Donald Trump’s presidential bid is still being treated with a mixture of scorn and fear over here, while in the States he is currently winning the Republican race for their nomination, while liberal American looks on in terror and the Republican establishment still can’t quite believe their eyes.
I have grown mildly addicted to the nomination race on the Republican side, and while it’s true Trump has said some controversial things during the campaign, he has also made it one of the most fascinating contests I can remember. A lot of people on the left seem to tremble at the thought of Trump winning the nomination, and celebrated when he lost the Iowa Caucus, but if we look at Trump’s competition, it seems to me he is by far the best candidate on the Republican side. Here’s who he’s up against:
With the style of a quack televangelist, Cruz is a gigantic arsehole. Everyone who knows him well seems to despise him. Cruz was accused of some seriously shady practices in Iowa, including telling voters one of his rival candidates was dropping out, and sending other voters mail saying they had committed a “voter violation” and would be in trouble of they did not vote. Cruz is also the most right wing candidate in the race. If you are worried by Trump winning, you should be terrified at the prospect of a Cruz win (but don’t worry he won’t).
My rating: 0/10
Youthful looking and somewhat charismatic, Rubio is one of the Republican establishments main picks along with Jeb(!) Bush. That is to say he is bought and paid for by big business. If Rubio wins there will be a continuation of the status quo. Rubio had some momentum after the Iowa Caucus where he came third but his debate performance on the eve of the New Hampshire Primary killed that momentum dead. The higher ups of the Republican Party still haven’t given up on Marco though, so he is probably second favourite at the moment. This clip from the New Hampshire debate is a joy to watch. He is now known by many as Marco Roboto.
My rating 3/10
Another establishment favourite, but who seems to be losing big at the moment. Bush started his campaign wanting to distance himself from his brother’s legacy, and so all his posters said Jeb! rather than Jeb Bush. That didn’t seem to work so he’s recently taken his Mum and brother out on the campaign trail with him (reminds me a bit of Jacob Rees Mogg and his nanny). Also bought and paid for, Bush has been given a tough time by Donald Trump. He spent $36 million on his campaign in New Hampshire only to come a distant 4th.
My rating 3/10
Dr Ben Carson is a brain surgeon of some repute. By all accounts he is a good man. Sometimes says some odd things. Can’t win and will almost certainly drop out after the South Carolina Primary on Saturday.
My rating 4/10
Current governor of Ohio. Likely to go back to his day job shortly. Labelled the ‘moderate’ of the contest. Kasich came second in New Hampshire, but won’t go much further.
My rating 5/10
There are only 4 people who could feasibly win the Republican nomination at this point (and 2 of them have little chance). Trump, Rubio, Cruz and Bush. Ultimately, it will probably come down to Rubio vs Trump. To me, Trump would be preferable to all of those. I would even prefer him to win the Presidency than Hillary Clinton who seems to me hopelessly compromised. A Trump vs Bernie Sanders race would be interesting, but I can’t see Hillary losing to Bernie at this point. The Democrats just wouldn’t allow it.
If you look beyond the lurid headlines about Trump, he seems to me to be the best candidate bar Sanders. To me, a Cruz, Clinton, or Bush (again!) presidency would be a much more scary prospect.