Many people, myself included, are wondering when the punch line is due for this bizarre “Donald Trump runs for United States President” joke that has been going on since last summer.
Everyday I find my anxiety heighten as he racks up numbers in the polls, along with dwindling amounts of certainty (now just hope) that this was all just a ploy for media attention.
Particularly now, with his staggering lead in New Hampshire against the other Republican runner-ups, I begin to question how my native country could be, quite frankly, this screwed up.
To list all the ridiculous, obscene, racist, sexist and Islamophobic comments – not to mention this shiny new idea about banning Muslims from the country, or commencing a form of “vigilant surveillance” on them and best of all or possibly registering them in an online government database and obligating them to carry identification cards (sounds familiar anybody?) – would be a complete waste of space because the things he says just seem so obviously wrong. Or so I thought for the vast majority of his candidature.
However, I recently realized that Mr. Donald Trump has managed to manipulate not just registered Republicans, but a big chunk of the American public opinion, into his folly.
How can this be? How could a man this ridiculous, with proposals that can hardly be taken seriously and a debating style that belongs in a High School cafeteria more than in an electoral podium, be taken seriously?
At first I thought that this was because people are scared, people are terrified of ISIS and now, absurdly enough, of Muslims and want to feel safe.
Like Bernie Sanders said in an interview this December, “What somebody like a Donald Trump is doing is playing on the fears and anxieties of the American people. And people are afraid.”
But, at the same time, more people die in the United States because of gun violence than in any other country in the world.
According to The Brady Campaign statistics, over 108,476 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention every year and 32,514 people die. Of the latter figure, more than 2,500 of them are kids.
The statistics are even more shocking when looked at on a daily basis: 297 people in the States are shot everyday and 89 of them die as a result.
So it cannot be that America is scared of violence, when the country itself is a perpetrator of violence. And this is not just on the outside but on the inside as well, and when confronted about it, it cowers behind “the Second Amendment” that was written back in 1789, back when we threw all your tea in the water.
So why do people like Trump so much? In short, because people are vain. Trump presents himself as a multi-billionaire, a self-made entrepreneur (even if that’s not entirely true), a man that says what he wants whenever he wants because it’s his goddamn right to do so and because that piece of paper George Washington signed after all your Earl Gray got soaked allows him to.
Trump is what the American Dream is based upon, he’s the emblem of what happens when all those stereotypes of the New World come true.
Remember, the United States is based on a purist capitalistic mentality: pay for a good high school so you get into a great college and get a great job, then buy a fancy car and put a down payment for a ginormous house.
Why? Because the frame of mind is that if you work hard enough you can and if someone whose got “everything” tells you what you need to do to be successful, then some part of America will listen.
Hell, if he told a bunch of supporters to go around in only yellow underwear for a week because it’ll prevent ISIS from attacking again, they would do it.
People like Trump because they’re narcissistic enough to want to be him, they idolize him, they believe in him without even questioning the things he says.
People are so obsessed with material wealth that their moral judgement gets fogged, they get blinded by the sparkly and forget that all that glitters isn’t gold.
Donald Trump isn’t gold, Donald Trump promotes hate. It just saddens me to know that the outcome of the American system and everything it promises can lead to something so warped.
At the end of the day, Trump has managed to aggregate 25-30% of voters that are registered Republicans, which is about 6-8% of the electorate overall, roughly the same amount of people that think the Apollo moon landings were staged.
Although this doesn’t exclude him from being a possibility as the Republican nominee and the uncanny thought of him being President haunts many, the polls are largely exaggerated by the media to hype the Republicans and terrify the Democrats. Yet, I still never thought I’d ever sympathize with Jeb Bush.