The past few days have shown that the 2016 American Presidential election is not an ordinary race. It is a race filled with vitriol, hate and loathe. This confusing race got a new twist almost a week back: a 2005 video surfaced which has recorded Donald Trump discussing his history of sexual misdemeanor casually. His remarks were highly inappropriate, obscene, coarse and, crude.
(To view the video published by The Washington Post, press this.)
Within hours of the release of the recording, 35 Republicans withdrew their earlier endorsement of Donald Trump with almost every Republican calling Trump’s remarks offensive and indefensible. The highest Republican office holder, Paul Ryan who is the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, declared that he will not campaign with or defend Trump and will focus on maintaining Republican control of the Congress. Even Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence said that Trump’s remarks offended him. With such widespread condemnation and withdrawal of support, has the recent Trump scandal effectively buried Trump’s campaign for the office of the leader of the free world? Does Donald Trump have any chance to win back popular support? Let’s see….
When Donald Trump was asked to explain his lewd comments, he dismissed them as “locker-room talk” and said no one could respect women more than he does. To his credit however, Trump issued an apology – unheard of by Donald Trump – though his tone was still defiant. At the same time he vowed that he will continue campaigning. But his defiance cannot hide the fact that the recent Trump scandal is a breaking point for many in the GOP. The statement by Speaker Paul Ryan, saying that he will focus on local elections instead of the Presidential race is a frank admission that Trump has effectively no chance to win the 270 seats required to clinch the Presidency. Recent polls have reflected the similar sentiment among voters, with a Wall Street Journal poll indicating that Hillary Clinton is 11 percentage points ahead of Trump in a four way race. However to all of those who think that Donald Trump has lost popular support – think again.
The Trump campaign still rides on the popular anti-estabilishment wave, which got him the Republican nomination. His supporters, many of them ignorant, can relate more with him now than ever before. This sentiment and mentality was amply displayed when during a CNN interview, a female Trump supporter dismissed the recent scandal declaring ignorantly that Trump is not “running for Pope” and said that political correctedness should “go to hell”. The supporter instead of criticising Trump, went on an offensive, citing Bill Clinton’s former infidelities.
This brings to light another aspect of the 2016 Presidential race: rhetoric and innacuraccy. This campaign is solely driven by rhetoric and not content. Donald Trump has not explained a single policy measure, maybe except his “plan” to make a Wall on the American-Mexican border (which will cost $12 billion to build and maintain, which he says will be paid by Mexico). But you know what? Not a single Trump supporter cares! As long as Trump reiterates his cliché motto “to make America Great Again”, every Trump supporter is happy and content. As long as Trump stays defiant and delivers his signature fiery speeches, the Trump campaign is up and moving.
There is no reason to believe that the person who defeated 13 contenders in the Republican Primaries, even after discussing the size of his genitalia on National television, after talking about his wish to date his own daughter Ivanka Trump, will drop out of the race after a relatively ‘minor scandal’ in his history of obscenities and intolerance. Remember the 2016 race is not a race to the top, but a race to the bottom.
Hillary Clinton might be rubbing her hands in glee right now, but she needs to remember that her opponent is the Donald. Donald might be down, but not out.
Please feel free to share your views. Do you think that the Trump campaign will survive this latest scandal?
Note:- All the opinions stated in the above article are the author’s own.
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