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Is this the true state of American politics?

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It has been my custom to check the major American network channels in the mornings and evenings to get an update on any important developments in the news. Most of them, of course, have been fixated with the presidential elections. I have really become disgusted and have at times been forced to switch to old Western movies. Is this really the state of American politics? Is it that the strange characters that masquerade themselves as conservative, meaning progressive politicians eager to make America great again, have really been thrown together to expose America’s dark underbelly?{{more}} Racism runs rampant. The pronouncement by Republi­can leaders in Congress that they will not consider any nominee for Justice of the Supreme Court that comes from Obama is no clearer evidence of this.

Obama’s presidency has been challenged from day one by Republican bosses, who vowed to make things difficult for him. Don’t bother to remind me that Obama has been elected overwhelmingly on two occasions, for certainly not all, or even the majority of Americans are racists. The very sight of the President and First Lady in, of all places, the ‘White House,’ has driven some persons, largely Republicans, but not them only, crazy. Those who want to categorize the opposition to him as a reaction to his socialist policies have got to be insane, unless they have a new definition of socialism. Remember they even wanted to disinherit him, for he is not supposed to have been born in America and even worse, he is a Muslim.

That’s one side of what is happening. I detest Trump and all that he stands for, but when I hear Marco Rubio referring to Trump wetting his pants and his short hands, asking Americans if they know what is said about men with short hands, I was truly shocked that this is what America has come to. To Rubio and Cruz he is a liar and a con artist, both men also having a strange relationship with the truth. Most of this abomination is coming from the Republicans. Compare the Republican debates that are the equivalent of a dog fight or a gun fight at the OK Corral and the Democrats, where ideas flow and two different versions of the way forward contend.

A lot of hot air spouts from Trump’s mouth. He makes the most outlandish statements, as though he has no control over his mind and tongue. He blames his hesitancy in denouncing white supremacists like David Duke on a faulty earpiece. When someone at one of his rallies called Cruz a ‘pussy’, he relished it. If allowed to continue the way he has been going, he will certainly reshape the Republican Party and not for the better. Did you see the comic performance at a rally celebrating his Super Tuesday victory; he with his famous scowl and Chris Christie looking over his shoulders with a puzzled look on his face, as if asking “What have I gotten into?” Christie is as establishment as you can get, yet commentators are depicting the gladiatorial contest as one of establishment versus outsider.

I become totally frustrated when I see blacks, few as they are, at his entertainment shows. To hear the Republican base clapping at his atrocities, lies and absurdities is to think that America is lost. Trump will stare you in your face and lie without blinking an eye. But admittedly, there are those within the Republican Party revolting against the sickening ‘Trumpism’. There are also some serious commentators who refuse to pander to his idiocy. Ezra Klein, in an article in Vox Media entitled “The Rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics”, wrote “His temperament is so immature, his narcissism so clear, his political base so unique, his reactions so strange, that I honestly have no idea what he would do – or what he wouldn’t do.” A good way of putting it!

Can you imagine President Trump! He will tell the Mexicans to pay for the wall that he intends to build in the dark corners of his imagination. He will make America strong again and in doing so will force ISIS into submission and command respect from world leaders, who will bow to his wishes. Equally stupid is Cruz’s commitment to tear up the Iran deal on his first day in office. Rubio is to undo the efforts of detente with Cuba. Trump will bring back all the companies and industries that have moved out of America. Remember he is the biggest negotiator ever. America will be like one of his failed business ventures. He might even declare it bankrupt before restoring it to perfect health! America, under his presidency, will score so many victories in all areas of life that the American people will get fed up of victories. You ever hear more nonsense! Everybody loves him, including the Mexicans and even Muslims. Blacks would worship him for providing jobs for them. Oh, what a fantasy world he has created for the millions of politically illiterate Americans, whose vision of the world is of the area around which they live. By the way, who does the ‘World Series’ involve? It is that same logic that will recreate the world that Trump and his cronies are focussing on. Let me be fair to Trump and reinforce the fact that he is not the only whacky one. One is not sure if Ben Carson is still officially in that world. As I write, he seems to be sending out signals that he is bowing out, but one can never be sure with him. What a bunch of comic characters! When is their next debate? Is that the time they will return to the OK Corral?

Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian.

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