Alexandra Tselios

The “Weak” in U.S. Politics: Trump’s List of Haters, Clinton-World Squabbling, and an Excellent Roast

The “Weak” in U.S. Politics: Does it matter if Trump won’t accept a Clinton defeat? And Richard Branson chooses now as the right time to discuss his interactions with the man who seemingly has a revenge list. 


The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Alexandra Tselios

With all three Presidential debates over, it is really now a sit and wait game as we watch the impact, the scandals, and the he said/she said of the past few months truly show us what has transpired in the hearts of Americans. The final debate saw a more sedate Trump take on a more alpha Hillary with the main topics of contention cementing their positions on issues such as abortion, the women who accuse Trump of assault (whom he wants to sue now), the Second Amendment, and how they will deal with the Supreme Court. In fact, my uber hero in life Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Bill Clinton appointed) even got a mention with Trump reminding everyone that she made disparaging comments about him, a rarity coming from a Judge (which she has since apologized for).

This mention, though, reiterates my sentiments from last week, also many commentators who acknowledge Trump is truly his own worst enemy considering he cannot stop reminding people of “his haters.” His inability to “let things go” (which, in all fairness, is an issue I struggle with also) motivated Richard Branson to write about his meeting with Donald. Branson discussed being invited to meet with screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-11-45-01-amTrump noting that, “Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.” This memory, while interesting to have come out now by Branson, is on par with the temperament that Trump has cultivated suggesting he doesn’t have a great level of self-awareness. This isn’t new for Trump, and using Twitter to call out the losers and haters has long been a part of Trump’s communication methods. I imagine in the ’80s he sent angry messages about “morons” and “losers” through his fax machine, now it’s just amplified on Twitter. Is it fair, though, to suggest that someone as bombastic and prone to outbursts is more dangerous as President simply because their mode of revenge is not as measured or calm as someone like, say, Hillary Clinton? If anything, there has been plenty of evidence of Clinton-world squabbling. This difference between how both parties deal with the inevitable life of political enemies ultimately speaks to who voters can trust more, rather than who they like more. While earlier in the year some polls said voters trusted Trump more than Clinton, more recent research has found that his bombastic nature has shifted that trust back to Clinton. who_won_the_debate-_clinton_trump_neither_chartbuilder_da87a2c9011a71d4681fd8ec6a5ad71f-nbcnews-ux-600-480

So who won the final debate? CNN say Clinton won; yet commentators seemed shocked that Trump refused to accept a Clinton win should the voting go her away November 8th. I am not sure why anyone is surprised as it’s consistent with his “if she wins, it’s rigged” rhetoric. Is it simply his defiance that shocked moderator Chris Wallace into further probing to understand his position? Or are there actual ramifications to Trump not accepting a Clinton win, as has been the longstanding tradition for U.S. Politics? John McCain responded to Gore-esque refusal of Trump’s acceptance by saying, “A concession isn’t just an exercise in graciousness. It is an act of respect for the will of the American people, a respect that is every American leader’s first responsibility.” However, does it matter if he doesn’t accept defeat? While it could be just a defiant statement, should Clinton win, Trump could become a legal nightmare by challenging the results in each state while concerns that enthusiastic Trump supporters could pose a treat to citizens due to anarchic protesting. However, aside from Trump potentially causing legal and grassroots upheaval depending on the results of the election, or even a voting deadlock, other concerns have been raised around potential hacking interference this election. Rick Hasen, a University of California, Irvine professor, suggested that “if there are significant problems with people being able to vote on Election Day, this could lead to court lawsuits to keep polls open late, or even to extend voting to a different day, potentially throwing the results of not just the presidential election but numerous elections into question.”

Finally, I loved the roast between Clinton and Trump this week at the 71st Alfred E. Smith dinner and the opportunity to see both candidates laugh at themselves instead of just each other (and Melania). You may remember Trump’s Comedy Central Roast back in 2011, which saw Snoop Dogg say, “I heard you want to run for President, why not, it won’t be the first time you pushed a black family out of their home,” and Lisa Lampanelli saying, “You’ve ruined more models lives than bulimia.” Well, this roast is nothing like that at all. Watch the politically-correct and far more palatable version here:


The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Roger Pugh

Heard at a California Country Club
“No scandal seems sufficiently shocking to terminate Trump’s bid for the Presidency.”
“If he gropes Hillary during the third debate, that might do it.”

Heard in Congress
“What chance is there of either Trump or Hillary bringing the U.S. together?”
“Marginally better than Assad doing the same in Syria.”

Heard in Rodeo Drive
“What’s the next significant development in the Presidential campaign?”
“Women coming forward to claim they haven’t been groped by Trump.”

Heard at a Washington Think Tank
“If Hillary wins the Presidency, what lesson will that teach us as a nation?”
“That we should have cut our losses and ensured there would never be another political dynasty after the Bushes.”

Heard at CNN
“Hillary is the best prepared candidate ever for President.”
“And this is the worst prepared electorate ever for either of the candidates.”

Heard at a Republican Rally
“Will the Republican Party be able to revert to its core values post Trump?”
“Sorry, but what were they again?”




Alexandra Tselios

Founder and CEO of The Big Smoke, Alexandra oversees the leading opinion site in both Australia and the USA. As a social commentator, she is interviewed most days of the week on radio across the country in Australia as well as working with NFP think-tank, Plus61J, which explores the political and social ties between Australia and Israel.

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