“I would bring back waterboarding – I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” – Donald Trump
The rise of Donald Trump is a curious phenomenon in American politics. The momentous rise of a pseudo-fascist hasn’t really been seen before in recent American political history. Yet, here he is, a candidate who wants to blanket ban all Muslims and build a huge wall across the American border with Mexico, consistently maintaining dizzyingly high poll ratings and drawing huge crowds at his rallies. I’d be laughing if it wasn’t so alarming.
Indeed, although the Republican nomination seems like a cavalcade of the worst that humanity has to offer, Trump stands out. And I don’t know why – his speeches sound more akin to the ramblings of an intoxicated street preacher and his policies are incoherent at best; racist and borderline fascist at worst. Trump appeals to our most odious primal instincts, and many American voters lap it up – seeing him as some sort of liberating messiah standing up against the overbearing PC culture of the left.
But, disregarding the dazed fantasies of rabid Republicans, the election of Trump would spell disaster for not just America – but the globe. He has a history of climate change denial, an outright hatred of Muslims (or indeed any non-white non-Christian creed, ethnicity or religion) and his frequent bankruptcies don’t exactly prove that he is a shrewd economic operator (need I mention the “a small loan of a million dollars” debacle?). He openly stated he would bring back not just waterboarding, but much worse forms of torture and, on Mexico, stated frankly that those who come into America from Mexico bring drugs, crime and rape. It’s absurd that Trump can get away with his almost daily barrage of hate-speech. Yet, for many, he is seen as a representative of the silent majority.
For a figure so popular in politics – his debating skills are, quite frankly, dreadful. Rather than attacking an opponent on policies, Trump deploys a blistering amount of ad hominem attacks that lack any substance. His tactics are more akin to playground bullying than political debate. And although the media loves this, I shudder to think what would happen if he was given reigns on the international stage with such an alarmingly poor grasp of rhetoric and rational thought.
It would be dangerous for the world if America elected this egomaniac – and the media should underestimate him at their own peril. Trump is often painted as some kind of clown, who we needn’t worry about, yet he is storming the polls and is expected to rebound in New Hampshire in spite of his Iowa loss. As someone who stands out as a notably repulsive candidate in what is a particularly bleak selection of Republican nominees, one can only hope that America does not lose its marbles and does not elect Donald Trump to the White House.