Even if Ted Cruz has just won multiple victories for the Republican Party in the U.S. presidential race, the probable favorite remains — against all odds — the very controversial but also very popular Donald Trump, who come November will face Democrat Hillary Clinton, shaken up by Bernie Sanders who follows her closely. So, this past Sunday, The Boston Globe imagined in a digital edition what the tycoon’s United States would look like after he got to the White House. The result is both funny and frightening. “Horrifying,” says even the site Vox, while The Washington Times qualifies it as “pulp fiction,” referring to its resemblance to the film about American gangsters made by Quentin Tarantino.
Incidentally, the satire was immediately qualified as “stupid” and “insignificant” by the first person interested. It is something that barely has a chance of being “taken seriously,” notes The New York Post — that is of being “taken for its word,” as Libération says alongside AFP. That’s because “if it is, of course, a parody … every article builds on declarations that are real … during interviews or during speeches within the framework of the primaries in the Republican nomination.” An example would be one titled “The deportations are beginning,” which reiterates that he intends to “deport millions of clandestine immigrants” if elected. “So quickly that you will feel dizzy,” translates The Parisian, while “another article evokes the consequences of the creation of customs fees ranging from up to 45 percent on imported products from China to certain products coming from Mexico.”
Other titles also offer a scenario that is at least provocative, Libération continues: “U.S. soldiers refuse to kill the families of Islamic State members”; “a new defamation law to address the ‘rot’ in the media”; “a trade war is imminent as the markets collapse” … Or they come off outright as average gags — “like that brief which states that Trump is among the favorites for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, having achieved the feat of reconciling the ‘Shiite and Sunni schism after 1,385 years’; or that he would cause a “diplomatic fuss with China after a tweet making fun of the Chinese first lady’s dog …” jokes Mediapart.
But the matter is more serious than it seems because The Boston Globe also published in this edition a very engaged editorial — “The GOP Should Stop Trump,” where it shows with great finesse the man whose view of America “promises to be as horrible in real life as it is in black and white on this page” — at least, if you believe the article summaries in French that The Huffington Post had the good idea to compile and which you can access by moving your mouse over different elements on the front page.
There Are Critics, Too
According to The New York Times, everything demonstrates the resolute opposition of the writing staff of the daily paper of the capital of Massachusetts to the Republican candidate. But [it] also [shows] the limits of the exercise, according to the conservative Washington Times, which spares no criticism via the analyst Tim Graham, director of the Media Research Center: “Can anyone imagine the outrage that liberal media pundits would have had if say, The New York Post or The Washington Times had created a fake page predicting that President Obama would force people off the insurance they wanted to keep, and food stamp use would soar by 70 percent? … Imagine those complaints and transfer them to this: A serious newspaper doesn’t satirize the news. It leaves it to The Onion.”
Still, if several major U.S. newspapers show a clear opposition to Donald Trump in their editorials, none of them had gone to such an extent, backed by an exercise in political fiction, to justify “active and engaged opposition,” says a columnist for The Globe. “If Trump were a politician running such a campaign in a foreign country right now, the U.S. State Department would probably be condemning him,” insists. But he also called on the Republican Party not to “[settle] for an equally extreme — and perhaps more dangerous — nominee in Ted Cruz.” “If the party can muster the courage to reject its first-place finisher, rejecting the runner-up should be even easier.”
“The Republican Party’s standard deserves to be hoisted by an honorable and decent man, like Romney or Ryan, elected on the convention floor,” The Globe finally said. But where is that candidate?