The Clinton Foundation’s shady dealings

We are now at the stage in US presidential politics where partisanship kicks into high gear. People choose sides and which candidate they want to win and work towards that end. That is fine. The only problem is that once that decision is made, many people start to defend acts by their own candidate that they would condemn if done by the opponent. At that point, principled politics goes out the window as people start to defend the indefensible simply because their own person does it.
[Read more…]

It is possible for Trump to lose supporters

One of the thing that have had political observers marveling is the remarkable loyalty of Donald Trump’s supporters who have stood by him through a campaign that has been, to put it kindly, a mess. While the reason for this has been ascribed to Trump’s ability to tap into populist instincts to fire up his base, my earlier post suggests that the reason has less to do with him and more to do with the fact that media culture has changed in such a way that the voting public has simply become more shielded from contrary views and thus more immune to being persuaded to change their minds.
[Read more…]

French ban on burkinis

Whenever I see people limit themselves in what they can wear or what they can eat or do because of their religious beliefs, it bothers me as a sign of the hold that religions have on people but I would not seek to prevent them from acting in that way. Hence the new French laws that bans women from wearing the ‘burkini’, a full-body swimsuit garment as seen in this photo that covers them up when they are at the beach, seems to me to be wrong.

burkini-afp-800x430
[Read more…]

Advice to Donald Trump

On his show Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver said Donald Trump risks facing humiliating defeat in his campaign for a job that he would be bad at and that he should seek a face-saving way out. He says that his campaign made four good points and now the best thing he could do is drop out of the race, and he gives suggestions for how to do so in a memorable way.
[Read more…]

Are presidential election blowouts a thing of the past?

This presidential election is quite extraordinary in the level of dissatisfaction that the members of one party, the Republicans, have with their presidential nominee and the number of defections that it has spurred, with conservative thought leaders and elected officials staying silent or lukewarm about Donald Trump and others abandoning him and some actively campaigning for his opponent Hillary Clinton. By any reasonable measure, Trump should be heading for a crushing defeat.
[Read more…]

Understanding Donald Trump

One of the fascinating things about the Trump campaign has been the number of theories that it has spawned about the man himself, his supporters, and what that combination says about the nature of American politics today. What has triggered this is a sense of incredulity that someone so seemingly vain, shallow, ignorant, childish, and boastful could generate such enthusiasm in so many people that he could possibly be elected president. Even if he loses, we can expect about 50 million Americans to have chosen him. That’s an extraordinary number and cannot be dismissed as fringe elements.
[Read more…]