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Men like Trump are the source of America's decline

Published 03/02/2016

The US presidential race shows a country which is deeply troubled. The fact Donald Trump, with his wild generalisations about race, gender and the state of the world, can attract almost rock-star status reflects a hunger in the population for change.

Politics in America has been in decline for decades, destroyed by vested interests, big business and partisan divides with the arrival of groups like the Tea Party.

This toxic mix has now been added to by a disgruntled middle class, who feel the American Dream has gone sour. America was deeply wounded by two events within a decade - 9/11 in 2001 and the failed wars that followed - and, seven years later, the financial crash from which much of middle-class America never recovered.

Suddenly, it's begun to dawn on Americans that maybe they are not so invincible any more, as the rise of China threatens their world status.

In such an atmosphere, people like Trump preaching about "making America great again" and all his overblown rhetoric can be a comfort blanket.

Trump is the essence of free market capitalism. A man who went bankrupt four times, leaving trails of destruction, is suddenly cast as America's saviour.

One hopes he will be found out. Mitt Romney's campaign in 2012 imploded when, in a fit of hubris, he announced to the American people: "I like firing people".

Let's hope Trump's vanity will eventually trip him up as well - which appears very likely as his rantings intensify.


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