The American election campaign has sunk to new lows; it can sadly only sink lower in the coming days
Just when you thought the American election campaign couldn’t get more tawdry, it, of course, did. Here is a contest that has moved from initially laughable through worrying to utterly ridiculous and uninventable.
First, on Wednesday morning, Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was destroyed with a pick-axe by a 53-year old named James Otis. He planned to auction it off to benefit the women who have accused the Republican wannabe president of sexual assault but now faces upto three years in jail and £8,200 ($10,000 or €9,100) fine. Before his arrest, Otis remarked:
“I was just so fed up, so saddened and fed up by Mr Trump and how he continues to denigrate women, and he continues to joke and make fun about sexual violence and his own exploits against women. And personally, I have in my own family, several people who have been sexually assaulted, including my brother and it hurts a lot. It doesn’t go away. It’s an issue that’s very important to me”.
That ‘The Donald’ is able to remain as a candidate with at least twelve allegations of sexual assault currently out there against him would, in any other country, be deemed unbelievable but, hey, here we are in America: The Land Where Anything Goes. Though only one allegation – that regarding the rape of a then 13-year-old girl in 1994 at the Manhattan home of the convicted sex offender friend of Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein – is scheduled to be heard in a court status conference on 16th December, with counsel for Trump ordered to appear, the brash businessman, it should be remembered, has not be convicted of any crime.
Though undoubtedly a misogynist, Mr Trump is now surprisingly supported by “a majority of white women” according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Friday. With Clinton on 48% and Trump on 44%, this, it seems, is still an election that could go either way.
On Friday, Hillary Clinton’s momentum took a new hit when the FBI announced they were investigating further information about her emails in spite of saying they “may not be significant”. Whilst Donald Trump seized on this and – in foolish Neil Kinnock victorious-esque fashion set off a load of fireworks in celebration – Mrs Clinton was forced to hold an impromptu press conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
That FBI director James Comey was prepared to make a statement about the ‘DikiLeaks’ emails concerned – allegedly linked to the ‘sex pest’ with a most unfortunate name, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, and his estranged wife, vice chairwoman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for president Huma Abedin – speaks volumes. He commented:
“This morning I sent a letter to Congress in connection with the Secretary Clinton email investigation”.
“Yesterday, the investigative team briefed me on their recommendation with respect to seeking access to emails that have recently been found in an unrelated case”.
“Because those emails appear to be pertinent to our investigation, I agreed that we should take appropriate steps to obtain and review them”.
“Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed”.
“I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record”.
“At the same time, however, given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression”.
“In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it”.
Of the new allegations against Clinton, Donald Trump responded:
“I think it’s the biggest story since Watergate. I think this changes everything”.
Never has an election been fought in such a dirty manner. In this regard, Trump and Clinton – both under investigation – make Nixon look like an amateur. Here has been a campaign where allegations of sexual assault, financial misconduct and corruption have spread like wildfire and reasonable people everywhere can now only be left thinking: “How could a country of 350 million people been left with a choice between these two?”