I never thought he would actually get this far. I took him for a clown to begin with. Later, I remembered that clowns can have hidden depths. There are times in any show when it is time for the clown to come on, and when only a clown will do. He reminded me, from my own experiences, of my first impressions of Laloo Prasad Yadav and my later realisation of the shrewdness and native cunning that Laloo had (still has I suppose). I remembered that Trump was born rich but had indeed made himself much richer. Donald Trump hit a nerve and was perfectly placed – but not I think by design – to catch and ride an anti-establishment wave. The wave is turning out to be a global phenomenon and may turn into a tsunami.
For 12 months now, he has faced the massed opposition and vilification of the media not only in the US, but globally. The media have been scathing and openly slanderous about Trump. The liberal-left media have been frothing at the mouth in their indignation and have been hard put to find the words to describe their revulsion and disgust (Washington Post, Boston Globe, Huff Post, The Guardian, Der Spiegel …..). The New York Times has been openly hostile but has tried to keep one foot on the fence. Some of the right-wing media have been vitriolic in their opposition (Fox, Red State) while others have pointedly refrained from total opposition and remained neutral (Drudge, Washington Times). Every TV channel in the US has been opposed to Trump.
And yet, Donald Trump is now the official Republican candidate for the Presidency of the US. He was expected to be the first hopeful to drop out. Instead the rivals he has trounced (Bush, Kasich, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, ….) were the cream of the establishment, Republican, heavyweights. Two years ago I though it would be a Clinton-Bush fight. But Jeb Bush was pulverised early on in the competition (and the Bush family are still sulking). It has been a remarkable triumph for Trump considering the unprecedented level of opposition from the media and the political establishment (including the Republican establishment). I have never in my lifetime seen the media so united in their opposition to a candidate. And yet, they have all failed, and failed quite miserably, in their objective to “stop Trump”. The dismal failure of the media is all the more pronounced considering their almost unanimous opposition. Trump has reached and touched and ridden something above and beyond the control of the media. perhaps even beyond their understanding. He has connected with support which actually feeds and grows on the media opposition to him. Every time an establishment figure has castigated Trump, his support has grown. He backtracks on previous statements but never apologises. He makes gaffes which are quickly forgotten. He makes outrageous statements about ridiculous policies and his support does not desert him. It is mood – not issues – that seems to be controlling.
Those who have been particularly outspoken against him are now realising that it might not be such a good idea to completely alienate somebody who could be President in November. President Trump? It still sounds like a fantasy.
The wrong person? Or another Reagan? A catastrophe? Or an inspired choice? But, in the unfolding drama that is the US, it does begin to look like he could be the right clown with the right mood, for the right audience, in the right place, at the right time.
Tags: Donald Trump