Not a ‘healthy’ trend

Not a ‘healthy’ trend

Bikram Vohra
Was it the dirty tricks department or simply a clever political ploy? You choose.
Donald Trump’s timing of his medical reports and showing them in dramatic fashion to celebrity TV expert Mehmut Oz was clearly designed to put the spotlight back on Hillary Clinton’s state of health.
Coming as it did only a couple of days after Hillary fainted at a 9/11 ceremony and was diagnosed with pneumonia, Trump made a big deal of ‘should I, should I not’ on the screen before yanking out a sheaf of papers from his pocket and passing them on to the doctor whose show is watched by millions.
There is little doubt that it was planned and planned deviously for special effect. It was also used to deflect attention from his weight problem by having it mentioned in passing rather than his fast food diet and his avoirdupois becoming a competitive medical headline. Hillary’s illness gave a little octane to the sagging Republican campaign and this week changes in the campaign set up and its managers have given the Trump camp a sense of being back on track and coming out throwing punches.
That is why her doctor has swiftly given her a clean bill of health hoping to stop the Trump bandwagon in its tracks.
But being in the ‘pink’ of health will not be enough. As the pace hots up and individuals who fear a Trump regime and have good standing in the American public’s mind start speaking out loud it could hurt him at the hustings. One of these is former Secretary of State Colin Powell who has gone on record openly calling Trump a mad man and a disgrace to the country.
To quote he is an ‘international pariah.’ Such remarks put a pause in the mind who might be enjoying the shenanigans but would balk at giving a maverick the awesome power of the presidency. If more Powells start speaking up it will definitely have an impact. The African American community, for example, won’t take Powell’s words lightly. He has now on record as stating that Trump takes blacks as ‘idiots.’
Harsh words indeed and words that underscore the sharp divide in American society over who should take over from Obama. For sure, Trump has used the oily and slick three point formula of suspicion, fear and blame so perfected by Indian politicians. He has infected a large number of people with doubts and concerns about others who eat, dress or speak differently and look different. He has generated fear of the American way of life being in danger and red circled the goblins under the public bed. Then he has pointed to specific groups as the cause of all the ills in the US community.
This unholy trinity of political thought works very well for a while because it plays a new tune and promises a cardboard security and a map to a promised land of milk and honey that does not exist. Invariably it has been followed by a profound and tangible sense of disillusionment as we have seen so often. Fear reduces, suspicion dies out without cause and blame becomes an excuse for not delivering.
There is a great deal of difference between pre-election rhetoric and having the buck stop with you. In the end perhaps the US system of checks and balances will have to work overtime to keep the ship of state from capsizing, be it a volatile Trump or a vanilla Hillary.
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