The Republican Circus rolls on. You thought 2008 was weird, wacky and borderline insane? Then you assumed 2012 was, amazingly, even better/worse, full of second raters, egomaniacs and lunatics? But now, in 2015/16, things have got to such a pretty pass that it looks like, and this is a real possibility, an absolute danger to world safety might be elected President. This columnist is talking about not the oddballs who make up the chasing pack or the Creationists who believe in the literal truth of the bible, but the one and only – thankfully – Donald Trump. Who, to adapt the phrase, believes in the literal truth of the Bible because he thinks he’s God. And God only knows what he makes of Trump (if up there, not a fan, one would guess).
Respected commentators are now taking seriously the idea of a Trump nomination. Seen previously – rightly so – as a joke of a candidate – he is hanging in there on a tide of White Male anger. This writer being of this demographic category himself – does not share this enthusiasm. Far from it, he sees Trump as a threat to democracy itself. Where there are divsions, he will exploit them. Where there is poverty, he will worsen it. Where there is civility, he will corasen it. Rarely has a candidate worn his heart on his sleeve so much; yes, he says, I really am this horrible. Yet, this is is gaining traction amongst a significant minority of Republican voters.
Empathy and compassion are values of which Trump knows nothing. It is not a sign of weakness but an indication of strength to treat people with respect; this man is ignorant of the difference between fear and respect. There’s a famous description in ‘Hard Times’ of Mr Bounderby as the ‘bully of humility’. Charles Dickens could easily have been writing about the ludicrous blowviating idiot that is ‘The Donald’. A man for whom everybody else is there to serve his delusions of grandeur and feed his over-inflated ego, Trump may claim not to suffer fools gladly, put seems to put up with his own insufferable self with aplomb.
Obama supporters relish the President’s smack-down of Trump in 2011. It was the White House Correspondents Dinner and the night before the mission to track down Osama Bin Laden. Obama skewered Trump beautifully and showed up the triviality of the man by being hilarious in his brilliant put down of the preposterous ‘Birther’. By showing that one of those in the room was POTUS and the other was the hack presenter of a reality TV show called ‘The Apprentice’, Trump, newly placed back in his box, went bright red. If things weren’t personal for him before this, they certainly were after that. Trump hates Obama; truth be known, Obama probably doesn’t give a flying fudge abut Trump.
Many Democrats are on their knees praying for a Trump nomination. While his selection would dirty the political landscape for much of 2016, he is assumed to be an easy mark, divisive and out of his depth. This may very well be true. The man is, by any objective analysis, a complete buffoon and charlatan. But be careful what you wish for. If there’s a run off against this not-Man of the People, then the People could end up on the losing side.
It is most unlikely that it will happen due to demographic changes and gender politics in the US and the fact that America is still a fundamentally decent country BUT there’s still a chance that Donal Trump could be the next President of the United States. If he gets nominated, the GOP establishment has little choice but to rally around him and promote their man. Yes, there would be a distinct possibility of a third party moderate-right candidate splitting the vote but there’s no guarantee of this. Clinton or Sanders would both fancy their chances against Trump but money, advertising and spin have elected strange right wing individuals before – think Ronald Reagan in California. Then we’re into really frightening political territory. Get the shelters ready; no, wait, you only have a three minute warning.
Think Martin Sheen. Not the kindly compassionate figure of ‘The West Wing’ but the Doomsday President in ‘The Dead Zone’. Trump is a man who flouts his ignorance of world affairs whenever he opens his mouth. Is this the man any country would want with their finger on the nuclear trigger?Who would really want this individual who calls Mexicans rapists, who has grotesque problems with women and who seems to have no redeeming features as a human being as their Leader? This Clown Prince, this Suited Shyster, this Phoney’s Phoney could be one of the most powerful men in the World. If that doesn’t keep you awake at night, I don’t know what will.