Editor, The Times:
When Donald Trump first threw his hat into the ring for president of the most powerful (also most indebted) nation on the face of the globe, the general consensus was hee, hee, ho, ho, the ridiculous buffoon, he hasn’t a hope in hell. Nobody will vote, except for a few fringies, for this clown.
One publication that didn’t take that line was Rolling Stone. An article very early in Trump’s run for the Republican nominee for ruler of the free world declared people should take this man seriously. He’s onto something.
As Matt Taibbi points out in the latest Stone, one of the factors has been the slide to the ultra-far right that the grand old party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt has done. There is no longer even any pretence of caring for anyone but the top one per cent to five per cent of the richest citizens in the land.
This slide has taken the Republican Party right over the cliff (note here the Democratic Party hasn’t done a lot better but Barak Obama has modified things somewhat, especially in his last year or two). Then there’s that grand old socialist, Bernie Sanders, who has received a surprisingly large amount of support from those citizens of the land of the Free and the Brave. So, the Democratic party is not beyond the pale like the Republicans!
Donald Trump, the outsider, has picked up on all of this. Despite his racist and xenophobic rantings he has touched on some real truths, such as NAFTA sucks!
Social commentators such as Chris Hedges have pointed out that in Mexico some 1-2 million subsistence farmers were replaced by subsidized U.S. corn. The terrible violence, the 100,000 people killed, can be laid at least in part on the door of NAFTA.
As to the benefits to U.S. and Canada, they are largely in the imagination of the chamber of commerce, board of trade sleazy suits. However, that is a subject all its own.
Trump has also tapped into that American chauvinism – shining city on the hill, etc.
Trump for president? Doesn’t look so impossible now, does it?