Down to the wire
HONOLULU—The day of reckoning is nigh, marking the end of the process to elect the next US president.
Donald Trump is slowly catching up with Hillary Clinton in the battleground states of Nevada, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina in pursuit of the needed 270 electoral votes, but Clinton stays in the lead. And she has remained dignified and credible in the face of Trump’s aggressiveness, sexually predatory behavior, and vulgar language especially on women, minorities, and people of color and with disabilities. These flaws have hurt him. Instead of appealing to voters for their support, he has insulted and belittled them, and has proved to be of circus, gutter and tabloid material.
The people will, of course, be the arbiters in this long and most vitriolic election campaign in recent US history. And they will have the final say. They have endured Trump’s perorations and obnoxious behavior for far too long, and he will go down to the gutter.
Some examples of his pathological behavior may be cited to justify his defeat. According to The Associated Press GfK poll, “Trump has spent his entire campaign running against the group he needs to expand his coalition…. [His] campaign strategy … is mindless.”
In fact he has called the US military a major disaster, as though he did not need it to protect him and the rest of the country. He has also insulted his fellow Republicans, especially those who get under his skin, and other groups whose support he will need in running the country if he wins. His stance springs from his supreme arrogance, which moves him to constantly declare that he alone could solve America’s problems.
Trump has a scowling and sarcastic style of speaking and dealing with people. He is also a world-class liar, ironically a term that he has always used on Clinton. He keeps repeating that she is “unhinged, unqualified and unfit” for the US presidency. He has called a former Miss Universe “too fat,” “Miss Piggy,” and, because she is a Latina, “Miss Housekeeping.” He demeans women with his language and his behavior. Why some women want to vote for him—the epitome of racism, sexism and misogyny—is beyond anybody’s guess.
Two political leaders called him a “perennial philanderer” and a “poor excuse for a man.” TV commentator Ana Navarro said he “does not deserve to be a man”!
As I commented earlier, this election will go down to the wire. But it will also be historic. If Clinton wins, she will become the first woman president of the United States. Many voters will be persuaded by that compelling argument.
Dr. Belinda Aquino is professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii, where she served as professor of political science and Asian studies and also as founding director of the Center for Philippine Studies.
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