Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Majorities

In both American and British politics, supposedly democratic votes laboriously produce results which could have been more easily achieved by the toss of a coin. When someone or something routinely wins 51 to 49 or 52 to 48 I find this deeply unimpressive and disturbing. Surely, there must be more occasions when something or someone is very right or very wrong. Surely, no one can take any comfort from such results.

People are getting excited because they think Trump will lose and if he loses 48 to 46 (allowing for the small party candidates) this will be hailed as a triumph. But to me, it would be a disaster. Forty six percent of US voters who can make it to the polling booth think Trump should be President of the United States? Well, then this is a country around which we should place a cordon sanitaire and deal with it very gingerly. We might find friends there, like the American Chamber of Commerce trying this week to stop BREXIT, but the idea of a Special Relationship with the whole country - well, that's just as crazy as Trump. If this country has produced forty six percent of its voters (and a majority of its males, apparently) who can envisage Trump as President - well, then its public education system has failed, its broadcasting system has failed, its handling of inequality has failed, its economic policy has failed .... You would have to be very stupid or very desperate to vote for Trump and no well-organised and well-functioning society would have allowed itself to get into a situation where half its population is stupid or desperate or both. What have all those Presidents and Congresses been doing the past twenty or fifty years?


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