Twice already I have predicted the imminent fall of the billionaire Donald Trump, who in his U.S. presidential campaign beats records of ignorance, impudence and boorishness, while his ratings get better and better.
It had naively seemed to me that he went too far during the Republican candidates’ debate, where he publicly insulted Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly. He implied, among other things, that she is a "bimbo" and that she asked him difficult questions because she was on her period. Every normal politician would be finished after an event such as this, but it seems that a billionaire who organizes beauty queen competitions and habitually places his name on big buildings is more privileged than others.
Some people are still hoping that Trump is just a star of the silly season. They know that during the summer, six months before the first primary election in the state of Iowa, exotic candidates often shine — like Michelle Bachmann, who had her moment in the spotlight in 2011 when she claimed that vaccinations cause brain issues among children.
Journalist Amy Walter believes that during summer, Americans act like a sensation-seeking 20-year-old woman: "You are young, you do not worry about anything, you are seeing a boyfriend that your parents hate who is colorful, noisy, smokes cigarettes and rides a motorcycle."
This terrible boy's counterpart is of course Donald Trump. Meanwhile, as Walter explains, "your parents want you to be seeing someone like Jeb Bush" (brother and son of two recent Republican presidents, who supposedly was a favorite in primaries before Trump's star began to shine). Someone peaceful and responsible, perhaps even a little boring.
"But after you blow off the steam during summer, eventually in the winter you will pick a responsible bore," claims Walter. Will a happy end such as this occur in this year's Republican primaries? Well, not necessarily.
Firstly, Trump is a billionaire, and Americans are generally fond and appreciative of successful people. The argument that rich people hold politicians in their pockets works for many, but Trump in particular cannot be bought. On the contrary, he himself has been buying politicians, such as gifting cash to Hillary Clinton, which is the reason for her obedient arrival at his wedding, as he boasts.
Secondly, the Fox News debate had the most viewers in the history of presidential debates — because of Trump, of course — and the effect was similar to that of a snowball. Now all TV stations are in a race to invite Trump, while his rivals have to spend big on advertisements that are watched by just a small piece of his audience.
And thirdly, Trump’s candidacy is no longer exotic in the general population’s mind. Now, not only do 32 percent of right-wing voters back Trump — Bush had 16 percent, according to Friday’s Reuters/Ipsos survey — but half of Republicans expect him to win the primaries and become their party’s candidate!
At first, his solution to the problem of undocumented immigration, as easy as it was surreal, came to people's liking — build a wall along the Mexican border and deport 12 million "illegals." In a CNN survey, as much as 44 percent of Republican voters concluded that Trump has the biggest chance of solving the immigrant problem. Bush, who wants to give them the right to stay, is supported by 12 percent on this issue.
But the faith in Trump is not restricted just to this particular case. Allegedly, he has the biggest chance of achieving economic success as well — so believe as many as 45 percent of Republicans (8 percent believe in Bush, even less in others). Interestingly, Trump has never revealed his ideas for the economy; he only claims to be a man of action, unlike professional politicians who only talk.
These and other signs suggest that it is not just a short-lived romance. What if right-wing America really feels like riding a motorcycle toward the unknown with a person from their parents' darkest nightmares?
It is a shame to admit, but a certain part of me quietly counts on it. If Trump were a candidate in Poland, then a sense of responsibility for the country and an instinct for self-preservation would supersede the inborn attraction to commotion. But after all, this whole thing is taking place in the U.S., where I reside only temporarily. So I intend to make reserves of Mexican Coca-Cola (with real sugar, unlike the American [type], which is produced with corn syrup) — in case the Mexican border closes after the election — and watch the show.