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As much as some may wish it wasn’t so, the person — nay man as it has been and looks set to be for at least another four years — calling the shots in the White House exerts global significance.

Trump: As the opposition dithers, he looks set to win four more years. (Photo: EFE/Rena Laverty / 15-03-2017)

Trump: As the opposition dithers, he looks set to win four more years. (Photo: EFE/Rena Laverty / 15-03-2017)

So while there will be those outside the USA, and even a small number inside, who will plead indifference to this year’s presidential election, the winner is sure to have some sort of influence on their and all of our lives, whether we like it or not.

‘Trump hasn’t started World War III. Not yet anyway.’

Now at the risk of being a bit premature here considering events of the past week and the fact there’s the best part of a year still to run on the incumbent’s term, we can say, thankfully and as predicted before he was elected, that Donald J. Trump hasn’t started World War III nor turned his country into a Fascist dictatorship.

Making America heard again
What he has done is brought back that US bravado, or cockiness if you will, making it seen and heard again both at home and abroad. This isn’t to say it’s been all gung-ho, trigger-happy stuff in a classical American Wild West style. No. He’s used the carrot-and-stick approach in dealing with his nation’s most threatening challenger to world supremacy, China. Ditto with North Korea, more or less.

The stick has been used more so with Iran of late as we’ve seen to deadly effect, although it can be argued with some justification (how much the assassination of Qasem Soleimani will impact things domestically in the US in November is difficult to say at this remove). What he has failed to do is come good on his promise to reduce US troop numbers in the Middle East.

That latter negative notwithstanding, with an economy in fairly rude health by all accounts, coupled with low employment, a good number of his fellow citizens feel he has done enough to warrant those coveted four more years. ‘Far worse presidents were re-elected’ is what his supporters will tell you. ‘Just look at the previous commander-in-chief, Barack Obama.’

For liberal Europeans, that’s a hard one to stomach. Obama was their darling, the old-world style president that had been long overdue for the New World.

‘The Democrats have left the country.’

The US under Obama for Europe was like seeing your old friend going out with someone who seemed a really decent, salt-of-the-earth type chap after having a few roguish partners. He wasn’t the stereotypical loud, in-your-face guy we’d seen before. Alas, she reverted to type and then some when Trump won her over. ‘We’ll just never understand that young and reckless, yet alluring, US, will we?’

‘Do something, Democrats’
A big reason why Trump looks set for re-election, putting to one side a highly unlikely impeachment, is to do with the opposition.

As Ronald Reagan reputedly once put it, ‘the Democrats have gone so far left they’ve left the country.’ And just like it has been in Colombia, being associated with anything close to the far left in the United States of America is pretty much toxic at election time.

OK, numbers-wise, thanks to the population concentrations on the east and west coast, whoever finally appears on the Democratic ticket might actually, just as in 2016, win the popular vote. (One must also take into account the anti-Trump echo chambers reverberating around these more liberal sides to America. Their words tend to find more favour with non-Americans than those living in the 50 states.)

Lies of the land
This isn’t, however, how the system works to get the keys to the White House. The electoral college vote should once again get Trump over the line.

I must say that if I ever got the chance to meet the current president, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to stomach him for any length. I certainly wouldn’t be at ease in his company in any case. He is, after all, a serial liar. The man who gave us #FakeNews regularly says things that are clearly untrue.

The thing is, those who are doing their damnedest to get him out of office are also blurring the lines between fact and fiction. Truth being the first casualty of ‘war’ and all that.

In one sense, November’s presidential election is similar to what the UK electorate faced in December 2019: What’s the least-worst option? The devil you know or the one you don’t? With an opposition that raises more questions beforehand than answers, Trump is looking like the ‘safest’ bet for US voters, as abhorrent as that is for many on the outside looking in.
Listen to The Colombia Cast podcast here.
Facebook: Wrong Way Corrigan – The Blog & IQuiz “The Bogotá Pub Quiz”.

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La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor Irlandés, quien ha estado viviendo en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y cultura, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-colombia-cast.

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    @wwaycorrigan [Listen to an audio version of this blog entry here.] In the 1972 classic, Godfather, there's an early scene where Don Corleone berates his godson, Johnny Fontaine, for crying because he didn't get a part in a movie. 'Godfather, I don't know what to do', a sobbing Fontaine mutters. Cue a slap in the face and a violent retort, 'You can act like a man', followed by a gentle mocking of his behaviour from the Don. [caption id="attachment_4643" align="aligncenter" width="347"]People who cry regularly get on Wrong Way's nerves. 'Let it all out ...' (Image from emojipedia.org.)[/caption] Crying times That scene is set in the late 1940s, a quite different world from that which we inhabit today, to state the obvious. These days, it's all about being in touch with one's emotions. It's OK to cry, whether you're a man, woman, child or however else you define yourself. Don't suppress your feelings, let it all out. I don't completely disagree with that approach. For one, for the most part, it's good to be honest about how you feel — at least if you're asked that is. What I don't like, what irritates me, is when the waterworks start, especially — although not exclusively — when it's men who are shedding the tears. This is where I side with Don Corleone. It's not that it makes me uncomfortable, it's more a case that I find it hard to take seriously men who cry with regularity. As for women, whether the tears are genuine or not, they often, um, precipitate a granting, justified or not, of whatever they may be looking for. I generally make an exception for death, but even in that there seem to be people who let flow more than really appears "necessary". (Perhaps we could introduce a tear scale. 'Careful now, you're close to your limit.') Bidding adieu to loved ones for an indefinite period of time is another "acceptable" tear-jerker. Alcohol-induced crying is also excepted, meaningless as it often is.

    'When the tears in others come they invoke a negative, cold reaction in me. Rather than wanting to help, I have a desire to walk away.'
    This aversion towards, bordering on utter contempt for crying has something to do with, it's safe to assume, my childhood. I was, after all, a serial crier into my mid-teens. Then, from about 15 onwards, I started to develop a strong dislike when seeing others well up for reasons that I would have considered rather inconsequential. During that time, no doubt having to deal with me, her last born, I recall my mother crying for what seemed like the merest of reasons. It used to get my blood up. Even if I'd been told it was all largely down to the menopause, it's unlikely I would have been sympathetic to her plight. Selfish teens, eh. Dry your eyes, mate This clearly left its mark. For in my current abode, the landlady, a nice woman I hasten to add, cries on an almost-daily basis. It's not only, as has happened a fair few times, a headache when she does it speaking directly to me about some grievance or another (these grievances have nothing to do with me, by the way!). It also irks me simply when I can just hear her sobbing away in her room. I know I should probably be a little more empathetic considering she suffers from depression, it's just when the tears in others come they invoke a negative, somewhat cold reaction in me. Rather than wanting to help I have a desire to walk away. It's not that I lack understanding. In fact, I'd wager I take the time to listen to and empathise with other people's gripes as much if not more so than the next person. I just wish they'd leave the crying out of it. The British-Irish band The Pogues sang in Streams of Whiskey, 'there's nothing ever gained by a wet thing called a tear'. That's not fully true, but I wish it was.   _______________________________________________________________ Listen to Wrong Way's Colombia Cast podcast here. Facebook: Wrong Way Corrigan — The Blog & IQuiz "The Bogotá Pub Quiz".

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  1. It was a good reading.
    Somehow you feel OK with his performance, so you have a positive opinión about him. Same way there’s a bunch of guys don’t swallow it and spit it out.
    What’s going to happen next?
    No matter what will happen. It will be his fault or thanks to him.

    • beforechrist

      It’s not to say I agree with Trump per se (I’m not from the US by the way, I’m Irish!). I’m just pointing to the factors that, at this moment in time, appear to put him in the driving seat to be re-elected. It’s how I see it right now. November is quite a bit away and we all know how things can change very quickly in politics! Having said that, the Democrats aren’t showing too many signs of dealing with the issues that are hindering their chances of winning.

  2. livanoguerrer0815

    The book: “On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder, gives some good examples of current manipulated politics. And as long as the U.S. national debt grows at a faster rate thank the GNP, there will be a shadow on the long term economic stability of the U.S. and the world as a whole.

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