For anyone who likes to kill time by watching other people fight and squabble on TV, you might want to drop Big Brother this year; the race for the White House looks to be entering its best season yet, thanks to one very special guest. Celebrity businessman Donald Trump announced on 16th June this year that he would be running for President of the USA on the Republican ticket. After descending from an elevator, as if he were an angel descending from the heavens, Trump declared to the people of the US that he will “make America great again”, vowing to rescue them from the evil career politicians who have run his beloved country into the ground. In true messiah fashion, he has been swift to denounce almost every nominee from both sides as heretics and idolaters, or, as he himself might put it, “dummies and losers”. No one has been spared from the righteous fury of Trump, because, in Trump’s world, everyone who is not him is a loser. Now, a couple of months after he announced his bid for the Republican nomination, he has tried to show us exactly why this is the case.
Donald Trump is a man with no real political experience, and no idea what he would do if he were to get into office. He repeatedly fails to answer even the simplest questions, and is so out of touch with the world that he once confused Jeremy Corbyn for one of his supporters. He is vulgar and unapologetic towards those who do not try to curry favour with him, and those who do are constantly reminded of how honoured they should feel to be sharing the planet with him. Yet, in spite all of this, he has managed to convince swathes of people that he is the saviour they have all been praying for, whilst the media keeps giving him the coverage and platform that he seeks, because if nothing else, he can certainly give a good show.
Make no mistake; Donald Trump has no real chance of winning the Republican nomination, let alone the presidential race. No matter how loudly he talks about his double digit lead in the polls, his overall favourability rating is in the negative, perhaps only slightly better than that of former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.
Nevertheless, for someone who is so poorly received even in his own fold, he has fared well; so well, in fact, that he has managed to put every GOP candidate on the defensive, something the party has not been accustomed to, and for good reason. Many Republican voters, feeling disenfranchised by their own party, look for an alternative, even in the most unlikely of places; this is a sentiment which seems to be shared by Democrats as well, where people have found hope in the Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, a far-left independent and self-described democratic socialist.
What Trump and Sanders have in common is that they both represent the underdog in their respective line-up. They both refuse to court special interest groups for money, and neither of them is afraid to speak their mind. This is why Trump’s crude style works in his favour; he has become a hero for millions of disillusioned Americans who feel their voice has been muted and their power stripped away.
In a dark and twisted sense, Donald Trump has become Batman; one that nobody needs, yet many seem to feel they deserve.