On paper, and by their documented histories, there is little difference between Trump and Clinton. Trump is not a Republican, and Clinton is about as progressive and liberal as the church on Sunday. They both occupy similar territory on the political map and have been friends and associates for a great many years. If pushed, I would actually place Trump slightly to the left of Clinton, and while it is true that he has adopted several positions of the right to appeal to sections of the base, that says more of his pragmatism than his true values, and post-election he will revert to type.
These two candidates have proven so incredibly unpopular that it is difficult to believe either secured their own party’s nomination, let alone both, and that now one of them must become the next President of the United States. This dire predicament does provide a positive, however. A single term presidency is all but assured, and with neither likely to be returned, it is also likely that their replacement will come from the opposite wing of politics – but have similar foundations.
Should Clinton prevail this theory suggests her replacement will be a traditional, hard-right Republican as the radical Trump experiment will have failed. Republicans will emulate the Democratic strategy of selecting one of their own and do everything in their power to prevent the incursion of another outsider.
However, assuming Clinton manages to lose to possibly the worst and least qualified candidate in political history, then the Democrat’s preference – some would say rigging – for the most established insider of all insiders will have backfired spectacularly. The Democrats will seek to nominate a liberal outsider to dethrone a president Trump.
So which intermediary provides the best long term solution?
If a centre-right Democrat is replaced with an even further right-wing Republican, the political milieu will continue its departure from the average, centre-left citizen. If, however, a centrist Republican is replaced with a truly left-wing, anti-corporatist liberal then the entire system recalibrates to the populace.
This election more than any other has the power to redraw the centre, and whichever candidate (or party) you think you’d prefer, that is precisely the one you ought vote against.