also asking Mexico to pay for it. It’s almost like when a gang of youths come and wash your car, despite it being scrubbed diligently by Sainsbury’s own the evening before, and then cheekily say since they’ve done it, they deserve something to show for it. “Ring the door after, not before” should be Trump’s motto.
The whole hare-brained scenario brings to mind an episode of The Simpsons (I’m sure I am not the only one who has to align most cultural calamities to this show), when Homer proposes a similar barricade. “Like the one in Berlin?” Marge gasps. “Yeah, we can call them and get the guys they used,” Homer innocently, yet offensively, remarks. You can almost imagine Trump and his tribe feverishly fingering through the Yellow Pages to find a contractor with less than liberal beliefs. Building the “Trump Wall” will allegedly right all the wrongs that have strangled the United States over the years, but Trump himself has already built a wall, one that is surrounding and choking his vision, blocking out the multi-cultural, modern eclecticism that is the United States.
Women have been a target for Trump, and not in terms of voting – Carly Fiorina, Megyn Kelly and even his own daughter Ivanka have been playthings to be pilloried (or disconcertingly worse in Ivanka’s case…methinks Trump has read between the lines of Girl, Interrupted), resulting in such vitriol he makes Todd Akin look like Tim Allen. He claims to have hired and fired thousands of women over the years – and he’s married and divorced just as many – so how can be labelled sexist? However, what Trump fails to coagulate is he should be championing the cultural clout, dignity and diligence of the women he’s namedropping, as opposed to their faces and menstrual cycles.
Despite it being 2016, the topic of abortion continues to divide America. Opposition continues to grow in certain areas of the country, where evangelists reign with an iron cross. The correlation between the Republican Party and anti-abortion began all the way back in 1976, with the Party’s policy platform proposing a ban on abortion. Forty years later and Trump is doing everything he can to fan that fragile flame, saying those who have an abortion will need to have “some kind of punishment,” though he has yet to decide which.
Since Roe v Wade in the ‘70s, hard-working and intelligent women have long lobbied for the Supreme Court and politicians in general to keep their noses out of such a sensitive issue, but Trump’s remarks have once again reared the ugly head of vapid, rich white men with all the power but no premonition.
“Let’s make America great again,” Trump has offered, but that has become more and more of a caveat as time has gone on. He won’t win, but the fact he has been entertained has been bad enough.