Wednesday, 1 June 2016

And then there were three: reflections on the US election as of the beginning of June

Following the US election, this is the third Presidential election in a row to be haunted by the ghost of John F. Kennedy.
With JFK being the first Catholic to be the US President, the past two presidential elections, featuring the first African-American (Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012) and the first Mormon (Mitt Romney in 2012) to be major-party candidates, definitely called for comparisons with 1960.
This year, the Kennedyesque comparisons will continue.
Hillary Clinton will be, if nominated, the most conservative Democratic presidential candidate (by the standards of our day) since JFK (by the standards of his).
In the case of the "colourful New York reality television identity" Donald Trump, the last time either major US party nominated a persion with an openly playboy lifestyle was JFK in 1960.  (On a related note, the last time any major party in the US nominated a candidate as thoroughly secular as The Donald, the year was 1800 and the candidate was Thomas Jefferson.)
And,of course, Kennedy's status as the first RC to be the US president is paralleled by the fact that the three remaining candidates (Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump) would be either the first woman, the first Jew, or the first Bond villain to occupy the Oval Office.

(Update on 9 June:  Now that it appears that it will be a Clinton-Trump general election, I feel these comments still hold.  RJF.) 

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