The 2016 US Presidential election was unprecedented in its bile. When Donald Trump descended that golden escalator, all normal rules no longer applied. From then, blatant racism, conspiracy and confidently delivered verifiable lies were just to be expected.
No body expected it to be this way. In the wake of the 2012 election, the GOP commissioned the most comprehensive report into an election defeat in history (according to them). The election autopsy, published in 2013, made clear that the GOP needed to make some radical changes. According to the report, the party couldn't win an election so long as the moderate face of the party remained hidden.
In 2012, the party was haemorrhaging important votes and the electoral and demographic landscape was changing. They reckoned that the party could not win another election so long as the party was not able to make inroads with women, ethnic minority and LGBT voters. At the start of this campaign, we expected a moderate to win their nomination, because that was the only way the party could win. The Tea Party had led to a major image problem, above the general issues some of the party's less progressive stances had caused. The race was between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, it was as simple as that.
Of course, none of these politicians were prepared for Trump. People watched his campaign launch in disbelief. People were shocked to see him in the debates, and dumbfounded by him clearly lying and abusing his fellow candidates. At some point it became ok for him to pretty much invent conspiracies about his fellow contestants, and the media had to report it.
When he won the nomination, he was pitted against Hillary Clinton. As that happened, he got more and more extreme. His rallies became violent, and he began to promise more outlandish things. That included 'locking up' his opponent, and calling for her to be assassinated should she win.
Then, of course, there was the bus. And his Twitter. And when he called for the Russians to hack Clinton's emails- and they did. And Pizza-gate. And Britebart. And when he called a press conference with a series of women who claimed to have been sexually abused by Bill Clinon to discus long-debunked conspiracies, debunked by the same people that uncovered his affair.Before the election, people thought he'd lost. Many hoped he had more than anything, because quite simply that cmpaign was vulgar. On the eve of the election, the Late Late Show with James Corden aired this sketch. At the time, it was unconceivable that Clinton could lose.
'I just want the election to be over' was oft heard in the run up to polling day. It often is. I'm betting a fair few, as ever, wish we were still in the middle of that horrible campaign today.
Of course, since the election we've found out that pretty much everything Trump denied was true. From his campaign's covert contact with the Russian government to his terrible temperament, to his affiliation with the alt-right and racists, to the destructive nature of his Twitter based foreign policy. He's also cost the US tax payers a lot of money heading off to his unsecured golf-resorts for weekends (much of which will go to his family business), used the apparatus of government to advertise his family businesses, and (apparently) erratically calls Generals in the early hours of the morning to ask questions about macroeconomics.
'I just want this Presidency to be over', I'm sure, will be heard even more than 'I just want the election to be over'. By the looks of it, the bile can get you to the top these days. But it can't stop your house of cards from caving when you get there, when you get there on insults, bigotry and stupidity alone.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS