Republican nominee Donald Trump becoming president of the United States would present a global danger, the UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has said.
So how is it possible that a New York billionaire can pick up millions of votes across the US? A man known for his outrageous comments on women, religions, minorities etc. Some were astonished, some impressed that he would and could fund his own campaign, others dismissed him.
How come people still vote for him regardless of what he says? Even the most shocking comments is disregarded and even defended by his voters. Somehow he appeals to people who feel that he understands them, where they are coming from. He stands out from the ordinary political establishment which makes him more tangible and popular. Voters’ turn away from reason and populism is selling at best price at the moment. So the question is really have the intellectual failed or Trump won? And this is certainly not something that is standing out for the Americans, we have seen these types of leadership turning up all around Europe (increasingly growing nationalist parties) and there are many theories around this phenomenon (the shrinking middle class, globalization with unchanged low wages, unemployment etc.). What is also concerning is that these new forces in politics are changing the climate in the political debate. Mainstream politicians feel the urge to make arguments and statements that are more similar to their opponents in order to keep their voters and if possible win some of their opponents, a kind of protectionism.
The most concerning about these new waves of politics is not so much why they are happening, because time and again we have seen through history that it is quite possible for people to vote for the most scandalous and uncivilized leaders depending on various factors in society at that time. The issue which concerns us all is how it is possible that we find illogical argumentation logical and appealing. How can we be affected by media and entertainment to such a degree that someone like Trump is chosen as a presidential candidate in the USA in 2016.
Perhaps the hard thing is not to criticize someone like Trump, but rather someone with better impulse control and finer argumentation than Trump, with the same disregard for facts as Trump, that then might be elected for president when the time comes.
Image sources: New York Times, Dagens Nyheter.