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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Super Doomsday

The dust of Super Tuesday has settled and the two likely Presidential nominees have emerged: Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R). Even in the view of conservative magazines and newspapers like The Economist and the Financial Times (FT), these results are similar to a Doomsday scenario. And I couldn't agree more.

Essentially, the Republicans hate both the Clintons but probably Hillary even more as she is seen as a New York liberal, the worst of all. Democrats hate the ultra conservative Republican values and probably loathe Mr Trump. Whatever the outcome of the 8 November 2016 US Presidential election, the 45th President will face an utterly divided country.

Some day history will reveal why the GOP maintained the candidacy of Mr Trump. I suspect that such decisions were fear-driven. Fear paralyses and clouds judgement. Moreover, the other seven Republican candidates performed poorly. The ultimate Republican goal is preventing another Democrat from the White House - and at all costs. In other words: the end justified the means.

Two scenarios are likely to arise: a lame duck Clinton Presidency and even far worse than the one of Mr Obama. The problem with the Trump scenario is that its consequences might be beyond imagination. Nevertheless, both scenarios are likely to accelerate the American decline as a Superpower although one much faster than the other. I'm not alone in this view. On March 1, the FT wrote an article entitled: "Donald Trump embodies how great republics meet their end".

China is likely to profit from an American decline despite all its current economic problems. FT 29 Feb 2016: "[] the Chinese government is distancing itself from the US election, but government-sponsored media reports suggest [Trump's] China-bashing is making the authorities uneasy about his rise. One state organ commented that his China remarks were “ridiculous’ and that “history has proved again and again that getting elected by using demagogic slogans will only bring about greater troubles”. But Beijing is also content to use his campaign to point out what it sees as the flaws with democracy". Again, I couldn't agree more.

To some extent, a Trump scenario is like having Silvio Berlusconi in the White House. While Italy is a dwarf in the international arena, the USA is not. The EU could ignore the Italian PM but who could ignore the 45th US President? As I wrote in my 24 July 2015 blog: "Donald Trump is likely to cause equal damage to the USA as Silvio Berlusconi did to Italy. It may not be a coincidence that both are CEO's and think that a country can be run like a company". Given developments since that blog, it's far more likely that Mr Trump would dwarf the damage done by Mr Berlusconi.

The plain disgust and/or hatred of US voters for their political opponent has caused a total lack of focus on the bigger picture. US voters are willing to gamble with America's future. If Mr Trump wins then a new US Presidential impeachment procedure is just a matter of time. The Democrats have never forgiven the Republicans for their witch hunt on Bill Clinton.

Mr Trump is like a (power) junkie and the needle (of hatred) and the damage done are clearly visible.

Neil Young - Needle And The Damage Done (1972) - artist, lyrics, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

I've seen the needle
and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie's
like a setting sun


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