by Colin Campbell
JUST over 20 per cent of people in Inverness wanted Donald Trump to be re-elected according to a poll (see below). How ardently they wanted that outcome is unclear. But if they were enthusiastic supporters, they have reason for cheer, although the final outcome may take days or even weeks to resolve.
As election night developed last night, however, one thing became clear. Trump the Demon, the Son of Satan, as portrayed by much of the media, and many of his more extreme detractors on both sides of the Atlantic, stands every chance of being around as US president for four more years.
The demeanour of pundits on TV channels like CNN, which have been insanely biased against Trump during his tenure in office, bore an uncanny resemblance to 2016, when he stunned the world by winning the White House.
A jaunty, upbeat, at last this-is-his comeuppance mood which took hold as challenger Joe Biden took a strong early lead began to slowly disintegrate.
It was replaced by growing unease as more results came in, in Trump’s favour. The twitchiness increased as in many states he drew level. And as more votes began to pile up in his favour and the race began to tilt towards his potential re-election, the tension, anxiety and strain became tangible.
Why they should want rid of him is in itself unclear. Who else do they have on hand to have to fill a zillion hours of spare air time fervently attacking for the next four years? Joe Biden with his faculties visibly fading hardly fits the bill.
Happily for people in Inverness, however, if Trump is re-elected, the outcome will not have the same impact. At 4am, for a breath of fresh air, I took a walk along my street. A couple of lights still burned brightly, but everyone else had, for work reasons and maybe because they weren’t all that interested, just wisely gone to bed.
But that wasn’t the case everywhere in the UK, not by a long shot.
The former Labour leadership candidate, Lisa Nandy, had earlier tweeted: “There has never been an election in my lifetime in which so much is at stake, not just for the USA, but for the world.”
Did an element of “Trump derangement syndrome” play any part in the humiliating wipeout of Jeremy Corbyn and Ms Nandy’s Labour Party last December, which she also probably considered “the most important election” in her lifetime?
As we suggested yesterday, Trump has his flaws, some serious flaws, but the hatred and loathing of him has, for many who still support him, been wildly excessive.
And in the US that in itself seemed to generate a backlash. Unlike his predecessors, he launched no wars, he bombed no innocent civilians, and maybe last night that crucial but often deliberately ignored fact paid dividends for him.
As we write, it’s not over yet. Joe Biden could clearly still win, but with massive postal voting because of the coronavirus delaying the outcome under the bizarre US electoral system in which different states count these votes at different times – some before and some after election night – the final result may not be known for several days.
But any hope that Trump would be dead and buried under a Biden landslide vanished as quickly as the cocksure early pose and posture of the TV pundits and anchors.
So the final outcome is unclear, although at daybreak on Wednesday Trump looked the most likely winner.
The world (with the marked exception of my street in Inverness) holds its breath.
In his finest hour, Charles Kennedy targeted a US
president much worse than Donald Trump
by Colin Campbell
ON the eve of the US presidential election a UK-wide poll carried out by Politico.com finds 79.5 per cent of voters in the Inverness constituency would vote for Biden and 20.3 per cent would back Trump. In the Ross and Cromarty constituency the corresponding figures are 79.3 and 20.7.
Conducted in constituencies across the country this rather pointless but still fascinating poll doesn’t reveal how many people were sampled. Still, taken at face value, it has at least a ring of truth about it.
But just over one in five people supporting The Donald? If anything, it’s mildly surprising that figure is so high. So many backing the narcissist, the Demon, the Son of Satan? The Devil himself might have been expected to be more popular.
That’s not based on what I or many others think. It’s based on the insanely hostile coverage he’s been accorded in the US media, which has an inevitable knock-on effect over here and around the world. An independent survey this week found it had been 92 per cent negative, ie hateful, over the past month alone. And that figure I do believe.
But cast your mind back nearly two decades. And it was the late, much lamented Charles Kennedy who targeted the man who should be viewed as the worst US president of the past 40 years. Mr Kennedy was the leading voice in this country at public rallies denouncing George W Bush in the months before he launched the Iraq war, which was based on false, fabricated claims that that country harboured weapons of mass destruction. It was Mr Kennedy’s finest hour.
Remember the bombs raining down on Baghdad in the opening salvo of operation “Shock and Awe”? As a result of the Bush war, backed sycophantically by Tony Blair, an unknown number of Iraqi civilians died. While exact numbers will never be known, estimates assess it as being in the hundreds of thousands, innocent people blown to oblivion as a result of the actions of the US president.
And yet by the time of his departure from office leaving this carnage in his wake, Bush had attracted not a fraction of the odium and outright hatred directed at Donald Trump, who has started no wars and bombed no civilians. Why?
The evocative phrase “Trump derangement syndrome” has at least some credence to it.
He was hated by most of the US media and much of its population from day one. And if during his tenure the US had discovered a cure for cancer, brought about peace in the Middle East and provided every US citizen with a secure and well paid job, he would have been hated still. The same applied to a lesser extent over here.
Inexplicable though it may be to some if not many on this side of the pond, I know quite a number of people who don’t hate him at all. They recognise that he has serious flaws, but they feel, as I do, that those who at the extreme end see him as the living personification of all evil, here as much as in the US, may have a bit of a screw loose themselves.
Joe Biden, whose faculties seem to be failing, may sound conciliatory and reasonable. But his stumbling demeanour suggests he could soon become a puppet for the brand of left wing extremists who want to “defund the police” and who have backed US anarchists and rioters and who still do. And as we saw only two months ago, what happens over there can spread very quickly over here.
A Biden win could in due course be celebrated with an orgy of statue toppling here also. Winston Churchill’s could be among the first to go. And dare to question any element of, say, the agenda of transgender rights extremists – or a range of other groups of extremists thirsting for revenge after four years of “Trumpism”? Best keep such thoughts to yourself, over here and over there.
The history books may reveal why Biden was the best candidate those who despise Trump so much could come up with. For now it is a total mystery.
I’ve spent long nights transfixed to TV screens watching US election night results flow in for the past 40 years. It is the most gripping drama.
Four years ago, when Trump won, it was the most stunning and shocking night. Like most other people across the world, by the early morning I was in a disbelieving daze.
This time my sense of anticipation has been lessened by the coronavirus crisis. We have enough problems in our own country without worrying about the potential for violent conflict and chaos in the US after election night, although we are sagely reminded by pontificating pundits that the outcome will affect the entire world.
I do not know what Charles Kennedy would have made of it all. He would have been no supporter of Donald J Trump.
But he tried with all his heart as Liberal Democrat leader to prevent the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis by Trump’s infamous predecessor, a president who bombed rather than fired off bizarre tweets and made bizarre statements. Although probably inevitably, he failed in the end.
He might, however, question the rationality behind the hysterical level of hatred directed by some at Donald Trump.
Can he pull it off again? The final polls give him only a 35 per cent chance of winning. But the devotion of his legions of supporters stands in stark contrast to the lack of enthusiasm for Biden, who will only be elected because he is NOT TRUMP.
And if he did win, the level of howling and wailing in the pages of the Guardian, among writers and readers, and the major American papers, and on CNN, etc etc, would reach a height and pitch never before seen.
Satan descends again on the White House! The world is at an end!
It promises to be a long and interesting night.
And apart from that, as a final nostalgic thought couldn’t we do with Charles Kennedy MP in his prime over in Ross-shire, compared with what we have there now.