He has one of the brightest minds on the planet, but even Stephen Hawking says he's unsure of the reasons for Donald Trump's popularity. I would never suggest I have even a fraction of Hawking's intelligence - heck, I even had to Google to double-check whether or not he had a 'g' at the end of his name - but I am truly fascinated by this same question and have puzzled over it repeatedly over recent months.
As a Brit living in the United States, I have an up-close but outsider's view of their presidential campaign. What started as a ridiculous joke has become a serious, stark and terrifying reality - Donald Trump COULD be president of the United States, and seemingly no one can hear the little boy shouting that the emperor has no clothes on.
I have no idea how a man with zero policies apart from 'building a wall' between the USA and Mexico - a length nearly 2,000 miles - could even get out of the gate, let alone be the presumptive Republican nominee. Somehow he cites this as a way to make 'America great again'. However, Trump never exactly pinpoints this golden age of American greatness he wishes to return it to.
People seemed, for instance, to be pretty happy and thrive under the Clinton administration. Clinton and VP Gore grew the economy substantially, and unemployment sank to the lowest level in 30 years - they created more than 22.5million jobs in less than eight years. If it's America's glory days he's after - it would seem an own goal to suggest he wants to revert to the Clinton era - considering he's likely to be running against Hillary. Yet he still repeats this, while no one asks EXACTLY when he's talking about.
And how does the slogan 'Make America Great again' mean anything? I'm from Great Britain. If a political candidate ran a campaign to 'Make Britain Great Again', whilst obnoxious - it would at least have some context. If there's one thing that the United States could use as a slogan, it's making the United States UNITED again. Not split by the most divisive figure in modern American politics.
So what's the trick? Why are people flocking to his rallies, wearing his name on their shirt and carrying him aloft like he's some sort of aspirational figure? It's almost like he's some sort of unlikable and blonde comb-over version of 'mind-reader' Derren Brown - able to entertain the masses while letting them believe that they are thinking for themselves and making their own choices, whilst magically planting the thought.
He always reminds me of the lawyer Billy Flynn from Chicago, giving them the old 'razzle dazzle' and somehow getting everyone to sing his tune by glossing over the facts.
'Give 'em the old hocus pocus. Bead and feather 'em. How can they see with sequins in their eyes? What if your hinges all are rusting? What if, in fact, you're just disgusting? Razzle dazzle 'em. And they'll never catch wise!' sang Billy.
Wise up America.
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