As he makes the headlines more and more, it would be fair to say the majority of us have at some point had a laugh at the show that is Donald Trump aka “The Donald” (as he puts it himself).
Not before making billions from a “small loan of 1 million dollars” (again his own words), appearing on WrestleMania (Trump at Wrestlemania– if you’re too ashamed to watch the whole thing then just watch the last minute), and playing the lead role in the ludicrously entertaining US version of The Apprentice, this uniquely haired business magnate is now making serious strides in his bid to become president of the USA. This is a frightening thought and I am sure I am not alone in wondering how it is even a possibility…but it is, somehow, and I shall now attempt to make some sense of it.
This week Trump won the New Hampshire primary for the Republicans and polls all across the country suggest he is favourite to win the parties nomination for president. Throughout his campaign he has suggested all Muslims be banned from entering the US, that he would “bomb the s*** out of ISIS”, and referred to Mexicans as rapists. But what is perhaps more concerning than his statements are the cheers he gets each time. Who are these people and what do they seriously see in this offensive billionaire showman who quietly has been bankrupt 4 times and has absolutely zero political experience?
Unfortunately I am yet to physically meet someone who openly supports or agrees with Trump (if you do, please get in touch and I will try to help you), but I do sense that what appeals to such people is exactly what he doesn’t have: political experience. The dominant political consensus amongst all developed counties currently seems to be ‘anti-establishment’ – just 19% of Americans say they can trust the establishment always or most of the time, and for this reason countless election campaigns in the last 5 years have talked about ‘change’ from the existing political system.
In the absence of political experience as a key attribute to a candidate’s pallet, the path is paved for charisma to take a dominant role – and it can not be disputed that the Donald does have charisma, even if he knows it all to well himself. At the very start of campaign he claimed to “know how to work the media in a way that they will never take the lights off me”, and he wasn’t lying.
‘He wasn’t lying’…it seems that not lying alone can now be sold as a unique selling point in a candidates attempt to get elected. Rather than saying things in a politically correct way, Trump utilizes his charisma to say things no one else will (politically incorrectly) in order to differ himself from the establishment. Especially having been such an economically and internationally successful country over the last few decades, Trump hits a nerve with Americans who are wary of their international vulnerability from ISIS and economic decline in comparison to China. Trump provides a platform for citizens to really express their fears without a politically correct filter initiated by the establishment, and I can only imagine this is why people cheer him.
Impressively I feel as if I have managed a decent 500 words there without being too critical of the Donald (I think he’s an idiot but writing all the reasons why would have been too easy). As concerned as we all should be by his prominence, I do not believe the world has gone mad enough yet to hand such a fool so much power. However because of his reliance on playing into people’s fears, the threat of a president Trump grows more and more as America weakens, and it appears to be weakening fast.