Donald Trump may get to be president of the United States, and if he does, it will in large part be because the U.S. populace is more interested in re-tweeting pictures of Orlando Bloom's genitalia than in finding out who the Republican candidate really is and what his intentions are for the great United States of America.
Donald Trump's apocalyptic acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland was easily the scariest political event I've ever witnessed outside of 1930s newsreels. As CNN's Anderson Cooper summed up: "He painted a dark and frightening picture of America, he talked about people being attacked by criminals, attacked by terrorists, betrayed by their leaders, the game is fixed. And he said he can be their voice." The thing about this tactic -- a far cry from conservative saint Ronald Reagan's inspirational "shining city on a hill" much less Obama's hope and change optimism -- is that it captures (and, yes, fuels) the zeitgeist of white America.
The "big tent" factor of both American parties and the constraints of the "winner-take-all" presidency makes for some particularly strange bedfellows. But is the two-party system under attack this election cycle? It certainly seems so -- and it could well be to Secretary Hillary Clinton's advantage.
The turn towards targeting certain political figures is concerning. Despite Trump's vomit-inducing charades, the truth remains that as an American citizen, he DOES have the right to say what he chooses. Although some of what he says could fall under the category of "hate speech", we keep forgetting that there is a very simple solution to our Trump dilemma: stop voting for him. Really, isn't it the public's fault that he's still there?
Building progress and trust, as the U.S. did, takes a long time to accomplish far more than constructing a building. But Trump will help destroy such progress if he is elected as the president of the United States. All the respect and admiration the world used to have towards this great country will vanish into thin air.
Trump's scapegoating of Muslims, Hispanics, blacks and other "others" for political gain is exposing a racist ugliness, and dangerously inflaming it. Who knows how big the fire might get? "Never forget" became a Jewish slogan in hopes our collective memory might prevent another Holocaust, but also because we can't forget. It defines us. So as hard as it is to hear Hitler's name all over the news, let it at least remind us why we must stop Trump and all leaders who traffic in racism and xenophobia before such hate defines anyone else.
As the media vigorously tries to answer the root causes of radicalism, I wish they would do the same about the outrageous Republican candidate that is Mr. Trump. What, or who, radicalized him? His actions mirror the fanatics and extremists who seek to divide us and create mistrust and hate between neighbours.
Sometimes when you want to know how prudent a political party will be with the taxpayer's dime, it doesn't hurt to consider how prudent they are when it comes to spending their own dime at party headquarters. Compared to their counterparts in other provinces, the B.C. Liberal party spends like there's no tomorrow. And it's spending that increasingly points to something ominous: election campaigns that never end.
The American electorate has sent the Republican Party a message: the Republican Party has to be inclusive in order to remain a political force. The post-election reaction from Republican pundits suggests that they heard that message. What isn't clear is whether they understood that message, or heard what they wanted to hear.
Republicans have to reinvent themselves. The tactics and issues that have worked for them for more than three decades have failed. Democrats and progressives have a rare opportunity to permanently shift the debate on several key issues. America is at a crossroads, more divided than ever and trying to decide what kind of nation it wants to be now that it is no longer the world's lone superpower.