VAL 2016 | Trots att Donald Trump är illa omtyckt har han lyckats betydligt bättre än de övriga motkandidaterna att nå nya väljare.
Men hans problem förblir det samma – en majoritet av amerikanerna har en negativ bild av honom.
Trots detta fortsätter han att fascinera. Han är som ett framrusande tåg som föraren tappat kontrollen över. Ingen kan låta bli att titta.
Freddy Gray skriver:
Trump’s critics compare his candidacy to that of Barry Goldwater in 1964, an insurgent campaign that wooed the radical right only then to be slaughtered by Lyndon B. Johnson, a machine Democrat. But the comparison misunderstands and undervalues Trump’s strengths. In his celebrity and ability to appeal to very different voters, Trump more resembles Ronald Reagan, a man who can remodel politics in his own image.
The depth and breadth of Trump’s appeal is endlessly surprising. He is more popular than other Republican candidates among men, women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, old, young, married and unmarried, evangelicals and non-evangelicals, those with college degrees and those without (‘I love the poorly educated,’ he said last week, a comment which prompted much chortling from the better educated). Trump has majority support among Republican voters who earn a lot of money and those who earn little, from self-described conservatives and moderates. As you might expect from someone who promises to build a wall to keep out Mexicans, he wins with people who worry most about immigration. But he also wins with those who cite the economy and terrorism as their chief concerns. In short, he wins a lot. Since the financial crash, and despite the so-called recovery, an ever larger number of Americans feel angry at the system. The Donald embodies their rage and multiplies it as in a hall of mirrors.
The consolation — and how people will cling to it in the coming weeks! — is that Trump probably won’t be president. According to the polls, a large majority of Americans hold an ‘unfavourable’ opinion of him. He may reflect the rage of Republican voters but no one in the history of the republic has been as reviled as Trump and reached the White House. Hillary should therefore win, because she is a bit less despicable. But when the good news is that the Clintons — a couple every bit as depraved as Trump in their way — are coming back to the White House, the world has a big problem.
In place of the exhausted hypocrisy of the old elite, however, Trump offers only a sort of anti-morality. He brings nothing but narcissism and nihilism to America’s high table. His campaign is a great big joke — and dead serious. At his rallies, they play daft music on purpose. They put on Elton John’s Tiny Dancer and random bits of popular opera because it lends a certain unreal atmosphere. ‘Remember, the more inappropriate for a political event, the better,’ explained one of his volunteers. LOL! Young people smirk at the older rednecks in the crowd and hold ‘Make America Great Again’ signs upside down. Their support for Trump is anarchic; they enjoy watching the political order being turned on its head. Another word for it is decadence.
In many ways, the rise of Trump is a logical consequence of the Barack Obama presidency. In 2008, Obama was swept into power on a wave of demented hope. People talked about him as America’s saviour, a ‘post-racial’ figure who could heal the world. Inevitably, that led to disappointment. Like all political careers, Obama’s has ended in failure.
If Obama was the product of delusional optimism, Donald Trump is the opposite: an expression of exuberant negativity. He is the clearest sign yet that, after the crash and a non-recovery, the USA is losing interest in its civilising mission; that the American project is turning sour.
Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator, 5 mars 2016.