With only few days to go – 8 November – it is still uncertain who of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will receive the final approval of the American people to become the next President of the United States of America. We will not know until we know kind of.
But what has been known and witnessed so far has been unprecedented in any previous US presidential election campaign. Well before the two presidential nominees began their face-to-face confrontations – for one cannot really speak of debate! – political analysts in the US had already made a damning observation: that this was the dirtiest ever campaign in American politics.
They thought it could not get any lower. It did, to the extent that one headline read: ‘The debasing of American politics’.
Some reference to Trump’s tax irregularities and Clinton’s email saga had already been made. After the FBI director’s congressional hearing and Clinton’s public avowal and apology, one thought that these were done with and that their subsequent interactions would be about policy matters and similar serious issues.
And then, as the saying goes, the shit hit the fan. Muck began to fly all over. Trump’s wife Ivania’s past as a model was brought in with implications of impropriety on her part. She decied to sue. And then, in the first face-to-face between the two presidential nominees, Donald Trump flew off the handle and started to elaborate on Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill Clinton’s sexual adventures during his presidency.
Not unsurprisingly, the Democrats went and fished out a video conversation between a journalist, Billy Bush, and Donald Trump in which he allegedly talks about how he gropes women and takes other liberties with them. No need to say that this recording went ‘viral’, and other skeletons started tumbling out of the cupboard in the form of women coming forward and accusing Donald Trump of misbehaving with them at various times in the past and under various circumstances.
The noise from these ‘revelations’ and allegations took front seat as it were, and dominated all other discussions.
And the latest is the equivalent of a bombshell: the FBI director opening another can of worms in relation to Hillary Clinton’s emails, although it concerns an assistant of hers rather than herself directly. While, predictably – the only thing predictable in this campaign, that each candidate will muck up some more in retaliation! –, Donald Trump began to use this as an electoral strong point, an unfazed Hillary Clinton took the FBI director head-on and asked him to go the whole hog and give full clarifications to herself and the American people. She even ‘predicted’ that eventually the FBI director would come to the same conclusion as he had done regarding the first enquiry on her emails: that though there had been irregularity, which she had accepted, there was no case for any criminal or other prosecution against her.
Nevertheless, there has been an impact on her rating, with a closing of the gap between the two candidates, and one poll showing that Trump is leading in a key state, North Carolina. This jubilates him, but Democrats are not convinced, following a standard reaction to the polls that are being carried out by various agencies. Each side believes the poll that is favourable to it and doubts if not disregards the one that is unfavourable! Just so human, one would say. Except that the campaign has been carried out at a subhuman level.
In any case, experience round the world has consistently shown that one cannot go by the polls as regards electoral outcomes, so wide off the mark they are most of the time. And so it is with the US elections. President Trump or – another — President Clinton?
We must wait…
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What is happening in our country?
In the wake of the Arab uprising that was triggered by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunis in January 2011, the magazine Jeune Afrique gave extensive coverage in an issue headlined: ‘Tunisie: Les secrets d’une révolution’. In one column by Fethi Benslama, a psychoanalyst and professor at the university of Paris-Diderot, he identified three causes which he thought had built up the momentum towards the overthrow of the Tunisian dictator Ben Ali.
They were: 1) un haut édifice de mensonges sur la démocratie, l’Etat de droit, l’excellence, etc. 2) la crapulerie du cercle dirigeant devenu très visible, and 3) très important: cette jouissance ostentatoire des possédants qui jettent les signes de leur richesse à la figure des autres. Bref, on tendait au peuple un miroir de mépris.
Exactly what we have been seeing in Mauritius. For that matter, even before vire mam. And there is no indication that things are about to change, or that a devire mam will necessarily bring change either.
R.I.P. my Beloved Country.