As the sole surviving super power, the United States demands the attention of the world. And every four years it enacts a long-running circus that often entertains the universe by its weirdness, if nothing else. But the most recent extravaganza is beginning to pall because it has become plainly boring.
Everyone knows that the contest is between Donald Trump, the billionaire realty mogul and one-time beauty pageant impresario, and Hillary Clinton, one-time First Lady, a senator from New York and Secretary of State. Trump has abundantly proved that he is a loudmouth who delights in insulting women, Muslims, Mexicans and anyone else he hates on a particular day on his way to winning his Republican Party nomination in the primaries.
For her part, Hillary was no shoo-in for the Democratic Party’s nomination, with Bernie Sanders with his Left platform giving her a tough fight till the very end. Given the tantalizing prospect of becoming the first woman president of her country, Clinton has met with apathy, if not worse, from many women voters.
In fact, the contest has become one between two unpopular candidates for very different reasons. Trump the showman has got thus far by treading on everyone’s toes and living to fight another day. Hillary is saddled with the sea of emails she unwisely sent on a private server while secretary of state. Trump has a legion of enemies for good reasons but Hillary has many detractors because she has a trust deficit.
Expectedly, American newspapers and television stations and websites are giving the presidential contest acres of space and time. But why should the world be subjected to a repetitive circus that seems to have a predictable end? Every event or happening in the US is not of great import to the rest of the world unless Trump emerges as the unlikely winner with his outlandish ideas on foreign policy. Former establishment figures are reduced to writing open letters dissociating themselves from his foreign policy adventures.
How then can the world insulate itself from a predictable tale of human folly?The French, with their nuanced view of history and social life, have made a feast of Trump’s foibles (read Le Monde Diplomatique). Others have sought to laugh off such Trumpisms as referring to a woman’s menstrual cycle or the size of his own manliness. Yet others have bemoaned the depth of depravity in American public discourse.
Looking at it, the American political contest does not present a pretty picture. Some rough jokes and backslapping and backstabbing one can take in one’s stride but misogyny is not funny nor a taunting description of a woman’s body functions. Nothing, it seems, is out of bounds for Trump.