Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Why we shouldn't be too judgemenatal about Donald Trump or despair at the sexism directed at Hilary Clinton
Before we laugh too loudly at the prospect of Donal Trump as President or marvel at the sexism faced by female political colossus Hilary Clinton, stop for a moment and reflect on the nature of Politics closer to home. US politics is easy to criticise or even openly deride, the larger than life often cartoon like Donal Trump, the bookish cerebral Bush brother Jeb (so different to his ex-President Brother GW) and the slew of still relatively unknown republican rivals (outside of the US), if one of them manages to enter our psyche eventually so be it. All seem bizarre choices to be even under consideration as the next President of the most important country on earth yet Trump and the yet to be reckoned with Jeb Bush are both relatively close to being the next Commander in Chief. On the Democratic side both Hilary Clinton & Bernie Saunders while eminently more appealing to us here at home, the UK and across Europe, have also seen their respective campaigns trip up on the often treacherous vortex of madness and mayhem that is the US political process. Before we laugh or sneer however at the often crazy world of US politics, let’s look at our own political system and the ironies it often throws up. Inept and occasionally corrupt politicians are regularly elected in these Islands and end up rubbing shoulders and even sometimes sitting in Cabinets with eminently able and yes even honest political colleagues. This happens often both here in Ireland and at Westminster. Continental Europeans, despite producing some brilliant politicians are also just as likely to elect far right neo fascist candidates with large levels of voter support and European history is littered with extreme political figures of which Hitler is merely the best known. Before we balk too much at Trump’s much criticised and inconsistent views, how about analysing why so many French people vote for far right candidates, how so many Italians supported openly corrupt leaders right to the bitter end. Closer to home why do so many UK voters support political figures whose primary goal seems to be to isolate them from the European Union at a time when an economically and socially unified but culturally diverse Europe is more crucial than ever. Here in Ireland can we really say that all our politicians aren’t at least as ‘out there’ as Trump sometimes appears to be and, to those who profess to be shocked by the sexism directed at Hilary Clinton, why have we still never had a female Taoiseach or chosen a woman as leader of at least one of the two largest political parties? Before we laugh too loudly at US politics , reflect for a moment on the often equally bizarre political landscape of Ireland, Great Britain and Continental Europe, where if we are really honest, our politics can seem be just as bizarre at times, maybe the yanks aint so crazy after all…..