Before you vote read this article in the Financial Times by Gloria Steinem
How did Hillary Clinton go from being rated as the most admired woman that Americans “have heard about or read about, living in any part of the world”, in the words of an annual Gallup poll that she has topped for the past 14 years, to being equated with the disgraced Richard Nixon? And how did Donald Trump, her opponent, go from a history of corporate bankruptcies that made others pay the cost of his business failures, and from a record of racial discrimination, exploiting illegal labour, and predatory behaviour towards women, to being a viable candidate for the presidency of the US?
One answer is that Mr Trump ascended through the media, not a political party or election. He was a brand, not a person, a shiny gold name on buildings, even if he did not build them, and a boss on television, even if he merely insulted and roared. During the presidential primaries, for instance, he received an estimated $2bn in free exposure from corporate media in search of ratings to attract advertising, which may be the best argument for subscription-financed media, public television, investigative reporting and the simple act of fact checking. Another reason is that even-handed coverage has created a false equivalence. Each negative question to Mr Trump was balanced by one to Hillary Clinton, and any positive about her was matched by one about him. Thus, he was artificially elevated, while she became subject to doubt. Also, in polls about why Americans support him, many equated being rich with being smart enough to run a country. In fact, Mr Trump would have been richer if he had just put his inheritance in an index fund tracking the stock market.