There’s a force of personality that’s shattering the American Political landscape. Depending on where your allegiances are, its either the proverbial bull in the China Shop that’s leaving all kinds of chaos in its wake and stretching acceptable rhetoric to breaking point or it’s a godsend designed to shake up a broken system and put Political Correctness on its ass.
The force of course is Donald Trump. The wealthy property developer turned reality TV star now running for the Republican nomination to be the President of the United States.
Obama had ‘Hope and Change’; the Trump campaign has ‘Make America Great Again’, it started as a novelty act according to most political pundits whilst being met with a curiosity by the voting public. A sideshow it is no more, a campaign gathering so much momentum over the ensuing months that according to recent Polls, on average Trump is up at least 16 percent over his nearest rival, the Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.
Campaign rallies that regularly draw crowds of 20,000 with coverage on live TV, networks drooling for the next sound bite from Trump, appearances on Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Kimmel, Trump is exactly where he wants to be, everywhere. This weeks’ Republican debate on CNN drew 18 million viewers, the third most watched Primary debate of all time, and the two most watched debates featured Trump as well.
He is a ‘Celebrity’ candidate who is the master at creating self-imposed controversies, with ideas ranging from barring Muslims entering the US in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings till authorities can ‘figure it out’, to building a wall across the southern border as a problem solver for Illegal Immigration ‘which Mexico will pay for’.
It’s a strategy that keeps the Trump name in the news cycle and his face on TV, any substantive idea or policy from another candidate gets drowned out in the Trump ‘hype’, who wants to listen to Jeb Bush’s tax policy when you can watch Trump trying to defend ‘Look at that face, would anyone vote for that?’ a quote from a Rolling Stone article when referring to fellow Republican Candidate Carly Fiorina. Its cringe worthy and it sells.
Any such missteps from any candidate, past or present would surely doom their campaign, but with Trump the mud never sticks, he says what he thinks and his supporters love the bravado. Trump has tapped in to the anger felt by the potential Republican voters who are fed up of where the country has gone after 7 years of Obama and fed up with traditional establishment Republican Candidates. They want an outsider and Trump is giving them everything they need, and more.
Where this all ends up, who knows? For pure political theatre as an outsider viewing this from 10,000 miles away I relish the thought of a run of debates pitting Trump against Hillary, its tantalizing and will be must see TV. One thing is certain you can’t deny the impact Donald Trump has had on the race for the Presidency; the question being is the American public ready for a President Trump?