Former US president Harry Truman said: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” After witnessing the battle between Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, perhaps a new rule should be added to US politics: “If you can’t stand the stench, get out of the race.”
Trump and Clinton have turned the US election into a veritable stink bomb and the two share the same characteristic: They know that they themselves are haunted by a host of embarrassing scandals, but they are not the least bit afraid of washing their dirty linen in public. They have both got what it takes to stand the stench of politics.
Trump, an infamous playboy, has been married three times. He is very fond of talking nonsense and he is far from being a gentleman. As a self-proclaimed super-wealthy man, he is socially active and claims to be a generous political donor. He has also taken advantage of tax loopholes by claiming losses of almost US$1 billion to shelter his income, which allowed him to avoid paying taxes for up to 18 years. His scandals cover everything from finance to sexual assault allegations.
Judging Trump’s character, no one was optimistic about his bid, but because some upright men in the Republican Party did not want to offend him, they planned to watch him self-destruct. However, he unexpectedly ended up winning the primary, as he managed to push everyone else out of the race.
Clinton is being described as greedy, secretive and ambitious, but the biggest stain on her is her husband, former US president Bill Clinton’s reputation as a ladies’ man. During the second US presidential debate, Trump’s camp invited three women who had allegedly had sexual relations with Bill Clinton to the debate, trying to embarrass the former president.
Bill Clinton had an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Since the evidence was clear and definite, he was impeached, but in the end he was acquitted of the charges.
As Bill Clinton tries to return to the White House again as the spouse of the new president, there are a lot of old scores that need to be settled.
The Clintons seem to have a large supply of deodorant to eliminate strong smells. In 1988, then-US senator Gary Hart, one of the Democratic Party’s presidential hopefuls that year, dropped out of the race after an extra-marital affair was exposed during the primaries. After three of Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs were revealed four years later, his wife steeled herself and defend him, saying that it was their private business, and Bill Clinton was, surprisingly, nominated by the Democratic Party and elected president in 1992.
Trump comes from the business world and he is not afraid of the stench. Following the leak of a video in which he joked about groping women without their consent, more than half a dozen women accused him of harassing them by touching or kissing them. Still, they did not look angry, embarrassed or irritated, so it is perhaps hard to tell whether their claims were true or false.
However, the US presidential election has turned into a competition of who can come up with the most foul-smelling accusations.
James Wang is a media commentator.
Translated by Eddy Chang
For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China’s “century of humiliation” is the gift that keeps on giving. Beijing returns again and again to the theme of Western imperialism, oppression and exploitation to keep stoking the embers of grievance and resentment against the West, and especially the US. However, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that in 1949 announced it had “stood up” soon made clear what that would mean for Chinese and the world — and it was not an agenda that would engender pride among ordinary Chinese, or peace of mind in the international community. At home, Mao Zedong (毛澤東) launched
The restructuring of supply chains, particularly in the semiconductor industry, was an essential part of discussions last week between Taiwan and a US delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach. It took precedent over the highly anticipated subject of bilateral trade partnerships, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) founder Morris Chang’s (張忠謀) appearance on Friday at a dinner hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for Krach was a subtle indicator of this. Chang was in photographs posted by Tsai on Facebook after the dinner, but no details about their discussions were disclosed. With
To say that this year has been eventful for China and the rest of the world would be something of an understatement. First, the US-China trade dispute, already simmering for two years, reached a boiling point as Washington tightened the noose around China’s economy. Second, China unleashed the COVID-19 pandemic on the world, wreaking havoc on an unimaginable scale and turning the People’s Republic of China into a common target of international scorn. Faced with a mounting crisis at home, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) rashly decided to ratchet up military tensions with neighboring countries in a misguided attempt to divert the
Toward the end of former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) final term in office, there was much talk about his legacy. Ma himself would likely prefer history books to enshrine his achievements in reducing cross-strait tensions. He might see his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore in 2015 as the high point. However, given his statements in the past few months, he might be remembered more for contributing to the breakup of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). We are still talking about Ma and his legacy because it is inextricably tied to the so-called “1992 consensus” as the bedrock of his