Two ways to bypass scrutiny : Trump’s Narcissism and Hillary’s Self-Victimization
In view of full disclosure, I have no bone to pick in this fight and practically neither do I have any say in the matter but as a neutral third party observer of the American political drama I believe my perspective can make a difference. Though this just may be redundant, I would like to emphasis upfront that I favour Bernie Sanders, just in case it is unclear.
Now to the actual post. As with most Indians I grew up in an environment where public representatives are closely observed, constantly debated, relentlessly analysed, ruthlessly critiqued and fervently idolized. Prior to this election cycle I had a little to minimal taste of American Political mechanisms and honestly it wasn’t even on my list of things I thought about. All that has changed since I got to the states.
Without trying to sound pretentious or place America on a pedestal I will in short justify why my view changed and why it matters. America whether you love it or hate it stands as a symbol and representative of Democracy and freedom for all the World. The president of United States of America wields influence that goes well beyond its own borders and he is the unofficial bastion of the Free World. An American need not know or understand the World but the stakes for the World depend on which direction America chooses. And for that reason, for what America represents, for what it means for my own country and the rest of the World if America goes down the dark path I care deeply about this election.
Typically I believe the best way forward for a nominee is to focus on his policies and strengths, Ignore the competition and stay away from mud slinging matches. I have seen those brawls time and again in India and the only thing good coming out of those is cynical comedy. The nation and its people loose big time in those slug-fests. However, I will make an exception here because the current Primaries have yielded a unique crop of Politicians against whom the decent route is counter-productive.
In a standard political collision the nominees attempt to knock the opponent out with flaws, mistakes and gaffs that they may have made before and during the whole process. This scenario couldn’t be far from reality in the current race. Trump in the best case lets logic, questions and critique bounce off of him like rain water on a waxed head and in the worst case wears the mistakes, ignorance, lies and douchebaggery as a badge of honour. Hillary on the other hand has been on the receiving end of the barrage of slander for so long that she revels in her role as the most despised. Her stroke of genius is the ability to make people forget that most of the reasons that people hate her for are true and she earned that distrust by her own deeds.
I will not go into much detail and criticism of Trump or his hold over the republican masses because that for me is a cause I have long given up on. The only similarity that I would like to draw between him and Hillary is their name recognition and how they have managed to make themselves synonymous for things that they are the farthest from. Thankfully that is where the similarities between them end, I will give you that.
Hillary definitely doesn’t deserve all the hate that gets spewed on her by the other side but one cannot deny that she does deserve some of it. Her behaviour over her long lasting political career is marred with many instances of her flip flopping, screwing the public with policies, pushing for more centrist ideas and letting power blind her to principle and ideology. Remarkably, in recent times I have seen this in India too. The Gandhis of India and the Clintons’ of America are very close in that aspect. Their respective nations gave them a level of reverence that they took advantage of to push for policies that only aimed to amass power. As their idols loose touch with reality and they make mistakes, people tend to follow a pattern of denial and self-victimization. Hillary is banking on people staying the course in her current run.
The fact that America is yet to elect its first female president is a sign of persisting imbalance, True. But that doesn’t earn her a pass on her faults and shouldn’t make others claims for candidacy a sexist agenda. Constant attempts to demonize Bernie’s supporters and painting Bernie accountable for every Internet commenter is too broad a brush to use. The tale of the boy who cried wolf comes to mind whenever Hillary supporters go up in a roar. It doesn’t bode well in the long run. Truly sexist false claims will be made against her and it is totally justified to find them wrong but trying to pass off everything under that same umbrella is just as bad.
It is undeniable that some people who support Bernie maybe supporting him out of spite for all the wrong reasons but that is their fault. Bernie’s policies don’t make them sexist, racist or a bigot. He staves off from any negative rhetoric and has been an uncharacteristic gentleman for a career politician. Go check out his address in Liberty University and how he handles a conservative religious crowd. That alone should be a testament to his conduct and sensibility. To take away merits in his ideology and policies, calling for him to step down and ignoring positive dialogue is not how progress is achieved nor how democracy functions.
Precedents have been established. Both Hillary and Bernie have a long standing political record that can be factually corroborated and verified. Take a stand either way but base it on those records and go vote. Let Democracy do its job the best way it can.