Last year we thought Donald Trump was little more than a joke candidate, but then he went on to become a serious contender, to the point that he’s now the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency. Interestingly enough, nothing has dented his momentum. No matter how many times he’s been caught lying, or how many times he’s outraged the public (and the Twitterati), or how many times his political enemies try to warn you about how dangerous he is, his fans are still loyal to him, and strengthens his campaign.
With all the furore over Donald Trump, the one thing that remains clear is that nearly all of his critics (including the general public) focus on condemning his outrageous character, and nobody makes any attempt to try and understand why Trump’s supporters feel the way they do, or why Trump became a phenomenon in the first place.
Everywhere I look I see that most of the discussion about Trump is dominated by his gross character flaws, and the fact that he wants to build a giant wall to keep out Mexican immigrants. Nobody cares about how such a buffoon become popular, and I think that’s the main problem. What Trump’s critics neglect to understand is that his candidacy is a sign of a broken system. Trump is responding to the people who are tired of being lied to by the political establishment that exploits them and treats them like ignorant toddlers in need of their political enlightenment. They’re also tired of their entire demographic being labelled as racists even though many of them aren’t. If you watch interviews of ordinary people attending Trump rallies, you’ll often find white people alongside black people in support of Trump (and yet people claim Trump supporters are racist). There’s even a group Hindus professing their support for Donald Trump, so even if Trump himself is racist, it’s useless claiming that Trump’s supporters are all racist idiots. Trump is literally that popular, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand why (though some, like in this video by a YouTuber called Sargon of Akkad, can explain this much better than I could).
I can’t help but feel like I understand why Trump would gain such momentum. What Bernie Sanders is for the Democrats, Donald Trump is for the Republicans – an outsider candidate who has achieved more popularity and memetic recognition than either party’s mainstream candidates, and that bothers the establishment deeply. Why else would the mainstream Republicans and media outlets spend their time and effort trying to stop him? Furthermore, why else would the Economic Intelligence Unit label try to convince you that the prospect of Trump’s presidency is as dangerous as Jihadi terrorism? Of course, no matter how much they can discredit him, it doesn’t matter. We know he’s an idiot, we know he’s a racist, and we know that he’s the worst possible choice for a president, but even if that’s obvious, that doesn’t stop him at all, and that certainly doesn’t deter his followers, many of whom are voting Trump to stop Hillary Clinton from winning.
Of course, I wouldn’t want Hillary elected either, and I can see why people hate her so passionately. As a neoliberal career politician, she represents the political establishment. With her as commander in chief, we would essentially have a repeat of the disappointing Obama administration, wherein things would only change if her corporate masters don’t have a problem with that. There are legitimate reasons why Clinton isn’t trusted by much of the American electorate. She’ll say literally anything in order to sit in the oval office, to the extent that she changes her opinions almost as quickly as Trump, and has been
stealing borrowing some of Sanders’ platforms (including Sanders’ support for a $15 minimum wage) in order to snatch some of his supporters. On top of that, Clinton has a number of skeletons in her closet, including the revelation that she used her family’s private email server for official communications, or the time when she illegally obtained files on her enemies, or the supposed suicide of Vince Forster.
The fact that many American voters don’t trust Hillary, coupled with the fact that Bernie Sanders is unlikely to win the Democratic Party nomination in July, may ultimately prove to be the reason why a Trump presidency, as bad as it sounds, could be an absolute certainty, and I believe that the political establishment is in part responsible for this. Obama failed to provide the change he had promised, and the Clinton presidency offers much of the same as the previous candidates. To me, the fact that the establishment is so scared of a Trump presidency is nothing other suspicious. What would the political establishment in America have to lose from Donald Trump getting elected? Furthermore, what’s wrong with having a presidential candidate that many Americans actually want in office?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Trump supporter. In fact, if I could vote, I’d rather vote for Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein (and I say this knowing the politics in this town), but I can’t help but come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to stop a Trump presidency. I do, however, believe that there are at least two consolation prizes. At least if Donald Trump becomes president and fails to “make America great again” (or turns America into a dictatorship), it might teach America the error of its farcical political discourse. The other consolation is that, if Donald Trump gets elected, it’ll at least prove that democracy still works, because he’ll at least you can be sure that he was elected by the popular vote.
Whatever the outcome, Donald Trump’s campaign is a monster of our own making. The rise of social justice warriors, political correctness and identity politics, coupled with the constant lies coming from the establishment and the mainstream media have created the perfect environment for Donald Trump to thrive, whereas in the year 2000 he would have merely been a fringe candidate. As the road to the election continues, I think we should take some time to think about the gravity of it all. Me on the other hand, I argue that what we’re seeing is a classic case of the establishment creating a problem and trying haphazardly to get rid of it, while blaming the people for it. You can’t create a monster and then whine when it stomps on a few buildings. Unfortunately, the best we can do is ride it out, and wait until it starts raining Trump steaks.