Lack of grace
The last presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle has come to an end. Many people throughout the nation and the world watched the confrontation between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Many were also disenhearted by both, but mostly Trump’s “irreverence”, to put it nicely.
Watching the debates was like watching the Star Wars Prequel trilogy. They’re bad, but you have an obligation of seeing them (if you’re a true Star Wars fan like myself). You just want them to be over as soon as possible.
In my opinion, Hillary won. She is way more prepared than Trump, and much more balanced as well. I actually think it’s unfair she’s facing such a lowly opponent. The Republican Party and this country deserved better.
I am Brazilian, and Brazilians, even though don’t understand almost nothing about your election, they still don’t understand why half of Americans love Trump so much. Unlike the vast majority of them, I’m not ignorant of American politics. I supported Bush’s reelection (though I didn’t understand anything about how the election worked here at the time, or what the parties stood for); I cheered for Obama in both 2008 and 2012; this year, I was for Bernie, but I never minded Hillary being the final nominee.
Even though I wasn’t ignorant, I always placed America, as a whole, in a pedastal. It’s pretty common in underdeveloped countries to have a sense of inferiority towards the rich nations like America, Canada, Japan and the European nations as well. We always think that anything you do is better, and it’s true most of the times, at least regarding education, organization, structure, etc.
But I can honestly say that this election caught me off guard. I honestly thought impossible for Americans to have a candidate like Donald Trump. Wanna know why? Because he’s a populist. Americans aren’t very used to the likes of these, I believe, but countries in South America know that kind all too well, and finally (!) we’re getting rid of them.
Like the sterotypical populist, Trump places himself as the only one that can fix things, the most knowledgeble of all, and he tells the audience exactly what they want to hear, flaming the yearnings of ordinary people that feel marginalized, but with no real solutions to anything. Those are the characteristics of a populist and I can easily name, top of my head, at least 10 populist presidents in South America that were around in the last 30 years. The thing is that, most of the time, a populist leader is a tyrant in disguise. A true wolf in sheep’s clothing.
I would never seriously suggest that Brazil has any moral superiority over the Unites States, because we have not, but while there are bizarre candidates in Brazil, they often resume themselves to the lower political positions (if you wish, type “bizarre brazilian candidates” on Youtube and have a laugh at some of the options).
And for everything bad that Brazil has got (and it’s a lot), we at least never had a nominee that disrespects people left and right, that has no regard for anything, and with no clear position on issues, etc.
The worst part of the debate was when he said he wouldn’t recognize Hillary as a president if she won. That is more than deplorable, that is just foul. I guess Trump thinks he’s living in North Korea.
I’m disappointed in you, America. And I know most of you are too. When you’re being lowered to Brazil’s political scene, you know things are bad.
“Hey, you Brazilian guy! Aren’t ya gonna talk about the crookedness of Hillary?!”
Glad you asked, random reader! I can honestly say that all the things that Hillary has done are so small and insignificant compared to what Brazilian politicians have done, that I couldn’t care less. Believe me.
To conclude, I came across a letter from George W. H. Bush to Bill Clinton, as the latter was about to become president. And it’s so graceful, friendly with no hint of animosity. It’s like a letter to an old friend. And America has lost this in this election cycle, we’re witnessing a lack of grace.
Hopefully, the whole scenario will improve in the coming years. It’s up to you. Good luck.