Politics is indeed an art of the possible. Just a couple of days after the news that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had been diagnosed with pneumonia made a big impact, the US's Census Bureau came up with the 2015 annual report on income, poverty, and health insurance, saying the country's household incomes increased by 5.2 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. The Republicans, who thought Clinton's diagnosis was a great opportunity to corner the Democrats by projecting her as physically unfit to lead the nation, now need to find some new angles to take on the Barack Obama-#Hillary Clinton partnership.
Yes, it is apt to call it an Obama-Hillary partnership, given the way the former has been backing the latter, once his own presidential rival, to succeed him in the White House. The latest report proved to be a shot in the arm for the president since besides the rise in the income, the poverty level and the number of people without health insurance also came down. For the Democrats, these are certainly good indicators ahead of the November 8 general election.
Report a challenge to Trump?
The facts mentioned in the report also puts to risk the phenomenon called #Donald Trump – the Republican presidential candidate. The US’ economic story has been Trump and his campaign’s main agenda to attack the Democrats and revelations of positive figures less than two months ahead of the big polling could see Trump having little time to re-organize his moves.
The problem with people like Trump is that they offer general solutions to specific problems. The reason is that they are not much aware of the ground reality. Trump has thrived on the anti-incumbency against the Obama Administration but has he really offered a lasting solution to any problem that he thinks has come up in the Obama era?
Yes, remarks like “America is struggling, we need to make it great again” constitute a high-class demagogy but demagogy itself is not something great. Trump’s words will appeal to a section of the people who are not convinced by the median income figures, but that cannot be the entire nation’s story.
Here is where precisely a non-political politician loses out to a political one. Just opposite to Trump who thinks that the American economy is in a complete mess and nothing less than radical reforms can change it, Clinton has been more realistic in her assessment as she said things are good but there are issues that require attention. Trump will definitely find some friends who are fed up with the establishment politics but how far can Trump go by cashing in on negative feelings?
The latest report doesn’t make the US look as bad as Trump has tried to project and that makes his own ideas about how to make America great again not very reasonable. If the basic foundation of his negative theory about the economy gets weakened by facts and figures, then the very reason of him contesting this election as a symbol of an ‘angry’ America becomes a sham.
The irony of Trump
It is an irony that Trump looks second-best to the establishment politicians when it comes to truly reflect the common man. A major feature of this year’s election has been a dissatisfaction with the establishment politics which is accused of caring little about the common man. It is because of this reason that people like Trump (to the right) and Bernie Sanders (to the left) made an impact this year in both the major party camps. But as Sanders could not beat Hillary at the end even after having a start, Trump’s position too could get considerably weakened from here on.
This campaign season, Trump has behaved like freshers who ignore a middle path out of super excitement to prove themselves. He has been too rigid in his opinions, leaving too little space for a course correction while the likes of Obama and Hillary, because of their years of experience in public affairs, know where to take a soft step back and wait for the right opportunity. #Election 2016