IAN HART: Clinton or Trump? Thankfully the choice is not ours

America is currently gripped with election fever in possibly the most unique poll in the nation's history by the fact that it contains perhaps the two most unpopular candidates ever.

Sunday, 23rd October 2016, 4:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:32 am
Ian Hart

A far cry from the historic election of eight years ago when Barack Obama became the first black man to reach the White House, the current campaign has more the look of a tacky reality TV show than one of the most important political contests in the world.

On one side there’s Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill. As with Obama, her possible election to the Oval Office as the first female President would be a huge step for equality, but she appears somewhat dogged by controversy. If her Republican opponent had perceived political credibility the contest might already be effectively over.

Luckily for her she finds herself up against Donald Trump. Tycoon and TV star, but not a career politician, from the outset his campaign has gathered momentum despite some incredible revelations. I don’t believe anyone in the higher echelons of the Republican Party believed he could win the nomination, let alone the Presidential election.

Almost mirroring Leicester City’s title win earlier this year, everyone was waiting for him to fail, only, like the Foxes, he didn’t, sweeping all before him. It was apparent as far back as April that his campaign was unstoppable, long before the end of the primaries. But once nominated as the Republican candidate a smear campaign developed, the like of which has possibly never been seen in American politics.

Yet with a couple of weeks to go a Trump victory has not been totally ruled out. It does throw up the question of the timing of all of the revelations – the ‘hot mic’ footage was from 2005, so it didn’t just get found in a cupboard or at the bottom of a drawer, surely?

American politics has never been squeaky clean but I think this contest plunges it to new depths. Whoever ‘wins’ on November 8, will America and the rest of the free world ultimately be the loser?


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