As an Australian looking into the states from the outside the choice seems simple: a professional politicians (with some flaws) or a bigoted megalomaniac with dictatorial designs. It’s little wonder most of the world doesn’t understand why this is even a race. However it’s not quite that straight forward.
As a political junkie I’ve been mostly in heaven this past week being in the states for this election. I have constantly struck up conversations with random strangers, probing about their beliefs, philosophies and political opinions. They have ranged from intelligent discourse to incoherent raving but it’s been fascinating.
However, after a week I think that Australians are underestimating the blind allegiance vote, the not-a-a-racist-but-you-are-dude vote and a section of the community that is hard to define but may be scarier than we realise.
The best example of this is a lady with whom I had an hour-long discussion last week. She thinks Trump is a disgusting pig who should be locked up but is STILL voting for him as president because she doesn’t want a Democrat-leaning judge on the Supreme Court (there is one vacancy atm and looking at the ages of the others more are likely soon). She hates everything about Trump but hates the idea of abortion being legal more.
Now she’s not the redneck racist stereotype we’d like to believe. She’s educated, compassionate and her stances on other things such as Standing Rock lead me to suspect she’s not even overtly racist. But she would rather support someone who she herself sees as “a bigoted idiot” than risk losing sight of other beliefs of hers. And she’s not alone. I’ve spoken to hispanic and african-american people who will vote for Trump. That seems inconceivable to most of us but they each have their reasons.
I’m not talking about the blindly allegiant or the brainwashed cults: these are people who could easily be your neighbours and friends. Yes some of them are anti-Hilary for various reasons (some valid, some not) but for most of them it’s a lot more complex than just black or white.
An interesting day ahead.