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Wednesday 09 November 2016

Headed for the Precipice

Posted in: Comment
By Craig Young - 3rd November 2016

As Hillary Clinton prepares to probably win the 2016 US federal election, there are some ominous but also some promising notes underlying this most unusual political contest.

Some of Trump's less rational supporters are threatening high treason if their candidate does not win the forthcoming moment of electoral decision. Unable to accept the reality that he is hopelessly outclassed by a qualified, experienced, intelligent and focused career politician, Trump has repeatedly charged that the current election is 'rigged,' amidst unsubstantiated charges of 'voter fraud' and even that there should be a 'revolution' or 'coup' if the Democrat contender wins the presidency. Or so said one former Illinois Republican Congressperson, Joe Walsh. And if younger (18-29) voters dominated the electorate, an increased probability of a Clinton victory is what would happen. According toTime, Clinton enjoys a twenty eight point gap amongst these 'millennial' voters against Trump. However, Radio New Zealand usefully posed some questions about whether or not deliberate voter obstruction might be helping Trump and Republican candidates instead. Phil Smith (26.10.2016) outlined several ways that this might happen- electoral district gerrymandering, deliberately overbroad deletion of criminals and deceased individuals from electoral rolls which 'coincidentally' also includes individuals with the same name, misleading electoral conditions and disparate voter identification methods. All of the above are common in Republican jurisdictions, however. More recently, the leftist US periodical Mother Jones has raised the nightmarish prospect that armed, violent and white supremacist aligned "Patriot" militia are actively lobbying for a Trump victory and may undertake violent reprisals if their 'hero' does not win the election. One recent Shane Bauer article profiles the casual racism, anti-Semitism and misogyny in one self-appointed 'border control' militia group, for example.

Which seems to be what will happen, according to Martin Kettle in theGuardian(28.10.2016). Opinion polls consistently show her ahead in terms of the popular vote, she won in all three televised election debates, and Trump's disastrous misogyny and trail of continuous sexual harrassment seems to have contributed to a gender chasm in terms of female voting intentions come November 9. Kettle concedes that the anti-Trump backlash will probably cost the Republicans control over the US Senate, but probably not the US House of Representatives. What kind of president will Clinton be and what sort of constraints will she face? And will liberal Republicans permanently abandon their party if it doesn't learn its lesson after what seems to be a debacle, given that they now seem intent on abandoning their own candidate and supporting her?

And how will new questions about her email use affect her? Unfortunately for the Republicans, it seems that there may not be any misuse of classified information at stake in this so-called 'scandal,' and questions have been raised about the operational independence and motives of FBI Director James Comey, a registered Republican. Comey was initially a Bush administration appointee within the Department of Justice until he was appointed FBI Director by President Obama in 2013. In 2006, the New York Times raised questions about the National Security Agency's role in the legality of wiretapping, causing conflict within the Bush administration until George W.Bush decided to modify the programme. He has served on the boards of Lockheed Martin and HSBC Banking. He supports marriage equality and filed anamicus curiaeon the issue. He also believes in greater education about the Nazi Holocaust, but fell afoul of the Polish Government after incorrectly stating that Nazi Germany and occupied Poland had joint responsibility for its concentration camps. He donated money to the unsuccessful John McCain and Mitt Romney presidential campaigns.

It is certainly the case that Hillary Clinton is distrusted, even by some Democrats. Part of it is related to bad judgement calls over property, cultivation of an abrasive working environment with subordinates, an allegedly secretive nature, technophobia, her culpability for US deaths when the Obama administration intervened in Libya due to friendly fire,

While LGBT concerns have been muted so far during this campaign, Clinton has laid into Trump over the stealth anti-LGBT agenda of Mike Pence and his religious social conservative allies, reaffirming support for marriage equality, transgender youth health and safety at school and antidiscrimination law reform.


Barney Henderson: "Donald Trump supporters warn of another revolutionary war if Hillary Clinton wins"Daily Telegraph:28.10.2016:http://www. 28/donald-trump-supporters- warn-of-another-revolutionary- war-if-hil/

Mark Stern: "The Crazy Republican-Endorsed Logic Behind- "If Trump Loses, I'm Grabbing My Musket" Salon: 28.10.2016:http://www.slate. com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/10/ 26/congressman_joe_walsh_says_ if_trump_loses_grab_a_musket. html

Martin Kettle: "Hillary Clinton will win. But what sort of president will she be?" Guardian:28.10.2016:https://www. 2016/oct/27/hillary-clinton- will-win-what-kind-of- president-white-house-obama

Katie Reilly: "Millennials favour Clinton over Trump by Twenty Eight Percentage Points" TIME: 28.10.2016: 4547397/hillary-clinton- donald-trump-millennials-poll/

Julie Pace and Emily Swanson: "Hillary Clinton on cusp of commanding victory as moderate Republicans abandon Donald Trump" National Post: 27.10.2016:http://news. clinton-on-cusp-of-commanding- victory-as-moderate- republicans-abandon-donald- trump-poll

"Hillary Clinton has a $500 Million Plan to Fight Bullying" Advocate: 27.10.2016:

Daniel Megarry: "Hillary Clinton calls out North Carolina's anti-LGBT law, defends marriage equality" Gay Times: 28.10.2016:http://www. hillary-clinton-calls-north- carolinas-anti-lgbt-law- defends-marriage-equality/

Phil Smith: "How to rig a presidential election" Radio New Zealand: 26.10.2016:http://www. inside/316541/how-to-rig-a- presidential-election

Phil Easly: "Bombshell new details destroy Republican hopes in Clinton email investigation" Politics USA: 29.10.2016:http://www. bombshell-details-destroy- republican-hopes-fbi-clinton- email-investigation.html

Sarah Posner and David Newart: "How Trump took hate groups mainstream" Mother Jones: 14.10.2016:http://www. 10/donald-trump-hate-groups- neo-nazi-white-supremacist- racism

Shane Bauer: "Undercover with a Border Militia"Mother Jones:November/December 2016:http://www.motherjones. com/politics/2016/10/ undercover-border-militia- immigration-bauer

Craig Young - 3rd November 2016

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