Despite all his flaws, all his negativity, all his divisiveness, Trump leads

Published: February 23, 2016

Trump is all about name calling and character bashing. PHOTO: REUTERS

He is arrogant. He is divisive. He offers nothing but gloom, but America loves him for it. He was born rich and has grown richer by expanding to China and Mexico, but the Americans do not care. 

Americans flock to his rallies in huge numbers. Overwhelmingly white, his crowd is frustrated with the country’s first black President. They’re fearful over being potentially displaced by minorities and immigrants, and feel nostalgic in memory of the way America used to be. Donald J Trump has tapped into these fears and anxieties, and he has thrived. ‘J’ for genius.

Ronald Reagan offered America a sunny optimism.

Barack Obama wooed with the power of hope.

Donald Trump? He announced his candidacy on June 16th by declaring that the ‘American dream was now dead’. He claimed that the country’s leaders were ‘losers’ and that they ‘did not have it’. Only Donald J Trump had what it took to ‘make America great again’.

He has hosted a reality television show, ‘The Apprentice’. He has fought the Chairman of the World Wrestling Entertainment Vince McMahon in a ‘hair versus hair match’. This man, the man who claimed that his daughter is so ‘hot’ that he would date her if she was not his daughter, will likely be the heir to Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower.

It is unbelievable.

There is a weird link between his obnoxiousness and his popularity. Whenever it has been felt that he has gone too far, Trump’s popularity surges. He claims that Mexican immigrants are rapists – his popularity goes up. He makes a sexist remark about an anchor’s menstruation – his popularity increases. He mocks a disabled reporter – his popularity sky rockets. He calls for a ban on all Muslims entering the US – he becomes a messiah. To top that, on Friday he stated that Muslim terrorists should be shot with bullets dipped in pig blood – suddenly he becomes a hero.

However, experts kept telling people not to worry. They believed that soon enough the fool’s popularity would take the inevitable dip. But, that hasn’t happened yet. The Republicans are now starting to consider the possibility of a Donald J Trump nomination; ‘J’ for genius.

The parties cannot control the election processes as they once did. The Republican hierarchy’s chosen candidate Jeb Bush, son of a former President and brother of another, has been a major under performer. Their back-up candidates – Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, John Kasich – have also struggled. The thrice-married New Yorker, with a history of womanising and wobbly views, has outperformed and out polled Ted Cruz, the son of a church pastor in the South.

Trump’s rise is a challenge to the electoral logic. It makes no sense. How can so many Republican supporters consolidate their support behind a man who surely has no chance of reaching the White House?

And surely the Americans would not consider him a viable leader?

Barack Obama, in his speech to the Democratic Convention, talked about how this was not a Latino America, a White America or a Black America, but the United States of America. He talked about how there was no conservative America or a Liberal America, and that they worship an awesome God in the blue states and have some gay friends in the red states. This, ladies and gentlemen, is statesmanship.

Consider Donald J Trump for example; one must only go through his Twitter handle to figure out what Trump is all about. It is all name calling and character bashing. There is no talk of policies, except building the wall along the Mexican border and getting the Mexicans to pay for it. How will we do that, Mr Trump? ‘Well, I am really smart’ is his answer. ‘J’ for genius.

America is one of the oldest democracies in the world. What the Trump phenomenon has highlighted is worrying. Despite all his flaws, all his negativity, all his divisiveness, all his pride, Trump leads. This tells us more about the American electorate than anything else.

As it so often is the case, politicians that ride a wave of popularity form an opinion amongst the masses. Suddenly, being a racist is not wrong. What people felt but dared not say, has erupted to the fold via Donald J Trump. ‘J’ for genius.

What this holds for the rest of the world is mere speculation. However, if… if… Donald Trump is elected, this spells bad news for Muslims around the world. It is still unlikely that he will get to pass everything that he is proposing through Congress. But, there is Trump, and there is the Executive order. It is a match made in heaven. Donald J Trump, ‘J’ for genius.

zain.abid

Zain Abid

An alumnus of The City School. Currently studying at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • The Truth Bro

    The lower to middle class american public wants jobs that have been outsourced to india and china. The working class will vote for this guy because he is hard on everything which is not white or american.

    In any country it is always the lower to the middle class level which is always the most racist and shows the maximum resentment towards the foreigners/immigrants.Recommend

  • wb

    I’ll explain to everyone clearly why Trump is winning.

    The fact is in the last 1400 years, Muslims have eliminated many cultures from around the world and tried to eliminate many more. Zorostrians were eliminated from Persia. Assyrians were eliminated from Middle East. Jews were eliminated from the middle east. In fact at least 3 tribes of Jews fled Saudi Arabia during the first decade of the arrival of Islam. Buddhist were eliminated from Afghanistan. Hinduism was eliminated from Indonesia, Christianity was virtually eliminated from Turkey. Armenian were almost eliminated if not for world interference. Tribes and pagans of North Africa are completely erased of the face of the earth by invading Muslims.

    Now, slowly Muslims are corroding the European culture. And the rests of the world is scared to death of Muslims.

    This is why you’re seeing the rise of right wing everywhere from India to Europe to America.Recommend

  • Pravin

    Altho I don’t agree about what you say about Trump, but it is a very very well written piece. Kudos.Recommend

  • Myra Nur Lakdawala
  • wb

    No.

    Being racist against racists like Muslims is simply politically correct.Recommend

  • sridhar

    The writer is biased. He does not like Trump and it shows in his writing.
    Writer says there is no policy.
    Well, Trump wants USA to get out of fighting wars with other nations and be friends with Russia. He wants to concentrate on internal problems.
    That is a policy for crying out loud!

    And yes, he wants Muslims banned from coming to USA. That is his opinion but obviously it has some resonance among American voters. Americans today have a poor opinion of Muslims. This has to do with attack on American interests by Muslim terrorists over the years.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

    1980s saw US embassy bombings in Beirut, Pan Am hijacking in Karachi, TWA flight hijacking.
    1990s saw more of the same. World Trade Center bombing. US embassy bombings in Tanzaniya, Kenya.
    Year 2000 saw attack on USS Cole.
    And then came the big one: 9/11 attack. Attack on Americans in Calcutta, then Bali.
    The list goes on and on.
    St Bernardino attack in Dec 2015 is fresh in American minds. It was done by American Muslim couple who were supposed to be chasing American dream but were chasing something else!

    USA is a nation of immigrants and America, like any other nation, has a say as to who comes in or goes out and how it defends itself.

    If Trump is saying Muslims should not be allowed, he is only echoing the sentiments of a lot of Americans.Recommend

  • Parvez

    America has about 8 million Muslims residing in about 9.87 sq.km.
    India has about 190 million Muslims residing in about 3.28 sq.km.

    You will admit that India apparently is progressing despite the above figures, so your logic does seem a bit skewed…….I actually found your comment funny notwithstanding the ‘ mischief ‘ element that is so apparent in it.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts

    I hope Trump does become president. Yes, it means Muslims will struggle for a few years but at least it’ll be a lesson for US people not to ever do that again.Recommend

  • sridhar

    I do not like your logic.
    Some Muslims are a problem, not Islam.
    That is because Muslims have not been able to reinterpret their Holy Book for modern times and are therefore kind of stuck in a time warp. That may still happen.

    The only religion for modern times is Science. Any nation that hitches its fate to Science will progress. This has nothing to do with Hinduism versus Islam or any other religion.
    Islamic country like Malaysia that has given a lot of importance over the years to education and Science has progressed.
    Science believes in questioning, experimentation and proof. It is dynamic and keeps changing.
    Religious dogmas are often frozen in time. Either they have to be made irrelevant or rejected.
    Consider something like Manu Smriti that belongs to another age and another time. Can any sane Hindu argue that this book, once considered sacred, should be followed today? It has been rejected, made irrelevant.
    A sacred text like Bhagwat Geetha has been reintrepreted down the ages up to the modern times. That has not happened with Holy Koran because of the false notion (IMV) that it cannot be touched as it is sacred. One need not change the text but can reinterpret the text. That has not happened.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    What this holds for the rest of the world is mere speculation. However,
    if… if… Donald Trump is elected, this spells bad news for Muslims around
    the world.

    Zain Abid, you have written a very neat and concise column on donald trump, more than once insolvent billionaire success in becomig the leading republican candidate for Presidency. He is successful todate by playing the role of an imposter very professionaly. He looks and sounds so real, more so than the incumbent Obama and even better than Ronald Reagan the ex hollywood actor. He could even defeat Hillary if this trend continues. However, this is not a bad news for muslims around the world who live as majority in fifty odd countries and nourish the world industry. There is a saying it is the mellon which gets cut in half whether the knife is above or below the mellon.
    Have a nice day.

    Rex MinorRecommend