I just finished reading “FEAR,” the devastating book by Bob Woodward about Donald Trump, an investigative piece which collects hundreds of testimonies about the behavior of the president of the United States. Woodward's portrayal coincides with that of his colleague Michael Wolff in “Fire and Fury,” released in January.
Trump appears to be a social networks and TV addict, to which he devotes six hours a day, someone who is unable to read a report that exceeds a single sheet and improvises all of his decisions. He mistreats his employees and discredits them in public, which has caused an exodus: his chief of staff, the attorney general, his main image adviser and others that have left or been thrown out.
There are endless anecdotes about his arbitrariness and incompetence, but I'm only going to refer one — a member of his team removed a document to break the trade agreement with South Korea from his desk. But the president didn't even notice because he quickly forgets the orders he has just given.
The question that arises when reading this book is, how it is possible that a man as ignorant and unable to understand the complexity of international relations occupies the White House Oval Office today? Obama must have done something wrong for his fellow citizens to opt for this fool who does not understand the scope of his decisions. Rivers of ink have been written about Donald Trump, but it is still incomprehensible why over 62 million citizens voted for him. Certainly Hillary Clinton was a very poor candidate, but that does not explain the victory of this unscrupulous opportunist.
Perhaps the best analysis of what happened is by the philosopher Richard Rorty, a visionary who wrote a book in 1998 entitled “Achieving Our Country,” which predicted that the off-shoring of factories, the loss of blue collar purchasing power and the distancing of the political class from the citizens would bring with it the arrival to the presidency of a "tough guy." The prophecy took nearly 20 years to be fulfilled. Rorty also examined the change that had occurred in the United States at the end of the 20th century, with the emergence of ideologies of cultural identity that had managed to dominate the political agenda. This proved essential because the voters selected Trump with their hearts and feelings and not with reason. They identified with his speech and wanted to punish the system.
Trump's victory and the emergence of populism in the United States should not come as a surprise because that is what has been happening in Europe since the crisis erupted. We only have to look at Hungary, Poland, or Italy to see how the electorate is inclined to support radical and simplistic discourses that will tell them what they want to hear. Trump is nothing more than the expression of the deep discredit that is gnawing away at the political structures and that our leaders, launched into a foolish exchange of criticism, still don't understand.