(Originally posted on The Nudge Wink Report) Last week I posted when I thought it was my turn to post, and it turns out it wasn’t. I poured my creative juices into my rant, and now I’m squeezing the lemons of creativity and getting only bitterness.

So, what to say? There’s one gigantic orange elephant in the room, or to be precise, an orange elephant that will soon take up residence in the White House, and I’ve deliberately avoided posting about this on my main site or elsewhere, up to this point, in order to digest this news. Three days on, I still have indigestion. I was sorely tempted to simply post this:





I think Timon’s various looks of worry and fear accurately sum up the mood of the world. A man with a proven track record for bankrupting businesses is now going to hold sway over the global economy. I hoped everyone likes tinned peaches. A man who gets the thumbs up from quasi-dictator Vladimir Putin (if that doesn’t scare you nothing will) will be responsible for making policy.

Trump isn’t even the worst thing about this. The Republican party, a party so divided it’s mathematically impossible to explain, has held the Senate and Congress. They now control all three branches of the US government system, and yet half the party despises Trump. What does that spell for Trump’s presidency, and by extension, how will it impact those of us who live elsewhere? Maybe, just maybe, the utter failure of Trump to work with his party will break the GOP to the point where the US electorate realises they made a collectively huge mistake and the Dems crush them next time around.

Though part of me actually wants Trump to succeed. A tanking US economy will inevitably tank the UK economy too (assuming the Tories don’t manage that first). If Trump follows through with his stated goal of cutting back support for NATO, where will the buffer come from to prevent future Russian aggression in countries like Ukraine? I’ve heard the ludicrous suggestion that Hillary wanted war with Russia – erm, hands up if you truly believe that? The men in white coats are waiting outside.

I’m struggling to make this post light-hearted and funny. It’s proving to be an epic challenge. How can I be funny when Trump’s intended VP, Pence, believes he can ‘cure’ people of homosexuality? Or that smoking isn’t bad for you?

Within days of Trump’s victory, there’s been a surge in racist and sexist tweets and comments from his supporters, who are taking this as the freedom to be as openly vile as possible. I know I know – it isn’t fair to tarnish them all like that – but it’s not a promising sign.

Le sigh.

We are inching closer to a milestone moment in US politics and therefore global affairs. The looming Presidential Election will see a woman contest the vote for the first time (Hilary Clinton) and she will square off against business tycoon and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

I look across the Pond at my American cousins and I hope – desperately – that when they go to the polls in November common sense will prevail. Hilary is reviled in some quarters – partly because she’s a woman, partly because she’s a Clinton, and partly because she represents the Democrats – and the fear is enough people will vote for Trump (despite his bluster) simply because he’s not Hilary. Partisan politics has long been a trademark of US elections, and might this actually carry Trump over the finish line?

Thankfully, my desperate pleas for common sense do appear to be being answered. Hilary is currently crushing Trump in polls, because no one but the most diehard Republican supporter would consider putting Trump in the White House (and even some of the diehards might not be so sure). The political right in the US has been on a steady path toward self-destruction for years, with their policy appearing to be ‘oppose Obama simply because’. Their rhetoric has hardened to the point where they found themselves isolated, and the party membership gobbled up Trump’s firebranding because they’d edged themselves to a place where anyone who took the hard line to the right would have an excellent chance of becoming the nominee.

And make no mistake, despite claims from Republicans that Trump is actually left-wing, his arguments clearly mark him out as being harder to the right than his competitors for the role of Republican nominee. Whilst I don’t necessarily agree with some of the comments, the Political Compass site marks out Trump as been clearly hard to the right.

Nor is this the only example of Trump being right-wing. Denial of this is everywhere among Republican supporters who don’t want Trump, and whilst their desire to distance themselves from Trump is understandable, it is also dishonest to pretend he is something he isn’t. It also won’t fix the problems that run deep within the Republican party (denying a problem never fixed it).

Now the Republicans are stuck with a candidate who happens to represent their membership better than any other nominee could, precisely because he speaks to their values, not in spite of them. The party elite can sense disaster – the Republicans have enjoyed a strong presence in two of the three legislative bodies of the US government – Trump might alter this, and in a bad way.

Their problems aren’t just because of Trump. One of Trump’s most ardent supporters is former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani recently made the absurd claim that no terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists took place on US soil until after Obama became President – and yet Giuliani was Mayor of New York when the 9/11 attacks took place, during George W Bush’s term, within the eight-year window Giuliani mentioned! The Washington Post has an interesting article on the reasons for this apparent omission, and what it might mean.

So, if you’re a Republican reading this and you believe Trump is representing the political left, please stop to ask why so many of his supporters identify as right-wing. Ask yourself how he was able to comfortably win the nomination for the party that traditionally identifies as right-wing. Check out the links I provided. You might want to reconsider what Trump represents.

wp-1457296544878.jpg(wait, what?)

Not for the first time, earlier today I read of the idea that the Republican party of the US (traditionally the right-wing, conservative party in their political system) is actually more ‘lefty’ than it is right-wing (and this was intended very much as a slur against the GOP). Is there actually any truth to this?

Not, it would seem, if we look at the stances of the key candidates currently vying for leadership of the Democrats and Republicans in the race to decide who gets to be Presidential nominee. A comparison of the players (such as Sanders, Clinton, Trump, Rubio and Cruz) would suggest that the Democrat candidates and the Republican candidates have opposite views across a wide range of positions – from gay marriage to economic issues and military spending. It would seem the Democrat candidates line up more or less along the same lines, and the Republican candidates do likewise.

What does this mean? Well, it means that if the Republicans are now apparently left-wing, and their key players are all in agreement (more or less) with each other, whilst opposed to the Democrat candidates (who are again, more or less in alignment with each other), then are we to consider the Democrats right-wing? Of course not.

The anger directed at the Republican party by some of its own members and supporters is understandable, but the reasoning for that anger is also a denial of where the responsibility for their shortcomings comes from – Donald Trump is doing so well and galvanising the Republican membership so much precisely because he is right-wing – he is tapping into their values, and doing so with an intense, hardcore approach. He has claimed that ground and done so quite thoroughly.

So instead of blaming the evil lefties, the conservative right needs to take a long hard look in the mirror and consider that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to start taking responsibility for its own failings, instead of projecting them.



(guess who’s winning!)

Another round of pre-election elections (also known as Primaries, I think, US politics is just plain weird) has come and gone, and the force that unifies both sides in the campaign – Donald Trump – has taken yet another huge stride toward becoming the Republican party candidate for the Presidential election later this year. Why do I say he unifies both sides? Easy, neither side wants him to win.

The Republican party leadership are worried that his rhetoric, whilst appealing very much to the core of the party’s membership, will cripple his chances of becoming President when played out in the arena that is the election campaign. ‘How will Trump appeal to all those he has spent time denouncing when he suddenly needs their votes?’ is a question I can imagine being asked by the bigwigs in the Republican party.

Yet, despite the best efforts of the party, Trump continues to gain momentum – he is very much leading the race to become the bold face of the Republican party – and no one seems able to slow him down, let alone stop him.

I’ve read a couple of interesting ideas that Trump is in fact quite left-wing – how does he therefore have strong appeal to the hardcore of a right-wing party?

The answer is simple. Trump is not a ‘liberal’, but very much a conservative – as the link shows, his position on a lot of issues is very different to those taken by leading Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. Whilst it is understandable that Republican supporters may want to distance themselves from Trump’s bluster, to suggest he is anything other than a product of the Republican party and its ideals is dishonest – he would not resonate so strongly with their supporters if he were anything but a right-winger.

Right now, the Republican party needs to stop playing the blame game and start looking at its own faults and failures, and take the necessary steps to address them. Otherwise, Trump will become the face of their party, and in all likelihood destroy whatever credibility they have left.

Lately US politics is dominating the airwaves. This isn’t exactly a surprise, but it’s only going to get worse, especially as the election campaign over there gets into full swing and becomes the sole focus of even British media.

Quite why we’ll ignore our own problems to focus on what’s happening thousands of miles away is beyond me, but it’s the main talking point of the web at the moment, so I might as well weigh in.


(I have no idea why Democrats choose a donkey to represent themselves, nor why the Republicans are represented by an elephant)

It will hardly come as a surprise to anyone who knows me (or who follows this blog) to learn that if I were American, I’d probably vote Democrat, and especially right now. The Republican party appear more interested in ensuring their Presidential candidate appeals only to Republican party members, rather than the American people as a whole. Allow me to explain:

Republican candidate Ben Carson is very much anti-abortion, as is Donald Trump. Now, I can respect that position, but I cannot agree with imposing that position upon everyone. They are in effect, seeking to use government authority to impose their personal will upon women across America (the irony being that the Republican party likes to be regarded as the party of small government and greater freedoms).

This is even more of a strange approach for the candidates of a party supposedly valuing freedom when you consider Carson and Trump would be bucking the will of the American people on this one.

This is also the case on the gay marriage issue. Carson has made it clear what he thinks of same-sex marriage, though Trump has actually broken with the party line by saying it’s now the law of the land. Perhaps more importantly, the American people once again favour same-sex marriage. Once again, there are Republican candidates who oppose it, on religious grounds, and would use their religious values to make policy.

Surely this flies on the face of the First Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I would interpret free exercise of religion as also being free to not exercise religion. It should certainly prevent would-be presidents from imposing their beliefs on the rest of the country!