Words by: Emily Schofield-Cox
As interesting as watching Australian Prime Ministers knife each other in the back every couple of years is, nothing compares to having a racist, bigoted billionaire running for President in the United States. Following the build up to the 2016 US election is like watching a slow motion car crash: it is painful to see, but you can’t look away.
Donald Trump is known to many as the host of the Apprentice who, with his estimated $9bn net worth, still can’t afford a half realistic toupee. Now, he is running for President of the United States of America — a pretty important role in the grand scheme of things. And it is funny to watch him flail and to laugh about the things he says — but he is, through incessant publicity, becoming a forerunner to win. That is extremely frightening.
This is the man who justified 26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the US military because that’s what happens “when they put men [and] women together”. It’s also the same man who thinks that Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy America because she couldn’t “satisfy her husband”. He also would date his daughter if he could, has strong feelings about Robert Pattinson not taking back Kristen Stewart, and doesn’t believe that President Barack Obama is actually American.
So, yeah, all around great guy. He doesn’t make me sick to my stomach at all! But the scary thing about this is that the idiocy of Donald Trump is taking away well-deserved attention from really strong candidates.
Trump said himself that “one of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don’t go into government”. As ironically true as that is for himself, there are some really important, progressive candidates stepping up to the plate for 2016 who need more publicity.
Of course there are other idiots who somehow stumbled onto the platform, like Republican candidate Ben Carson who “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation”. Ick. There is also Jeb Bush up for the big job — as in, son of George Bush and brother of George W. Bush. If you remember George W. Bush was the guy who said, “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we”. I think two Bush’s in the top job already is enough, I’m sure America must have learned their lesson by now… right? Please?
For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton seems to be a forerunner, which is exciting — the first female President following the first African American President would be two really fantastic and progressive steps forward for the Western world. She has been the First Lady and survived massive personal scandals, and been a successful Secretary of State. Now she wants to be the next President and looks to be on track to represent the Democrats to the end. She is currently backed by 42% of Democratic primary voters, and looks to stay in the lead as long as Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t throw his hat in the ring. I would love that by the way. Biden was a great VP and, if a little creepy uncle-ish, would make a great President.
But there is one candidate who, although polling less than Clinton, is rising in popularity, especially with young people: Bernie Sanders. You may have heard of some of his social media campaigns (#feelthebern) or seen him using the term “on fleek” for the first time ever in relation to political policies. Although he always looks like he got ready in the dark and jogged to work in his clothes, he is a socialist who argues for the rights of the everyday American. He believes that all people should have access to healthcare, free or affordable higher education, and that there shouldn’t be such a huge inequality between the rich and the poor.
All in all, spread across the whole of the political spectrum, there are a couple of standout candidates, a few half-decent ones, and a lot of really shitty ones. And then there is one, beneath all of those, whose misogyny, racism and general entitlement should not be rewarded with the attention it is currently getting. The worry is that Trump will overshadow the really good candidates (who actually care about the welfare of a wide range of people beyond themselves) and become President of the US. *shudder*.
Of course, all this is just a stopgap until Kanye West becomes President in 2020 and restores the world to its natural order.
But until then, America, please, from everyone in the world (I think I have the authority to speak on behalf of everyone, right?) don’t elect Donald Trump. Tell him what he has told so many before him: