The Irish Examiner View: Unsettled and very unsettling

If the outcome could be a second term for US president Donald Trump, then passing curiosity becomes justified concern.

The Irish Examiner View: Unsettled and very unsettling

It may, as our establishment political parties play pass the parcel with the options presented by a three-way election result, seem presumptuous to cast a cold eye on how another country uses democracy.

However, if the outcome could be a second term for US president Donald Trump, then passing curiosity becomes justified concern. The conflicting results of the Democratic party’s efforts to agree a candidate deepen those concerns, Joe Biden’s victory in South Carolina’s primary exacerbate them.

Not because Biden, at 77, may be unequal to the challenge but that, just days ahead of Super Tuesday, he was seen as “a dead candidate walking” yet he turned the tables. Earlier primaries suggested Bernie Sanders or Pete Buttigieg might win the nomination.

Mike Bloomberg’s multi-million TV blitzkrieg won him fleeting prominence, though he was eviscerated by Elizabeth Warren, who got just 5% of Saturday’s vote.

This process underlines the vulnerabilities and hubris of what might be called the all-too-contented centre of democratic politics. In 2016, the Democrats chose the wrong candidate. They have not used the intervening years to build a candidacy that looks as if it might defeat Trump.

Just like Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, they kicked the can down the road all too often lest they unsettle core supporters.

They, like us, may pay an inordinate price for that smug, unjustified complacency.

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