The riveting American show

Published: 04th August 2016 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd August 2016 11:14 PM   |  A+A-

After the respective party conventions are over, the US presidential election cycle usually takes a break from the news cycle until the debates. But this election has been different in every way. So it comes as no surprise that one candidate tops the news charts even now. Donald J Trump has parlayed his status as a reality show star to convert the Republican primary into a counterpart of the low brow Jerry Springer Show. Against all odds, he won the nomination and seems set to turn the presidential race into a version of The Apprentice. But this time, he might be the one who gets fired.

Trump is unique as perhaps the only candidate who turned his essential offensiveness into an unexampled virtue, on the grounds that he isn’t afraid to be politically incorrect. His supporters love him so he got away with “Mexican rapists” and other things far worse. Near the end of the primary he looked inevitable, so he may now be convinced of his manifest destiny. But a little perspective is in order. About 29 per cent (57.6 million) of all eligible voters took part in the primaries, with roughly equal numbers for the Democrats and GOP. The Inevitable One won 13.4 million votes but that was still fewer than Hillary Clinton (15.4 million). The real race is beginning only now and he is discovering that his verbal incontinence may not be universally admired. Even GOP Congressmen are publicly appalled at some of his insults and epithets, incoherence and ignorance.

On the other side, Hillary Clinton continues her dogged pursuit of the disenfranchised voter who has so charged the electoral landscape. She ticks the boxes on matters like raising money, courting the power brokers and keeping up with the party faithful. Trump, on the other hand, seems to be on a wing and a prayer. In any other election she would be a shoo-in but Trump has beaten the odds so many times that no one dares to underestimate him.

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