I didn’t think much of it when Donald Trump announced in spring 2015 he was going to run as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Yea right, I scoffed, and got on with my day.
A year later and I’m watching this shameless, narcissistic man actually knocked down all the other candidates to be the winner-takes-all in the race to be the presidential candidate.
The guy is loopy and if you give him a stage and a mike he becomes unglued. It’s all about me, folks, is the Trump rant. That rant goes back eight years when Barack Obama was elected president and the Birthers emerged ranting that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. therefore unqualified to be president. Obama of course was born in Hawaii. One of the Birther leaders was Trump. He set the stage for consistency at being spectacularly wrong.
Playing fast and loose with the facts, he has complete disregard for policy and no political experience. He has distain for Republican orthodoxy unless it personally benefits him. And he’ll push his penthouse comfort zone to say outrageous, racist, and sexist things to wow a crowd. His blustery, offensive speeches on the campaign trail have deeply divided the GOP party.
Now with Trump one person removed from the White House, there’s a real sense of unease. Overall, Canadians are pretty fond of their American neighbours and there’s a symbiotic flow of goodwill as we visit, trade, and shop in each other’s countries. But there’s real concern about a Trump presidential win.
In a recent online survey by Insights West, 67 per cent of Canadians believe an American presidency headed by Trump would be “bad” for Canada including 49 per cent who said it would be “very bad”. It’s higher in British Columbia where 81 per cent of those surveyed said he would be “bad” for Canada.
“Republican presidential candidates usually fare well with Canada’s Conservative voters, but Trump continues to be perceived negatively,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “In fact, Trump is regarded as a bad choice for Canada by 57 per cent of those who voted for the Tories in last year’s Canadian federal election.”
By contrast, the survey showed that 55 per cent of Canadians continue to believe that a presidency headed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be “very good” or “good” for Canada. Clinton is well regarded by Canadians aged 55 and over (58 per cent), British Columbians (63 per cent) and Liberal Party federal voters in 2015 (70 per cent).
A year ago, Clinton was thought to be a shoe-in for the presidency. But the latest poll in an NBC News survey puts her neck and neck with Trump. Clinton comes with baggage, none the least most recently has been her use of a private email server for government business. An FBI investigation deemed her practice not criminal and she would not be charged, but the parting shot was that she was “extremely careless”, reinforcing why the majority of Americans don’t believe she is honest and trustworthy.
Trump is anti-trade who has insulted America’s partners, allies, friends and neighbours and he has no definable foreign policy. He is a zero strategist and is driven by the bottom line. Restraint is not in his DNA. Presidents have had their Yugoslavia, 9/11 and Arab Spring and were surrounded by those with a wellspring of collective knowledge and experience. Trump’s political claim to fame is a bitterly divided Republican Party.
Out of over 324 million people in the U.S., this is the best they can come up with?
For all her warts and whistles, a Clinton failure is not an option.