20 Aug 2015

What Donald Trump did last night…

Donald Trump is hiring. He’s hiring himself as President of the United States and the hundreds of people crowded into the school hall in Manchester, New Hampshire as his cheerleaders.

Here’s a summary of what gets the biggest cheers of the night:

 “Jeb Bush is a loser.”

 “Hillary Clinton is an even bigger loser. They are basically the same people.”

“So is President Obama, and by the way Secretary of State John Kerry has just done one of the dumbest deals in the history of mankind. The Iranians are cheering in the streets etc.”

 “Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is a dirty rotten traitor.”

“It’s only political journalists who are interested in policy. Why write things down when you’ve a talent for spontaneity.”

And the flaxen haired one is just getting started. The crowd is settling in. A big bloke with a beard offers that he wants to see Hillary Clinton in jail. Another that John Kerry is an idiot.

But it’s when Candidate No. 1 gets to the wall he wants to build along the southern border of the US, his big idea on immigration, the one he has written down, that the applause becomes thunderous.

Republican candidate for US President Donald Trump

He repeats his line that crime all over the country is the work of illegal immigrants, who it seems are not only coming into America to take our jobs but to commit our crimes as well. So, they’ll have to go. The Mexican government is laughing at us. Oh, and the gangs and riots in Chicago, Baltimore and Ferguson – illegal immigrants too.

“It’s going to be a beautiful wall – and they’re going to call it the Trump wall.”

I chase him down a corridor, surrounded by hefty security types and adoring delegates, tripping backwards as we go. Isn’t your policy xenophobic? Do you really think Mexicans are all rapists and criminals? America he tells me is broken. Something must be done.

Nearly every Republican candidate was in Manchester yesterday participating in some event or other in this swing state. Within a few miles of one another, out and about to revive the campaign that Donald Trump has railroaded.

Republican candidate for US President Donald Trump

Earlier in the day, we poked our heads into another town hall meeting for another candidate, Ohio governor John Kasich. Much more politics as normal. Much less hyperbole, but some familiar themes: taking the fight to the Islamic State, building that wall, undoing the Iran deal.

When I ask him whether his talking points have changed to echo Donald Trump’s, the governor says he doesn’t have talking points, he’s his own man, he’s spontaneous, he speaks from the heart. Which I can’t help thinking sounds a lot like the real estate guy from Queens doing the town hall around the corner.

In a poll released earlier this month, Donald Trump was continuing to lead the republican pack with 24 per cent of support compared with his nearest rival, Jeb Bush, on 12 per cent.

His high showing in the polls defying moments that might have sunk other campaigns… from his epic displays of chauvinism, to insulting war heroes, to acknowledging he gets his foreign policy ideas from watching television.

It is the great irony of this Republican melee that even sounding like yourself sounds like Donald Trump. That in this patently political engagement, competing for the right to contest the next presidential election, suddenly no-one wants to be a politician.

And as for expelling millions of illegal immigrants from the country, en masse, stripping citizenship from children born here, and building that wall? The only question seems to be, how high?

Which is exactly as Donald Trump wants it.

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3 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:


    He’s just an even loonier version of the Texas Bush crackpot dynasty.

    Anybody who votes for him deserves all the horror they get. Which will be a lot.

    As if the USA wasn’t enough of a rogue state.

  2. H Statton says:

    I have to say, one thing that constantly irks me, is the assertion that the American president is the leader of the ‘free’ world.

    If it’s due to guns per 100 residents, yes America wins hands down with 88.8. Serbia is next with 69.7; Yemen has 54.9, and lastly Switzerland has 45.7. If you’re armed your society is ‘free’?

    I must confess Switzerland took me by surprise, but then maybe it’s to ensure the bank accounts of politicians and other dodgy money remain well guarded (!).

    No-one officially appointed the white house as the nucleus of sophistication; a place that radiates supreme global enlightenment, but David Cameron has endorsed the idea many times.

    To me Cameron comes across as spineless. If he doesn’t want to make a decision on foreign affairs, he defers to America. He seems quite happy to live in America’s shadow.

    Is this just the UK kissing America’s ***e, or are our politicians just fearful of destabilising the “special relationship”, whatever that means.

    How serious is Donald Trump? Does he delight in antagonising other people, including his fellow Republican candidates not to mention opposition candidates; or is he downright deluded? And who is supporting him?

    I cannot bear to think of Trump as being top of the food chain; although I don’t find any of the republican candidates endearing.

    I just can’t decide how much lunacy is rattling around between his ears. His statements are not confident but arrogant, not to mention misguided; his smile more psychotic than sincere. And he demonstrates all the subtly of a flying mallet.

    It all begs the question – why is he so popular (at least for now)? Sweeping generalisations seem to be the name of the game as far as Trump is concerned.

    “I’m number one with Hispanics”, he said. If I was Hispanic I would feel enormously insulted by this proclamation. And as for his idea to outdo Hadrian’s wall…

  3. Bob says:

    You ask very slanted question why Trump thinks all Mexicans are rapists and criminals and you wonder why he doesn’t answer. Its like Ramos lecturing Trump rather than ask a question or two. The election is not for the press to spew propaganda, do the analysis and report the damn news.

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