Despite the Republican candidate’s rough past few months, Donald Trump is still very close to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the polls, trailing by less than three per cent in most of the key battleground states. Trump also continues to enjoy strong support from his base.
By next Tuesday (Nov. 8) American voters will have their say, and we here in Canada will be toasting the winner, and hoping for a good relationship with whomever that eventual winner is. But Trump definitely can’t be dismissed or ruled out. By this time next week he might very well be called “President Elect” Donald Trump.
Trump’s meteoric rise to contending for the presidency is one of the oddest political moments in recent U.S. history. We have an alleged billionaire, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who became a failed real estate magnate and later a reality TV star. He hasn’t paid taxes on any of his fortune the past decade or more because of his two bankruptcies.
Donald Trump lives large, gets a new eastern European trophy wife every decade or so, and does not care what anyone in the public thinks about him or his personal excesses.
Trump has a bad reputation amongst investors. His brand is considered a poison pill which has killed many a deal. They have even removed his name from some of his old hotels and casinos. And yet, Trump still churns on, sticking close to Hillary Clinton in the polls despite his past business and personal failings. Why is that some might wonder?
There really is no mystery here at all. Trump in many ways is America. His gaudy, over-the-top persona is almost a paint-by-numbers sketch of what “having money” means to America’s working poor. Fancy gold toilets. Check. Trophy wife. Check. $5,000 suits. Check. Brash overconfidence that comes with being able to buy what you want, when and where. Big, huge check.
That’s the American Dream, baby. Make as much money as you can and flaunt it so all the world can see how worthy you are to be among the fat cats and the elites.
Trump does not have support among the Republican or political establishment as a whole in the United States. He does not have support among the progressives, academics or social liberals. He does not have much support in the minority communities. But where Donald Trump is strong is among the working poor, the entrepreneurs and the upwardly mobile in the United States; the solid majority of U.S. citizens, in other words.
So we’ll see what we’ll see on November 8. Could we soon be hearing the words President Donald Trump?