Many have talked about election campaigns being part of a “Post-truth politics”, where those campaigning just say what they believe will get the voters on side, then worry about it later - after the event. The way those campaigning for Britain to leave the EU sprayed around a number of claims it turned out they could not stand up is cited as a prime example. But, as Ronald Reagan once said, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.
Donald, where's yer hairspray?
That is because in Ronnie’s homeland, the campaign to become the next President of the USA has, on one side at least, ventured beyond merely letting whoppers to a mixture of hatred, intolerance, dishonesty, abuse, incitement, racism, misogyny, and a total disregard for reality. That is the rolling car crash that is the Republican Party’s nominee, alleged businessman Donald Trump, aka The Combover Crybaby.
Many in the GOP are now openly distancing themselves from the increasingly wayward Trump, and especially after he smeared the parents of a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Iraq adventure. The Donald pulled his smear, let us put this directly, because Humayun Khan was a Muslim. Thus his insulting and demeaning attitude towards Khan’s parents, his rather Khizr, and especially his mother Ghazala.
Observing that Ghazala Khan had stood silently by her husband as he addressed the Democrat National Convention last week, Trump said “His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there … She had nothing to say. She probably … maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me. But plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet. And it looked like she had nothing to say”.
But Trump still has one formidable backer in the shape of Rupert Murdoch, who has stood by while Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) has been The Donald’s main cheerleader, with hosts such as professional loudmouth Sean Hannity falling over themselves in their efforts to grovel before The Great Man. Then came the forced resignation of Fox News head man Roger Ailes. And that may have changed things.
That Rupe may be experiencing buyer’s remorse is hinted at as the New York Post, a Murdoch tabloid with the same subtlety level as the Sun, splashed an old photo of Trump’s current wife Melania on its front page yesterday. She used to be a nude model. The caption could have come from Kelvin McFilth himself: “THE OGLE OFFICE … Exclusive Photos … You’ve never seen a potential First Lady like this!” Yeah, phwoar, eh?!?!?
The thought enters that this is not the kind of publicity needed by a candidate under fire and characterised as a less than totally serious and fit choice for the White House. The NYP would not have put that on the front page without at least Murdoch’s acquiescence. Some very senior Republicans are having doubts about letting Trump remain as their candidate, with every horrendous gaffe gifting Hillary Clinton more ammunition.
On top of that, Trump is now trying to chicken out of the Presidential debates. Rupert Murdoch has been a faithful ally of the GOP since Ronnie’s time. Perhaps the ground is being prepared to have The Donald shuffled off. Perhaps it’s just Rupe distancing himself. Perhaps it’s got something to do with Ailes being fired. But it looks for all the world as if Murdoch is cutting Donald Trump loose. He knows a loser when he sees one.