Rethinking America

Why Donald Trump is Winning

Beyond the hate and manipulation, the candidate has struck some nerves on real issues.

Credit: Olya Steckel Shutterstock.com

Takeaways


  • Americans are tired of prefabricated political lies fed to them by establishments of both parties.
  • Trump knows voters don’t approve of the expensive geopolitical games perpetrated by our leaders.
  • Oligarch Trump uses primeval instincts & real frustration with the establishment to vault to power.

Donald Trump is an honest plutocrat, which is a contradiction in terms.

When he started to run for President most people laughed. A buffoon billionaire reality TV star with ridiculous hair and three trophy wives couldn’t be more unfit for President.

Yet, it is exactly that lack of correctness which propelled Trump to the lead in the primaries.

Apparently, Americans who are tired of the mountains of prefabricated political lies that are fed to them with great eagerness by the political establishment of both parties prefer a candidate who is frank about the sham of it all – albeit rude and lewd.

Like him or detest him, Trump has a point when he says he’s rich enough to be independent of corporate lobbyists. That points to some independence.

Plus, in the peculiar U.S. form of political mythology, when Americans see a rich candidate, they see success. And when they see someone going into politics who is not for sale, they vote for him.

Donald Trump is rising on the wave of public anger with the political establishment. Like him or detest him, most Americans are people angry at the political establishment that specializes in enriching itself while presumably serving the public “good.”

Another Hitler? Stalin?

As to the real danger, Trump appeals to the most primal human instincts: anger, greed, fear of strangers and territorial imperative.

When Hitler started his maniacal speeches in 1920s Germany, he, too, was dismissed as a political buffoon and clown. Not unlike Donald Trump, Adolf Hitler appealed to the primal instincts of the low-income brackets of society.

To appease peasants and small shop owners and win them over to his cause, Hitler cast Jews as the eternal foreigners.

Trump draws on the hatred of other foreigners such as Muslims and Mexicans – and the mob recognizes its leader.

Stalin, another possible point of comparison from that period of European politics, eventually deported Muslim Chechens and Crimean Tartars to Siberia for their alleged collaboration with the Nazis during World War II.

Trump wants to deport eleven million Mexicans because they entered the United States without documentation during peacetime.

American liberals denounce Trump’s plan to stop Muslim immigration as contrary to the very spirit of our multi-national country, but America is not the same country that it was 100 years ago.

The wider outlook on migrants and refugees

Today, there are so many huddled masses yearning to escape the world’s wars and collapsing climate, that even America (let alone Europe) cannot accommodate all of them.

However, some of those wars are the direct fault of the United States’ recent policies.

Enter Donald Trump. He wants to stop those waves and calls out both big political parties for their role in the disastrous foreign policy actions that unleashed them. Is there any wonder that he’s winning the nomination?

Trump goes as far as to suggest cooperation with Russia on these crises. This flies in the face of the resurgent Cold War, but to most Americans the new Cold War looks like an invention of the hated establishment to focus yet again on foreign wars – instead of addressing people’s urgent needs on the homefront.

Geopolitical mindgames

The public may therefore come to see Trump’s call to work with Russia as badly needed pragmatism in the face of an apparent global meltdown.

Most politicos get indignant with Trump for such a terrible idea, but it is surely not the worst of ideas. In fact, President Obama already cooperates with Vladimir Putin in Syria, while publicly chiding Putin for his Ukrainian aggression.

The brash and bold Trump just calls it as he sees it, and people like that.

Most Americans are more afraid of ISIS – whether that is a legitimate fear or not – than of Russia editing the borders of its neighbors, which is certainly not a threat to Americans.

They don’t approve of the expensive geopolitical games perpetrated by our establishment. Politicians cry wolf about Putin’s annexation of Crimea, but most Americans don’t really care about it as long as Russia doesn’t threaten America.

There is a better choice

At the opposite side of America’s ideological spectrum stands democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. He, too, is independent of Wall Street corporations and bold. He has also been correct for a long time on many key issues, including on foreign policy. He has not risen to the top of the polls on a hate-filled message.

But he has struggled to secure the nomination out of a fear that America is not supposed to be ready for socialism. Or is it?

Forty-three percent of Iowans considered themselves socialists, according to recent polling. This stunning revelation came as a surprise to both the Democratic and Republican establishments.

Obviously, the United States stands at the proverbial fork in the road that may split the country in half.

On the right is an oligarch Trump, who uses primeval human instincts and a real frustration with the establishment’s bad policymaking to vault himself to power.

On the left is a “democratic socialist” Sanders who appeals to human intelligence to create a true democratic society.

It would be far better to put them directly against each other and elect Sanders than to let Trump run away with the entire thing.

The liberals in the United States have failed to understand the complex appeal that he has and have mocked his supporters – possibly all the way to the Hillary Democrats’ defeat in November.

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About Anatol Zukerman

Anatol Zukerman is a Russian-born political artist and an architect in the United States.

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