How not to win an election?
It's not easy, but one way to try and maintain sanity is by taking a worldwide view of every situation.
Indeed our traffic is in a mess, much due to inadequate road-city area ratio and our driving etiquette, which assumes that the road belongs to my grandfather. But after the Nice tragedy 14 July, there was an eight-hour delay on England's motorway heading to the Dover-Calais channel crossing. And I waited in an Emirates queue at Dubai airport on 4 August for seven and half hours to reissue a boarding pass along with thousand others who were stranded after the crash-landing of one of its aircrafts. There you go; it can happen anywhere.
Our newspapers are replete with news of rape and murder. So are they in England: Four boys, one of them 12 years old, killed a dad-of-four outside McDonald's in Manchester. A 20-year old drunken bartender was raped and killed by a loner twice her age, who promised to see her safely home. A former soldier threatened his ex would 'never get to love another man' - then murdered her as kids slept. A woman in her mid-thirties paralysed another 60 year old lady with a stun gun before stabbing her more than forty times. A woman drank a cup of ice coffee 'her friend had laced with cyanide' before collapsing and dying. These are some August headlines from only one newspaper, London's Mirror.
Our politicians have been tearing each other apart for decades, but most often by implying their notoriety, not always naming them in public. On the other hand, in the build-up to the November USA elections, GOP candidate Donald Trump has called his Democrat counterpart Hilary Clinton a "liar" and Hillary dubbed the Republican nominee "the most dangerous presidential candidate in the history of the United States". Ouch!
While our politicians are hell-bent on winning, and I assume so is email Hillary, but it appears DDT (Donald "dangerous" Trump) is doing everything that can possibly see a successive democrat in the White House.
Trump, despite his repeated business bankruptcies, massive overseas investments and wholesale employment of (cheap) foreign workers, promises to change America by annulling international economic pacts and giving jobs back to (dearer) Americans. He needs to change himself as an example for his electorate.
He began his nomination campaign by deliberately distancing various ethnicity and religion from his Republican party, and discounting votes by his every utterance.
Trump's attack on Mexicans was an information lapse. He seems to have no idea about the situation on ground and declared his intention to construct a wall on USA's border with Mexico. But there already exists a fence/wall along almost one-third of the 2000-mile long border. And lawmakers were already planning to build another 700 miles.
He has no perception about Islam, and launched an unacceptable tirade against the religious minority by announcing that he would bar Muslims from entering his country, to which his German grandfather Frederick arrived in 1885, followed by his German grandmother.
For a person who is ancestrally 100% foreign, Donald Trump wanted to round up and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants because "they steal jobs, drain public benefits and do not assimilate", all arguments falling flat. And so now he says he would only deport what he calls the "bad dudes."
According to data cited by the Wall Street Journal, every one new immigrant creates 1.2 new jobs for local workers. Cato Institute estimates undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $13 billion in payroll taxes a year to fund public benefits they'll never be able to receive. With regard to social integration, to "most conservatives American-ness is synonymous with whiteness". They want to call that culture. One might also call it racism.
Trump has further alienated swing voters as well as Republicans by patting Putin of Vladimir fame and embracing Russian policies. The result is that one in five registered Republican voters, 20 per cent, now want Trump to quit the presidential race, "reflecting the turmoil his candidacy has sown within his party" (Reuters/Ipsos poll 10 August) The same day's front page of New York Daily News called for Donald Trump to end his presidential campaign – writing, "This isn't a joke any more".
No wonder that, like many Bangladeshi politicians, Trump is already trumpeting that come November, voting will be rigged, a claim president Hillary-backer Barrack Obama has categorically shunned.
We usually point out the differences between Bangladesh and the West, and rarely acknowledge the stark similarities; only our jovial Chokku Miah could never have threatened a major political party. For good and for worse, Trump in fact is intimidating both.
The author is a practising Architect at BashaBari Ltd., a Commonwealth Scholar and a Fellow, a Baden-Powell Fellow Scout Leader, and a Major Donor Rotarian.