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

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.