How far can ‘Trump for president’ mania go?

By Liu Zhun Source:Global Times Published: 2015-9-8 0:18:01

Once dismissed as a "summer fling" by pundits in the most anticipated presidential election, Donald Trump, the famous, or infamous, real estate tycoon, has trumped all his GOP competitors in almost every poll recently. Astonishingly, the loudmouthed billionaire, whom it was believed would be kicked out before he could buy votes when the real race begins, seems to be making the impossible possible, and is galloping toward the White House.

When he announced his intention of running for president in June, few would have bet on Trump. It seemed that they were right: In the last three months, he showed disrespect to war heroes, insulted and infuriated Mexican immigrants, and absorbed himself in braggadocio such as "I'd knock the hell out of them [IS] … and take their oil" in order to "make America great again." In a word, he is too politically incorrect, a taboo most US politicians steer clear of.

But it is this erratic demagogue who has turned the US political arena, at least the conservative GOP, upside down. Trump has shown mastery of manipulating populists.

Trump is not a politician, much less a statesman. None of his popularity is derived from policy proposals. It's just that compared with other candidates, his show is so entertaining. Although he has received scant endorsement from the Republicans, and his political experience is thin, he dares to speak what other politicians can't and won't.

Disturbed by the malfunctioning two-party system, the Americans, at least the Republicans, see Trump as a harsh critic of many systematic failures, which have caused anti-war protests, Occupy Wall Street campaigns, the rise of the Tea Party, and racial conflicts.

But a political amateur fond of playing dramas is not a savior. Trump has sprung up in politics because he does something seen as refreshingly different, while other contenders are restricted by abiding political correctness. His style corresponds to the desires of some voters.

This time, as a new master of politics of rage, Trump seems to have gone much further than his predecessors, like George Wallace and Pat Buchanan, demonstrating that the maladies of American democracy are making the people more irritable and less patient.

It would be jaw dropping if Trump moved from Trump Tower to the three-story White House. Although he is a front runner in the polls, the numbers are quite unreliable as indicators of the final result. Trump, many argue, is still unable to reshuffle the game.

But it is not a joke that the problems of American democracy have been unscrupulously revealed and teased by Trump. Whether he wins or not, the "can do" hopefulness, promised by many politicians, is diminishing in the populace.

Posted in: Observer

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