“He Must Be Taken Seriously”

If there’s one person Jesus Christ would not approve of, it would be a racist, adulterous, thrice-married braggart who builds gaudy buildings and casinos and vomits gold paint onto them. Christian conservatives who support Donald Trump have shown their so-called faith never had anything to do with religion. It’s always been about race and privilege. 

More worrisome is how the U.S. press has handled his odious campaign, treating it like a summer blockbuster full of fun special effects. Riveting! A joyride! Fun for the whole family!

It behooves journalists to cover any candidate making xenophobic comments seriously. When CNN announced Trump drew 30,000 spectators in Alabama to hear him speak when the 45,000-seat stadium was more than half-empty, they aren’t doing their job but instead feeding a monster. When Maureen Dowd of the New York Times yukked it up with the vulgar hatemonger, it’s clear Trump wasn’t the only wealthy, out-of-touch person involved in the interview. (Thankfully, others at the Times are treating the matter more soberly.)

Even if the miserable magnate is deflated and floats away like a Thanksgiving Day balloon that backed into a pin, the paraders following him will still be there, full of rage and bigotry.

From Edward Luce at the Financial Times:

It is February 2016 and the sky is falling on our heads. Donald Trump has just won the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. Those who predicted he would have long since imploded are scrambling to fallback positions. He will flame out on Super Tuesday, they insist. He will be ejected by primary voters in Jeb Bush’s Florida in March, they add.

If worst comes to worst, he will meet his Waterloo at the Republican convention in July — the first such brokered event in decades. Fear not, wise heads will reassure us, that man could never be president of the United States.

Like a stopped clock, conventional wisdom must eventually be right on Mr Trump. It goes without saying that sane people should hope so. Last week two of the billionaire’s more inflamed supporters beat up a homeless Hispanic man. All Mr Trump could initially say was that his followers were “passionate”. Make no mistake, the property tycoon who would be president is an unpleasant piece of work.

Conservatives should be especially worried. His plans to round up and deport the estimated 11.5m undocumented immigrants would require the federal power of a police state. His plan to scrap the 14th amendment’s birthright to US citizenship would corrode America’s soul.

Yet he must be taken seriously.•

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