This has been an extraordinary US presidential election campaign, with the real outsider Donald Trump taking the Republican Party by storm, while on the Democratic side the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, has quashed all opposition. The Republican National Convention in Cleveland went ahead last week unexpectedly smoothly and elected Trump as the Republican candidate for President.
The Democratic National Convention is being held now in Philadelphia and has got off to a rocky start. The main difference between the two Conventions, apart from their obvious political differences, is that Trump emerged as the clear winner out of a crowded field of 17 candidates. Whereas in the Democratic race there were only a few candidates and it came down to a choice between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and Sanders received enough support to keep him in the race almost until the Convention.
Sanders finally gave up and endorsed Hillary last week, but throughout the contest he had accused the Democratic National Committee of being biased towards Clinton and against his candidacy. Of course, the DNC denied this and so did its chairwoman Debby Wasserman Schwartz. However a few days before the Convention Wikileaks released 20,000 e-mails that had been hacked from the DNC leadership that clearly shows that Schwartz was lying, and that she was working all along for Clinton and against Sanders.
Since Sanders is an avowed socialist and is not a true Democrat and is to the far left of the Party, this is not surprising, but it is against the rules. Who hacked these e-mails is unknown, but the DNC blamed the Russians, and according to them it’s because Pres. Putin has an agreement with Trump for the US to undermine NATO. But, that is pure partisan speculation. At this point no-one really knows who did the hacking. However, they had their effect, DWS was forced to resign from the Chairmanship of the DNC the day before the Convention was due to start!
This put the Democratic Convention into turmoil, because how can you have a Convention without a leader (note that Pres. Obama has been conspicuously absent from these proceedings). Furthermore, although Sanders has endorsed Hillary, he may be quite sour about the situation and his supporters, who feel that they have been cheated, have reacted more vociferously and are causing more demonstrations at the DNC surprisingly than there were at the RNC.
In Britain the opposition Labor Party is very divided and is off on a new leadership race, since many feel that Jeremy Corbin is too far left and is not a good leader. But, the Conservatives who were also split between Brexiteers and Remainers, seems now on a unified path with Theresa May at the helm. However, these political schisms in both the US and UK have not worked themselves out yet and we will have to wait until Nov in the US presidential election to see where we are headed.