Donald Trump continues to not only ride high in polls surveying Republican’s hopes for their nominee next year, but also climb in broader measures outside party bounds, even beating Clinton in Michigan polling for the first time, and his star is still very much rising. As the media bashes, misrepresents, underplays, and slanders in every possible way, he defies traditional political logic as American’s pin their hopes of something truly different on this icon of the American Dream, and unmitigated self being.
Trump does not pretend. He is not scripted. Love him or hate him, he is the real deal, and that is the cornerstone of my fascination with his campaign, and my attraction to the unfolding story of his run for President. He has more charisma and ability than any U.S. politician since Eisenhower or Kennedy, and he comes across as an every-man (even if he is far from one).
It is almost joyous to watch him ride roughshod over the media, the political class, and established norms. He gets up on stage, tells 30,000 people he won’t take the lobbyist’s money. That he will spend his own fortune to pursue the White House, and no one will own his Presidency except himself and the American people. He quips that one friend wants to give him 5 million dollars, and he has refused, for the aforementioned reasons, and then he asks “Can I take it?” and the crowd shouts “No!” to which he says “Come on, let me take it. I promise I will screw the guy once I get in office.” and the crowd loves it. Who else could say such things?
The man is devastating normal political procedure, and that, to me, is enough. I would back him all the way to the White House.
Substantively, he has seeming contradictions, but upon examination, they are not what they seem at all. He’s a protectionist free trader. What the hell does that mean, right? Well, he’s about free trade that is truly free, with a level playing field for all. To arrive at that state of affairs, he’s prepared to do very protectionist things until he gets that level playing field. Tariff’s, halting capital flight via confiscation, increased fees, etc., are but a few protectionist measures he would employ to reign in the disadvantageous state of “free trade” as it effects the United States.
He says he is for immigration, while wishing to close the border and deport 11 million people. It might seem counter intuitive, but it isn’t. As he has oft said “You either have a country, or you don’t”, and a country is defined by the strength of it’s borders. He has said he will build a wall and no one will get through it, except through the “big, shiny door” he’ll put in it to encourage legal immigration.
In the cases above, and others, his logic is intuitive, in spite of the press doing all they can to make him into a buffoon who makes no sense. The bitter truth we would all be further ahead to accept is the things he articulates with a decided lack of eloquence make more sense than anything uttered in the last 4 Presidencies.
The rank and file American, Black, White, Hispanic, Male, Female, is by and large sick of the broken and corrupted version that not exists of the once most beautiful, and advanced, government system ever devised in modern times. The American system of governance has been something I have studied almost as much as our own, which is simplistic by comparison. We’re it protected, and restored, with the overarching power of money removed, The United States would indeed have the most amazing form of government in the entire world. Many American’s see it the same way, and to them, Trump embodies their best shot at getting it back, and I have a hard time disagreeing.
All that being said, and much more left unsaid, the threat to the Republic of a charismatic, naturally authoritarian personality sitting in the highest office is not lost on me. The restoration of the republic could easily turn into it’s ultimate destruction if a populist leader garners enough support to reform it into a strong, powerful, militaristic and centralized nation.
I am not saying Trump would do so. But I am saying the threat of demagoguery is the same in any country it crops up in, but no more powerful a threat could exist than a demagogue winning total control of the United States. We must always keep one eye on the present, and one eye on history, and the times are ripe for another wave of Nietzschian supermen.
Trump would make for genuine leadership, as he has led his entire life: His business, His family, and in his philanthropy (the man is a hero to veteran’s, in general, for example, and with good reason). Whether you, or I, agree with where he would lead is entirely up for debate and discussion. As it stands, right now, I can’t do anything but stare, a little awestruck, at what is happening in the United States (and for more reasons than just Trump, which I am I will get to).
But if you we’re staring down the gun barrel of present stagnation, imminent decline, and the total loss of global respect for your country, or rolling the dice on a gamble that could lead to the eventual restoration of the United States, would you not opt to roll the dice?
I know my answer: I’m voting for the NDP in October. They are real, and they stand for Canada, in reality, not rhetorically, and the policy problems I have with them I will do my best to sort out after I see them in power. However, it may be far easier for me to argue my case to an NDP government than it will be for the American people to convince Trump he is wrong after he is President.
But, under the circumstances, how can I not feel some attraction to the American version of what is happening in Canada as a reaction to a decade of Harper? Trump answers the desire of an American public for real change, and my guess is his star is still rising.
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