Trump the scrumper's dumbed-down crop

LEP Columnist Barry FreemanLEP Columnist Barry Freeman
LEP Columnist Barry Freeman
The main thing I took away from last week's Channel 4 documentary The Mad World of Donald Trump was that his supporters REALLY like to chant.

Love it. Live for it. At a guess I’d say the pleasure of joining a chanting multitude is half the reason his rallies draw thousands.

Obviously footage used of Trump gatherings would have been selective, but the impression was of a series of inducements to mass fist-pump the air while rhythmically howling gibberish. Little wonder, then, that so many are terrified at the prospect of the elaborately coiffured tycoon securing the nomination and making it all the way to the White House – not least the Republican Party itself.

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The Grand Old Party elite are horrified by Trump’s popularity, and even Fox News – whose mix of moronic over-simplification and hate-speech would seem to make them ideal bedfellows for the Don – have taken against him.

All of which delights me no end. Here is the Frankenstein story playing out in real time.

For decades the GOP have prospered from the dumbing-down of the general populace which Fox (and to a greater or lesser extent all of Rupert Murdoch’s media outlets worldwide) has led from the front.

A monochromatic view of the world in which no issue, regardless of complexity or context, cannot be boiled down to a simple yes/no black/white good/evil has been battering at the gates of civilisation for decades, and increasingly seems to have become the default setting of public discourse.

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Team this with emotive actors cum anchormen (actormen?) ALWAYS coming down on the side of right-thinking neoliberal common sense and you have manna from Republican heaven.

This is why, even in Britain, a question like ‘But WHY are terrorists attacking us?’ is now more likely to prompt an accusation of being a “sympathiser” than to spark a discussion of history, geopolitics and/or economics.

Sadly for GOP royalty, however, not only is Trump cut from the same cloth as the likes of such anchormen, he is better at the spiel than they are, and a bigger celebrity. The crop of low-hanging dumbed-down fruit, cynically sown and nurtured and happily harvested down the decades, is being scrumped right under their noses.

Trump the Scrump, there’s a chant for you.