Wednesday 7 December 2016

Republicans have created a monster to fit the time

Fergal Keane

Published 06/03/2016 | 02:30

'Trump is perceived as the outsider, the truth teller, not as the blusterer who will say anything, twist any argument, insult and abuse anybody, to get elected' Photo: REUTERS/Layne Murdoch Jr
'Trump is perceived as the outsider, the truth teller, not as the blusterer who will say anything, twist any argument, insult and abuse anybody, to get elected' Photo: REUTERS/Layne Murdoch Jr

Still he keeps marching on, like Sherman's army laying waste to Georgia on their way to the sea during the American Civil War. And still many wonder why? It isn't the liberal-minded who are perplexed. Donald Trump's success validates every prejudice they've ever had about the Republican electoral base. No, the ones who are really horrified, and panic stricken, are the Republican establishment and that swathe of conservative America, the House members who rode to success on the Tea Party surge, which failed to take him seriously until it was too late.

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Trump's distance from the Grand Old Party bosses and the 'insider' politics of DC make close to a sure thing for the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States. Trump is perceived as the outsider, the truth teller, not as the blusterer who will say anything, twist any argument, insult and abuse anybody, to get elected. Without necessarily meaning a lot of it. If Trump cannot be easily pinned down in debates it is because he is a man who has lived by the deal. If he can devour a smaller opponent he will do so. If not he cuts a deal. Or he cuts and runs. The crowds believe him, but there are strategic leaks that maybe everything is ultimately up for grabs.

Take immigration and that Mexican wall. It won't happen. Trump knows it. His opponents know it. But it sounds great to an audience that believes its prosperity has been stolen by immigrants.

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