There are many paths to Trump. This is probably always true for political candidates, and truer the fewer candidates there are. However, it is particularly true when the actual nature of a candidate is so hard to pin down. What Trump will actually do remains a real mystery, and different people got to voting for him by assuming he'd do different kinds of things.
By pushing further and further to the right, the Republican leadership laid the groundwork for a blustering, racist, sexist demagogue to win the nomination. And in doing so, they undermined the possibility of finding a reasonable, moderate candidate within their own ranks. When every Republican candidate has to swear fealty to a rightwing credo, is it really surprising that this year's field of presidential wannabes was so pathetically weak?
Donald Trump may get to be president of the United States, and if he does, it will in large part be because the U.S. populace is more interested in re-tweeting pictures of Orlando Bloom's genitalia than in finding out who the Republican candidate really is and what his intentions are for the great United States of America.
Donald Trump's apocalyptic acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland was easily the scariest political event I've ever witnessed outside of 1930s newsreels. As CNN's Anderson Cooper summed up: "He painted a dark and frightening picture of America, he talked about people being attacked by criminals, attacked by terrorists, betrayed by their leaders, the game is fixed. And he said he can be their voice." The thing about this tactic -- a far cry from conservative saint Ronald Reagan's inspirational "shining city on a hill" much less Obama's hope and change optimism -- is that it captures (and, yes, fuels) the zeitgeist of white America.
The "big tent" factor of both American parties and the constraints of the "winner-take-all" presidency makes for some particularly strange bedfellows. But is the two-party system under attack this election cycle? It certainly seems so -- and it could well be to Secretary Hillary Clinton's advantage.
The turn towards targeting certain political figures is concerning. Despite Trump's vomit-inducing charades, the truth remains that as an American citizen, he DOES have the right to say what he chooses. Although some of what he says could fall under the category of "hate speech", we keep forgetting that there is a very simple solution to our Trump dilemma: stop voting for him. Really, isn't it the public's fault that he's still there?
Building progress and trust, as the U.S. did, takes a long time to accomplish far more than constructing a building. But Trump will help destroy such progress if he is elected as the president of the United States. All the respect and admiration the world used to have towards this great country will vanish into thin air.
Trump's scapegoating of Muslims, Hispanics, blacks and other "others" for political gain is exposing a racist ugliness, and dangerously inflaming it. Who knows how big the fire might get? "Never forget" became a Jewish slogan in hopes our collective memory might prevent another Holocaust, but also because we can't forget. It defines us. So as hard as it is to hear Hitler's name all over the news, let it at least remind us why we must stop Trump and all leaders who traffic in racism and xenophobia before such hate defines anyone else.
As the media vigorously tries to answer the root causes of radicalism, I wish they would do the same about the outrageous Republican candidate that is Mr. Trump. What, or who, radicalized him? His actions mirror the fanatics and extremists who seek to divide us and create mistrust and hate between neighbours.