SUZANNE HARRINGTON: Donald Trump is a reflection of American capitalist society

Until five minutes ago, if you’d wanted to give yourself a good laugh you could have read a compilation of Donald Trump’s tweets, writes Suzanne Harrington

His dating advice, freely offered to Katy Perry (“Russell Brand is a loser!”) and Robert Pattison (“Dump Kristen!”), and his retweeting of someone’s hoax ‘dead parents’ – a photo of Fred and Rosemary West – to whom Trump had been “an inspiration”, all make for internet gold.

Only fat people drink Diet Coke, and all flights from countries affected by Ebola should be shut down. The usual raging troll stuff we had come to expect from the world’s loudest narcissist. It was all quite amusing until the words ‘presumptive’ and ‘nominee’ began appearing in the same sentence as the words ‘Donald’ and ‘Trump’.

Trump is a construct. A product of a virulent and increasingly dominant strain of American culture. A pumpkin having a nervous breakdown, according to Frankie Boyle. So who made him? Who created this leader of a populist movement that feeds not on evangelism and ultra-conservativism, but on reality television and impotent rage? Let’s have a look at the average Trump supporter.

The typical Trumpy earns less than $75k a year (€65k), which still sounds like loads, but apparently this qualifies as low income in the US. Do Trumpies think that by supporting a billionaire, once elected he will share his cash with everyone who voted for him? Perhaps the answer lies in another vital Trumpy statistic: almost two thirds – 62% - have not been educated beyond high school.

Hilariously, given that Trump’s supporters are not Native Americans, 81% of Trumpies believe immigration is bad for the country, and 55% think free trade – the very thing that made their orange fuhrer and his KKK dad so rich in the first place - is also very bad.

Many - 69% - identify as “very conservative.” This is different from “ultra conservative”, like Ted Cruz and his Bible bashers. But even though two thirds of Trumpies aren’t regular church goers, almost half do not support women’s rights to reproductive autonomy. 48% are pro-life, even though 73% are pro-gun. Mathematically, I can’t seem to make that equation work. Maybe it’s because I’m European.

More alarming, however, than the guns, the anti-immigration, the lack of education and the willingness to self-identify as “very conservative” is the fact that 60% of Trumpies think that sticking with personal convictions is more important than finding common ground. Oh dear. How’s that going to work out if their dear leader ever gets as far as the wider world of foreign policy?

The gigantic irony is that Trumpies are reacting against the impact that rapacious late stage capitalism has had on their lives. They are angry and scared, and too media-cowed and anti-intellectual to think their way out of it.

So to solve all their problems, they have latched onto a rapacious late stage capitalist to make them great again.God help them. And God help all of us, if Hillary is indicted.


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