Monday, November 07, 2016


The international order of the past 70 years is fraying, maybe even breaking down. The Brexit vote in June likely removes a pillar of the EU. The Middle East points to a shattered system; further east, in the Pacific, China is becoming more assertive, challenging America’s dominant role in the region and the postwar Bretton Woods system. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has become emboldened, threatening Nato’s borders, spreading havoc in Syria, and apparently orchestrating leaks to influence the US election itself. This is a moment for the renewal of American leadership. One candidate has the credentials. Mrs Clinton has served as first lady, senator for New York and US secretary of state. Mr Trump deals in denigration not diplomacy. He has abused allies, threatening to remove east Asia’s nuclear umbrella, sideline Nato and unleash trade wars. Mr Trump casts himself in the role of a western strongman to stand alongside the likes of Mr. Putin. Mr Trump has demonstrated contempt towards American democracy itself. He has persistently raised the prospect of a rigged election and declined, even when pressed, to guarantee he would accept the result. He has threatened to jail Mrs Clinton. Such arrogance is unprecedented and it points to a fatal flaw in his character. The first role of the president is to be commander-in-chief, in charge of the world’s largest active nuclear arsenal. Mr Trump has a thin skin and a questionable temperament. For all his many years as a reality TV host, he is simply not ready for prime time.
Leader, "FT endorsement: For all her weaknesses, Clinton is the best hope". The Financial Times. 31 October 2016, in
For all their bien-pensant mots and mentality, au fond the editors of the Financial Times are indeed correct: former Secretary of State Clinton is the better candidate for the American Presidency. As someone who has always thought of her (and her husband) as an essentially Balzacian figures: the provincial, petit-bourgeoise, arriviste as opportunist, it takes a great deal for me to wish to see Mme. Clinton in the White House. But given the fact that Mr. Trump would be a disaster as the American President, there is no alternative unfortunately. Mr. Trump's views on foreign relations are ignorance itself. One's hair stands on end at the very thought of some of his ideas. And while Mr. Trump's views on some domestic issues: uncontrolled third-world immigration, the evils of political-correctness, the problems created by the hollowing-out of domestic industry and the work-force that used to work in the very same, are cogent and indeed in some important respects correct, it is highly unlikely that such a charlatan and bounder is at all sincere in espousing the views that he does. One can quite easily imagine that the second he is elected (perish the very thought), that he would commence sliding away from the many comments (one can scarcely call them 'policies') that he has made on these and other issues. The fact of the matter is that 'Trumpism' is a horrendous combination of buffoonery and chicanery dressed up to resemble a parody of an American political campaign. The long and the short of the matter is that the mere presence of Mr. Trump so close to being elected President, is the greatest advertisement for the evils of universal mass suffrage. Only in this type of electoral system could such a character be so close to becoming the most important governmental leader on the face of the earth. Or as the late, great T. S. Eliot once cogently put it: 'stupidity is for the vast majority of people, no doubt the best solution to the problem of thinking'.


Post a Comment

<< Home