It is no understatement to suggest the world awaits the outcome of the United States presidential election today with trepidation.
Victory for Donald Trump, which opinion polls indicate is unlikely but not impossible, would send shockwaves far beyond the yet-to-be-fenced US borders. Triumph for Hillary Clinton, which seems narrowly more likely, will quite possibly leave America facing four years of bitter division and rancour if nothing is done to repair the country’s fractured political landscape.
Clinton is not without flaws, but they are truly eclipsed by the baleful shadow which Trump has cast over the campaign.
He has fomented racial tensions. His coded remarks about a stolen and rigged election have encouraged some Republicans to threaten Clinton with impeachment should she prevail.
Apparently the NZ Herald feels that would be vexatious.
The implication is that if Trump’s forces do not take government fairly then they will work to undermine it. Today’s election is partly about these politics of division and it is why an anxious globe is watching so carefully.
Trump has denigrated Muslims and the disabled. He has uttered falsehoods and he has been revealed as a wealthy man who does not pay his taxes. He has also tapped into an American vein which courses with anger and a sense of unfairness and which has carried him to the gates of the Oval Office.
The voters will decide whether to reward him with the key. In office, Trump would cut taxes on rich Americans and impose tariffs which would raise the cost of living on the poorest of families. He would withdraw from the institutions which secure global stability at a time when China is flexing its muscles and Putin’s weakened Russia is desperate to rattle cages.
Perhaps the US’ self-imposed role as the world police should be reviewed. There hasn’t been a war they haven’t invited themselves to, broadly speaking.
For New Zealand’s trading future, a Clinton win would seem the positive outcome, even though she has under pressure walked away from Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. In terms of the political relationship the best hope would be a Democratic victory in the Congress and the presidency.
After 240 years since independence, and in light of the man who craves the job, Clinton would be deserving as the first woman in the White House.
The best of two unpalatable choices, at best.
No surprise from the Herald however, which has been swinging wildly to the left and continues in that direction without any apparent concern from shareholders.
– NZ Herald