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Trump’s lies don’t matter in America’s election

Editor's ChoiceTrump’s lies don’t matter in America’s election

Washington, DC: America’s ‘Trumpistas’ see him as their saviour, who promises to restore an Ozzy and Harriet version of 1950s America.

Many Americans are appalled that a convicted felon, serial liar, misogynist, racist (and a host of other characteristics that make him the detestable human being that he is) is still allowed to run for the American presidency. They cringe at the sight of Donald Trump and are reviled by the sound of his voice. His enduring candidacy is evidence of how terribly broken America and its electoral system is. Many of us cannot believe that the country we once knew—which has, for more than 200 years, stood for freedom, democracy, and liberty—may again embrace this dangerous demagogue, whose cult-like clique follow him like lemmings into a dark abyss.

But America’s “Trumpistas” see him as their saviour, who promises to restore an Ozzy and Harriet version of 1950s America, complete with a racial divide, provincial view of the world, and a muscle-flexing foreign policy. Many of these people don’t give a hoot about what is fact or fiction or the difference between right and wrong; all they care about is winning. And that is why, in the end, Trump’s lies don’t matter. His loyal followers will literally vote for him no matter what he says or does. Trump had it right when he said, in 2016, that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and he wouldn’t lose any voters. What a sad state of affairs.

There is of course no logic to this. Blue collar workers see Trump as their advocate even though he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and never worked a blue collar day in his life. The religious right embrace him even though he has broken every one of the Ten Commandments—repeatedly, and with great pride. And an increasing number of immigrants to America plan to vote for him even though Trump has promised to seal the border on day one of his re-election.

Trump’s cavalcade of lies fit neatly into the increasingly warped dialectic of conspiracy theorists, who preach that Biden and the Democrats will rip 9-month-old fetuses out of women’s wombs, take away their guns, and stop Medicare. I met one of these individuals at a wedding I recently attended in Toronto. She told me that Biden will terminate pregnancies in late-stage abortions so matter-of-factly that I found myself wondering if she had an ounce of common sense or critical thought in her head.

Many foreigners do not realize that America ranks 125th globally for literacy, just 38% of working-age adults are college-educated, and 78% live paycheck to paycheck. The cost-of-living is out of control, as it is in so many other places around the world. The truth is, a lot of people do not live a prosperous life in America, which has prompted many voters to feel that they are not living the American Dream and that they have little to lose by re-electing Trump.

As for Trump’s prospects of winning a second term, in this extremely fluid environment, it still remains too soon to accurately predict who will win. Trump is up in the polls following the disastrous debate for Biden and Biden is unlikely to simply walk away as the candidate of the Democrats. Even if he were to, the chances that the Democrats can pull a rabbit out of a hat at this late juncture would appear unlikely. Four months is an eternity in American presidential politics. Few predicted he would win in 2016. But if I had to make a prediction, I would say it is Trump’s election to lose and I believe he has a 70% chance of winning as of today.

I would really like to see Trump The Magnificent resolve the Ukraine and Gaza Wars in 24 hours (and with one arm tied behind his back, of course) as he has stated he will do and bring the world to a Kumbaya moment, but that is simply not going to happen. More likely, the world’s conflicts will continue to spin out of control and if he is re-elected, Trump faces the real prospect of being forced to manage a new conflict—between China and Taiwan. Good luck with that. My hope is that, if he is re-elected, at least Trump will manage not to make bad situations worse.

What does it say about a country where lies are perceived as truths, bad is perceived as good, and the average voter cares not about the difference between right and wrong? The indifference among so many is truly depressing. I hardly recognize my country. I fear for its future. And that of the world.

* Daniel Wagner is CEO of Country Risk Solutions.


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