Urge friends, fam­ily to vote against Trump

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY -

IF DON­ALD Trump were vy­ing to be prime min­is­ter of Ja­maica, he wouldn’t come close. If he had a chance, it cer­tainly would have evap­o­rated af­ter the emer­gence of video record­ings of the Re­pub­li­can Party’s nom­i­nee brag­ging about his abil­ity, be­cause of his celebrity sta­tus, to sex­u­ally as­sault women, in­clud­ing grab­bing them “by the p...y”.

As it is, Mr Trump’s can­di­dacy has not only re­mained vi­able, but he has a real shot at be­com­ing pres­i­dent af­ter Amer­i­cans vote to­mor­row. Na­tional opin­ion polls in the United States show him to be neck and neck with his Demo­cratic ri­val, Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton.

It is not un­rea­son­able, in the cir­cum­stance, to con­clude that Ja­maica, at least on the ev­i­dence of the cur­rent pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, en­gages in more so­phis­ti­cated pol­i­tics than the United States, where the sta­ple of the con­test, par­tic­u­larly on Mr Trump’s part, has been the trad­ing of in­sults rather than the dis­course on the sub­stance of pol­icy. Un­for­tu­nately, the qual­ity of po­lit­i­cal dis­course, notwith­stand­ing the rel­a­tively po­si­tion and sta­tus of the United States in the world, is not the same. They are not even close.

Ja­maica may have re­spect in the world be­yond its size and wealth, but it is a mid-level de­vel­op­ing na­tion whose global mus­cle-flex­ing is the logic of its ar­gu­ment, the in­tegrity of its poli­cies, and moral sua­sion. The United States is the world’s largest econ­omy, with the might­i­est and most so­phis­ti­cated mil­i­tary force. It re­mains the only su­per­power. This gives America a spe­cial place in the world, re­in­forced by the Jef­fer­so­nian pre­cepts that have guided its democ­racy.

Who leads the United States, there­fore, mat­ters. What­ever ar­gu­ments may be made against Mrs Clin­ton, this news­pa­per is clear that it shouldn’t be Don­ald Trump. Our view is not only be­cause of Mr Trump’s misog­yny, which al­lows him to call women slobs and pigs, or armed with mouth­fuls of Tic Tacs, ex­pro­pri­ate sex­ual favours from them.

Nor is it only his racism that causes him to at­tempt to dele­git­imise Barack Obama’s pres­i­dency by ques­tion­ing his Amer­i­can ci­ti­zen­ship, nor that he had the gall to tell African Amer­i­cans that given their state, they couldn’t do worse un­der a Trump pres­i­dency.


Nor is it the fact of the xeno­pho­bia and ethno­pho­bia that made him brand Mex­i­can im­mi­grants as drug ped­dlers and racists, or to pro­pose a ban on Mus­lims en­ter­ing the United States. All these things should dis­qual­ify Mr Trump from the pres­i­dency.

But there is some­thing pro­foundly deeper, on which all these things rest, that makes him uniquely un­fit to be the pres­i­dent of the United States of America. Don­ald Trump is ig­no­rant. He is in­tel­lec­tu­ally in­cu­ri­ous.

His per­cep­tion of the world is through the prism of 140 char­ac­ters – the most im­por­tant ones be­ing D& T – and as an ex­ten­sion of his Twit­ter han­dle. His for­eign pol­icy is the prod­uct of pithy phrases. That makes Don­ald Trump dan­ger­ous as leader of the most pow­er­ful coun­try, with ac­cess to nu­clear codes and de­vices that might be ac­ti­vated at the mer­est provo­ca­tion or per­ceived sleight.

Ja­maica, there­fore, has a ma­jor stake in not hav­ing Mr Trump in the White House. Ja­maicans at home should make that plain to Ja­maicans in the United States, or to any­one they know with a vote in the USA, who they should urge to cast their bal­lots against Don­ald Trump.

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