Trump and Carson are exploiting a very American flavor of disgruntlement -- the obsessed, conspiratorial mindset of a pocket of the population besieged by paranoia and a fear of the hidden hand. Whereas the billionaire property tycoon is peddling empty optimism, Carson's campaign has the hue of an Internet comment board.
White and Black Americans have fought in one way or another, side by side in the Union Army, in World War I and II, in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, only to return to their own separate neighborhoods, separate houses of worship and their own separate lives. Black and White Americans, for the most part, simply do not live in the same society and do not see the world around them in the same way.
Having lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, it is unsurprising that Republicans are desperate to bask in a few rays from Reagan's reflected glory. In 2011, he ranked third in a poll of the most popular US president of the past 50 years behind Jack Kennedy and Bill Clinton. But, as America marks the 10th anniversary of his death, just how comfortable would Reagan himself be in today's Republican party?
When everyone returns in September, Mr Obama will also be forced to focus on keeping control of the Senate in Democratic hands (which will now be harder than ever) and picking up more seats in the House of Representatives. If he is unsuccessful with these political endeavours in the mid-terms, his legacy will then rest only upon the accomplishments of his first term in office.