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Pick your poison

author: rafael queypo | contributor 

Election

And when we’re this deep in the foxhole there’s really nothing left to do but ask: who?

As sick as I’m sure plenty of us are of hearing about the US elections, the truth is that we can’t resist looking away from a good train wreck: loathe as my American friends are to admit it, their elections are a train wreck. The United States has veered, unmistakeably, into a “pick-your-poison” situation, fun to watch from the sidelines – provided you’re not American.

I say pick-your-poison because, yes, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump could ever conceivably lay claim to the title of “America’s best bet.” Just, no: Clinton is an unreliable and irresponsible woman, controlled by her corporate sponsors, and Trump is just Trump Let’s not have this argument – no one wins.

Well, okay, someone has to win. And when we’re this deep in the foxhole there’s really nothing left to do but ask: who?

If the majority of America’s pundits are to be believed, that someone is Clinton. The odds certainly back her up: she leads national polls, she has years of political experience over relative neophyte Trump, and, again – we’re talking about Trump, a candidate whose proposition to build the wall is likely to make plenty of people roll their eyes and scoff.

Dick Morris, former Fox News contributor, and political strategist, seems to think otherwise. In Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary, he argues that because of “a “liberal media biased in Hillary’s favour, demographic trends favouring younger and ethnic voters,” and that Trump can pull out the underdog win by employing a different approach.

Here’s the thing: Morris is right about one thing – and it’s that Trump can defeat Hillary, and it is my likely contrarian opinion that he is likely to do so.

A full disclaimer: yes, Trump does have my support, but I mostly mean this the way that you have a choice between two shitty electives because nothing else fit your schedule, because I honestly cannot bring myself to support Clinton. If that fails to convince you, bring out the pitchforks and torches.

My own, and I might add, Morris’ own right-wing biases aside, the fact is that Trump is very much likely to pull off an upset, but not quite for the reasons that Morris seems to believe. Keep in mind that I don’t write this claiming that Trump has the upper hand in public opinion. Instead, this is written for those concerned that Hillary might not win. So please, take note. The reason is simple – Hillary and her campaign are playing Trump’s game.

You’ll often hear it said that any publicity is good publicity, and you could not possibly get any more free publicity than Trump has been getting from the news. For the record, CNN reporting on Trump’s new “Make Mexico Great Again” hat isn’t news. It’s click bait. It’s publicity, and it says nothing about Trump that people don’t already know. In short, it’s pandering to an audience who has heard the same old crap before, and worse, it might galvanize people’s natural curiosity.

Hillary is all too keen to fall into this trap. Her recent speech demonizing what has come to be called the “alternative right” may end up having the opposite effect: really, what was she trying to achieve but preach to her choir about a bunch of jaded millennials who do nothing but post meta-ironic image macros that happen to support their choice of candidate? If anything, in this generation of young voters gluttonous for quick humour, she may well have lost plenty of fence sitters with an hour or two to spend on the Internet.

As an afterthought, if nothing else, Trump is prolific, vitriolic, and most importantly, he can bring in a crowd. Moreover – loathe as most people might be to hear the horseshoe theory of a comparison: like Bernie Sanders, he is an outsider. Trump appeals to a disillusioned generation tired of what they see as establishment cronyism, and he knows it – yes, believe it or not, he’s started appealing to disenfranchised Sanders voters. It sounds out there, but I assure you, it’s bound to catch a few fish.

Out there, really, is probably one of the best ways to describe Trump’s campaign. It’s strange, it’s worked for him so far, and frankly, it might actually end up handing him his “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment. For those of you confident Trump could never possibly win, well – you’ve been warned.

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