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The Last (of) Trump?

Fri 14 Oct 2016 In: Comment View at Wayback View at NDHA

Watching the train wreck that is Donald Trump's presidential campaign is weird but compulsive viewing. So, what else has gone wrong for the strangely coiffed Republican nominee? Trump now appears to be at odds with House of Representatives Majority Leader Paul Ryan, as well as other members of the Republican organisational hierarchy. All this would be novel if Trump were leading Clinton in the polls, but he isn't. Even given their own propensities toward authoritarian populism and incivility, some evangelical and fundamentalist religious social conservatives are starting to desert the Trump bandwagon, on the basis that his sexually suggestive misogynist statements about women were too much even for them to accept. It doesn't mean that they're going to vote for Hillary Clinton- I'd say that they might head off to the Constitution Party instead. Trump has apologised but this is no way to undertake political strategy- surely he should have told someone that the offensive tapes of his comments were out there. It has enabled Clinton to turn the tables neatly on her flailing adversary and appears to be contributing to an already cavernous gender gap- women are backing Clinton in considerable numbers, according to opinion polls. This could spell Democrat landslide if the Republicans don't differentiate themselves quickly from the toxic Trump brand. Trump is even at odds with Mike Pence, his vice presidential running mate, over the latter's hawkish stance on Syria. Indeed, many Republican Congressional candidates are desperately trying to distance themselves from the man, but find themselves confronting a brick wall- Trump aficionadoes. Trumpism has split Republican Party activists, the party organisation, its Congressional and state candidates and even its fundamentalist Christian social constituency. As for the US LGBT media, there seems to be comprehensive coverage of Clinton's inclusive policy statements and speeches and chilly remarks about the latest Trump religious social conservative stooge to pander to opportunism and realpolitik on the other side of the ledger. That is, apart from the Independent Gay Forum, which is inexplicably backing Republican 'religious liberty' attacks on LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination laws, 'bathroom bill' attacks on the transgender community and which insists that Clinton backers are captives of 'political correctness.' Given that the IGF outlet is supposed to be an independent gay centre-right website, one cannot help but wonder why it is that they're not doing more to publicise the US Libertarians, who one would think would be far more palatable to many of their readers. Much of the rest of the LGBT world is looking on with curiousity, rather than wanting detail about the circus visible from offshore.PinknewsandGaystarnews seem to recognise that what happens across the Atlantic will affect British and European LGBT lives, although the United Kingdom is also preoccupied with Brexit and the consequences of their impending secession from the European Union. In Australia, domestic marriage equality developments seem to be overshadowing every other subject, including foreign affairs news, while Canada is focusing on impending progressive legislative developments such as direct addition of gender identity to antidiscrimination laws. The latter is odd, although given Canada's very different political culture from that of the United States, it may be readily explained by significant differences between the two North American nations. In New Zealand, while China and Australia are major trading partners, while New Zealand service personnel are serving in Iraq as military trainers and while we had aspirations for US accession to the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership, our interest is more reserved and distant. Trump's campaign is visibly failing and it could be the case that there is serious contagion damage to federal US Republican presence in the Senate and House of Representatives. One can only hope. Recommended: Advocate: Independent Gay Forum: Nate Silver: "Election Update: Women are defeating Donald Trump"Five Thirty Eight: 11.10.2016:http:// election-update-women-are- defeating-donald-trump/ Philip Rucker and Robert Costa: "GOP tumbles toward anarchy: It's every person for herself or himself" 12.10.2016:Republicans tumble toward anarchy Trudy Ring: "Meet the evangelicals denouncing Donald Trump"Advocate: 11.10.2016:http://www. 11/meet-evangelicals- denouncing-donald-trump Craig Young - 14th October 2016    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Friday, 14th October 2016 - 10:51am

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