Editorial | A resounding no to Groper Trump
In the normal course of things, the choice a country makes as to who becomes its leader ought to be its own business, especially when the decision is the subject of a democratic election. Outsiders are expected to respect the process and its outcome. To do otherwise is regarded as interference in their internal affairs.
With regard to the United States of America, it was relatively easy for outsiders to respect this principle. The choice for the presidency would come from either of its two great political parties, the Democrats or the Republicans, and their policies, while different in emphasis, would largely comport with long-established doctrines. America's behaviour was, by and large, predictable.
This matters. The United States is a great democracy whose Jeffersonian precepts give it great moral weight globally. America is also an economic and military superpower; indeed, the only remaining one in this class. The actions of the American president often have consequences for the rest of us.
It is important for the world, therefore, that whoever sits in the Oval Office, is commander-in-chief of the US armed forces and is entrusted with the awesome responsibilities that come with being the most powerful person on earth must be rational and thoughtful and not likely to act on base impulses.
DONALD'S OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOUR
Donald J. Trump, the real-estate developer and reality TV star, who is the Republican Party's nominee for the presidency in the November 8 election, continues to prove that he is not qualified for the job, either intellectually or temperamentally, and certainly not morally. Mr Trump's misogyny has been apparent in the year and a half he has campaigned for the job. He has insulted women for their looks, calling them pigs and slobs, and has broadly demeaned them as chattel for men.
If some reason could be contrived for excusing that element of Donald Trump's offensiveness, nothing can eliminate the stench from the recently surfaced video recordings in which he was caught bragging about what transcended sexually predatory behaviour to assault, including kissing women without their consent and grabbing them by "the p***y".
He has dismissed his statement as "locker-room banter" and sought to find moral equivalency between his own actions and allegations of sexual misbehaviour of Bill Clinton, his rival's husband. We don't buy that. And Americans shouldn't.
There are other reasons that make Mr Trump unfit for president. He called Mexicans rapists and criminals and declared a judge of Mexican descent incapable of doing his job because of his ethnicity. He has dog-whistled racism against African Americans and feels that the way to fight Islamic terrorism is to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
If we could get over those causes of disqualification on an argument of their domestic application, the world has reason to worry about Mr Trump's declaration of a love for war; his willingness to use America's nuclear arsenal; and his readiness to "bomb the sh**" out of foreign adversaries whose naval sailors make rude gestures at their US counterparts. We fear, too, his seeming eagerness to tear up global pacts, such as the Iran nuclear deal with Tehran and a slew of other nations.
By all and every measure, Donald J. Trump is unworthy of the US presidency.