Saturday, March 5, 2016


Why Trump?
Like most Europeans I fail to understand the current Trump wave.  He dominates the Republican primaries for now while remaining almost totally unaccountable. He is the ultimate non-Zen personality who gets a free-pass without even coming close to some form of "idea". His utterances are like short- lived fireworks which are unable to leave any sort of duration in the sky.  Nevertheless, many Americans look up to this idol who breaks rules and conventions.

The other Republican candidates, those who have not been totally buried under Trump's insults, continue to fight but they look "small" by comparison, not because they are of an inferior caliber but because they are polite (to a point). All of them share a lack of convincing intellectual gravitas. It is hard to imagine the first world power in the hands of any of those amateurs. Obama is still compared to Hamlet. None of the Republican candidates will ever be seen walking into Shakespeare's prose or verse.  The Democratic contenders are not convincing either.  Sanders still swears by "isms" and Clinton only resets the truth with each time-zone she travels in.  At least she has been around, like a Jules Verne heroine. She is articulate but her coiling performance is more about disclaimer than about disclosure.

Back to Trump.
I think that his "temporary longevity" results from the "stagnation" which is felt in all directions:  political, social, creative, economical.  People are tired of the menu they have been served all these years.  The jobs are "half-time", wages are stagnant, the Americans feel as if they have lost their "shining city on the hill" and become disenchanted by Obama's baby-steps. The Republicans still crow about America as the "Numero Uno" in the world, which proves only that they don't travel enough. Trump says that he will make America "great" again. Certain people do believe in miracles and Americans are etherized by the references to god, bible, etc. which fill the electoral air.  Soon we may see the candidates wearing a pious hair-cloth, a la Gladstone, to rally evangelicals and believers. Even Trump was seen in church!

Stagnation leads to ennui and Trump fills the void...for now. I hope that reason will prevail even if the other candidates fail to entrance. From the outside (for now) the former Republican candidate Mitt Romney plays Brutus to Trump's Caesar, but his biting argument might serve Trump in the end. Americans are fed up and are not given to scepticism nowadays. They are in full "receiving" mode and Trump serves them what they want to hear.  Insular mindsets care little about the world outside of their limited cognizance.

Europeans (and others) tend to snub what is indeed a sorry spectacle, devoid of any politico/philosophical input but they cannot totally afford to ignore who they will have to deal with, be it Trump, Cruz or Clinton. They will prefer the former but had better be ready to deal with the latter. I hear some saying that America needs a shock to awaken, but the country should not go into some form of septic emergency. Besides, the chosen president is always different from his former candidate persona. Even Trump, if elected, might switch from bombast to reason. History teaches that, unfortunately, the opposite is often true.

America doesn't need a "remake".  A shot in the arm will do if the right nurse can still be found.

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