The Comedy that Is Trump

The magnate has affected the country’s institutionalism and some of its most closely held principles.

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump has long stopped being a joke or reality show entertainment. Now he’s become a threat that seeks to undermine the foundations of something that is fundamental to and gives pride to the country: confidence in their electoral system — one of the most complex and respected ones in the world.

Trump hasn’t stopped playing up the claim that a gigantic fraud is being organized to steal the election from him; in Wednesday’s debate, he responded to the question of whether he’d accept the Nov. 8 results by saying that he’d leave everyone in suspense for his answer. This is something deeply troubling for the United States, as a great deal of its democracy’s credibility is rooted in [electoral races’] losers recognizing their defeat in order to uphold the peaceful transfer of power. This has been a tradition that no candidate has ever dared to break. Yesterday, without blinking, Trump reassured everyone that he would accept the results … only if he won.

In the face of such a large number of outbursts, public opinion has been an expression of both confusion and fear. The magnate has affected the country’s institutionalism and some of its most closely held principles. Frequently, [in the past], such pronouncements have been overstated during the period of campaigning, with leaders tempering such rhetoric once in power. But this doesn’t seem to be the case this time.

Quite the contrary. During the second half hour [of the third presidential debate], his scant preparation and low-level mastery of key issues on the government’s agenda was on display. But perhaps the worst of it all came when, in response to sexual abuse accusations [against him], he claimed there was no one else in the world who respected women more than he does — and then he called his rival, Hillary Clinton, a “nasty woman.” The penalty [for having said this] was seen in surveys taken, which declared Clinton as the [debate’s] winner by a large margin. It was in this way that the multimillionaire came to be defeated in all three debates.

Consequently, Democrats’ optimism would seem to be justified. Nevertheless, recent elections in the world — with results that had seemed a sure thing initially — have left behind bitter lessons. The United Kingdom’s Brexit and Colombia’s plebiscite on the issue of peace [with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] are examples that should serve to remind us not to uncork the champagne before we know if there’s going to be a party.

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