Americans love conspiracy theories! I recently heard about one that really takes the cake.
Apparently Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton might not be quite the rivals that we have seen throughout the presidential campaign. After all, Trump was close enough with the Clintons to be at their wedding, and the daughters of the two families are friends.
So here it is: Donald Trump isn’t really running for president. As the theory goes, he was convinced to run by Hillary Clinton herself. Having an outrageous opponent who could never be elected would be a sure-fire method of getting herself elevated to the White House.
I get a kick out of this for many reasons. It plays into the worst stereotypes of each candidate: A megalomaniac who wants to see what he can get away with, and an ambitious shark with a personal agenda.
It also taps into our fears that what we do with our votes doesn’t really make a difference, and our paranoia that larger forces are at work behind the scenes, making us merely pawns in a life-size chess game.
According to modern lore, Trump said and did the things that would earn him the Republican nomination in order to beat out the other candidates. But now he has to alienate the various voting blocks in the next few months in order to throw the election and ensure Clinton’s victory. This, supposedly, explains why his behavior is becoming more erratic and unpredictable.
Even if this plot were true, which I highly doubt, I want to ask those behind it if they’ve ever seen a teen movie. Because this kind of thing never works. You don’t fix up the cute guy with your ugly friend to make yourself look better; he ends up falling for her and you are left alone on prom night.
Next, it implies that Americans are so stupid that they would fall for such a scheme. If you think the majority of people here are that dumb, why would you want to be responsible for them and be their leader?
Although if you had to trick them in order to get elected then I guess you’re saying they’re pretty smart, in that they would be discerning enough not to vote for you in the first place. Which really says more about you as a candidate if you know you can’t get elected on your own merit.
More to the point, what happens if your plan backfires, and your ugly friend (from the above analogy) accidentally gets elected prom queen? Or worse, decides she’s popular enough to run for class president, now that she knows she has a serious chance of winning?
I would find this whole conspiracy and ensuing election hilarious if the stakes weren’t so high. I feel a bit ashamed of my irreverence when I remember that it’s not even been a whole century since my suffragette sisters suffered so that I could walk into an election booth.
It still doesn’t change the fact that at the end of the day we have no good choices. An unstable hothead against a corrupt panderer? Vote for a third-party candidate or move to Canada?
I’d say good luck to each of the candidates but I think that sentiment is better reserved for the voters; we’re the ones who need it.