Tina Stowell Associates

The powerful who abuse their position

October 8th, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized

“The powerful who abuse their position” is what Theresa May said when asked what made her angry by Nick Robinson on Tuesday morning.

That one sentence sums up why she is the right person to be Prime Minister at this time. It captures what people feel has been going wrong for years and what has led to this big divide between the people and power exposed by Brexit. And if Theresa May remains committed to addressing unfairness and goes after anyone who abuses their position of power she stands a good chance of bridging that divide.

But as we know, this massive gap between people and power is not exclusive to the UK. It’s a western world problem and it’s what is behind the rise of the extremist parties in Europe and the support for the non-politician US presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

That is, until last night’s release of the tape of what Donald Trump said about women. But as much as what he said about women is horrific, it’s that he bragged he could abuse his power to do things to women that would not be possible if he didn’t have that power that’s so abhorrent.

Donald Trump: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything”

If he’s a serious candidate (and I think he is) Donald Trump needs to be more specific than he has been so far in his broadcast apology, to show that he understands why ordinary people are angry having heard and seen that tape. If he doesn’t do that, surely he will damage the support he already has as well as kill the prospect of gaining more.

And if Hillary Clinton is smart, she’ll not use this opportunity to try to bring Donald Trump down because of what he said about women on that tape (because I don’t think she would succeed and it could even make things worse for her, especially if he does what I’ve just described). Instead, Hillary should use this opportunity to rise above Trump and deal with her own weaknesses.

The American electorate is not overly enthusiastic about Hillary because they think she and Bill Clinton abused their position of power in the past. Right now she has the perfect opportunity to show very directly that she understands that, and to tell the American people what she is going to change about her own behaviour to prevent what worries some American people will happen again if they are returned to the White House.

The events of the last 24 hours could be the un-doing of Donald Trump regardless of anything more he or Hillary does in the final few weeks of the campaign.

But whoever wins the White House will have to deal with the causes that led to this most extraordinary of presidential elections. And that will require the next President to show they understand why it happened.

I wonder what the 44th President will answer if asked: “what makes you angry?”