As the world continues to watch on in disbelief the debacle of the race for the World’s Most Important Job, the primetime sitcom shows no signs of losing its audience anytime soon.
Having received the pledges required to secure a presidential nomination from his fellow Republicans, Donald Trump will almost certainly be leading the right-wing charge against Clinton or Sanders in the impending US presidential elections.
With haywire policies that go against his own party colleagues – in fact, against those of practically any individual with a non-fascist frame of mind – Trump is known accurately as the most unpredictable candidate to have run for the title in recent memory.
But is his blustering absurdity a genuine threat to the global social order? Not particularly.
To begin with, the odds for victory are stacked substantially against the golden-haired Evangelist-magnet. While few could have predicted Trump’s rise to the Republican nomination, the actual voting temperament of the masses is a little different. Make no mistake: it is an undeniable truth that Trump is extremely adept at harnessing the collective petulance of an insecure, conservative fan base, and using it to guide both his hubris and his political agenda, which ideally should not feed off the same source.
However, extremist policies like his have a well-established history of alienating large groups of voters, as well as failing to muster sufficient support to take down a stronger, more progressive opposition. This is especially true of democratic and socialist states. Currently, prediction websites place Trump’s odds of victory at 20 percent, with Clinton perceived as the most likely winner of the elections. Interestingly, though, Trump is predicted to lose by a much wider margin to Sanders should the latter receive the Democratic nomination in a surprise turn of events.
However, suppose Trump does emerge triumphant in November – will things be as ugly as we fear? The answer, again, is: not particularly, although this may strike some as a naive proposition. Most people know that Trump’s derogatory attitude towards immigrants, minorities, Muslims and women can in no way translate into a well-balanced, equitable social framework. However, the fact is, many of them grossly overestimate what exactly a President of the United States can legislatively accomplish.
For example, with regard to Trump’s plans to evict Muslims from the country, it is constitutionally impossible for a president to enforce migration of any subset of American society, or to eliminate their birthrights, or to shut down mosques. Trump will have to garner huge buttress from both camps, Republicans and Democrats, in order to bring about a constitutional amendment to achieve what he has desired.
And even if Trump manages to bring amend the constitution, the basic structure doctrine, which is getting popular with each passing day, might come into play. Even though the doctrine has not yet been adopted by us Supreme Court, it has not been explicitly rejected either.
Moreover, the aforementioned measures need to be approved at both a judicial and an individual state level, and fortunately, Trump is one of a kind in his beliefs – at least on governance within the country. Can Trump exponentially aggravate ‘Islamophobia’ within the US? Yes. But it is much more likely that the political winds will change once more. The instant Trump catches a whiff of this, and realises that there is more popularity to be had in being less radical, he will change his mind about calling for the countrywide deportation of some two million individuals.
As for his plans for the Hispanic population, he may actually succeed in bullying the Mexican government into covering the construction costs for the now-infamous thirty-foot high Trump Wall, by threatening to tax their trade remittances. That would significantly harm Mexico’s GDP. However, it will do nothing to cover the trillions of dollars’ worth of maintenance costs the wall will incur and, in the words of famed political satirist John Oliver, “it will simply create a market for thirty-one-foot ladders”.
Trump is a non-event, an empty vessel creating an enormous racket, concerned solely with immortalising his brand in the minds of the American people. He continuously shifts from foot to foot on his entire spectrum of proposed policies, and flip-flops between various stances on issues. He may be a shrewd businessman, but he is too volatile and brash to succeed as a leader of global politics. And Americans everywhere, whether right or left, are inherently cognizant of this fact.
In his mind, Trump has already won, because his raison d’être is to have the brand Trump lettered everywhere he deems fit. It takes much more than the human equivalent of a matchstick lighting the fires of catharsis at a rally to win an election. At the end of the day, that’s really all that Donald Trump is.
The writer is a lawyer.