The 2016 Presidential Election: the longest running joke in television history?


Over the Summer I was lucky enough to spend an ocean away from all the British political drama as a consequence of a temporary move to America. Lucky me. That said, with everything going on this side of the pond you’d think the general conversations I’d find myself in would be sly comments from Americans about the condition of our national politics; the stepping down of David Cameron, the sterling’s decline or maybe an underhanded reference to the Brexit result. Funnily enough, you’d also be mistaken. The majority of people I met were, speaking from my own experience, drained from the presidential election.

Excusing Sanders and Cruz from the narrative, the fight between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has gone from being your standard presidential election to forming the foundations of a successful reality television series. In fact, NY Times took a moment to fact check Sunday’s presidential debate and of 22 statements made by Trump; 13 were untrue and a further 7 were unclear with little to no evidence to corroborate such claims. A great start to the final leg of the election season.

In all honesty, it’s quite difficult to even begin to summarise just a few of the laughable moves made by the two candidates. Perhaps a good place to start is – as the independent reports – Trump claiming Barack Obama as “the founder of Isis” with Clinton the “co-founder” 24 short hours after his suggestive proposal to shoot the Republican candidates’ opposition [Clinton] as the most efficient way to stop her pursuit for gun control. But the fun certainly doesn’t stop there. Trump continued to further set the bar high on September 30th when he tweeted about “Crooked Hillary’s” professional endorsement of former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, for apparently appearing in a sex tape. The comments caused the extreme backlash for the candidate, resulting in a surface of a non-sexual cameo appearance of Trump in a 2000 Playboy softcore porn video.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love drama as much as the next person but there is something about the pettiness and immaturity of this campaign that leaves a bittersweet feeling about the way both candidates are conducting themselves. It’s extremely hard to take either candidate seriously when Clinton is using the size of Trump’s hands on national television and Donald Trump’s name and likeness have been used in popular App Store games depicting him as a literal turd.

The disappointing fact about this campaign is that it takes away what is really important. In a few years’ time, few will look back and remember Michelle Obama’s moving words at the Democratic National Convention. It becomes difficult to realise the utmost importance of the departure of Obama for the potential first woman president when the current campaign holds more low-brow comedy and strategic shade than a parody episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. The true bittersweet moment? If we Trump supporters take his advice at last week’s Florida rally, they’ll “go out and vote November 28th.” A whole 20 days after election day.

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