The phenomenon of Trump
Until three months ago, many Americans and Korean Americans were saying, “I will move to another country if Trump is elected president.” But that bravado has died down as Donald Trump has gained a real chance of becoming the president of the United States. When he announced his candidacy in June 2015, many thought it was a publicity stunt. Then, his run became more serious, and now he is one of the most likely candidates. If he wins six Super Tuesday states, some speculate he will become the Republican presidential candidate.
In recent political history, no other politician has made nonsense into common sense like Trump. He has made so many unacceptable comments that would force a normal candidate to resign. When a female anchor asked him a sensitive question, he accused her of having “blood coming out of her whatever.” He also said no one would vote for Carly Fiorina after seeing her face. But these ludicrous remarks boosted his popularity, much less pressuring him to resign. He called Mexican and Hispanic immigrants criminals and rapists, but Hispanic voters are supporting Trump. The progress is incomprehensible.
Something more powerful than common sense is sweeping the United States. Whether it takes the nation in a positive or negative direction remains to be seen.
On Feb. 8, the night before the New Hampshire primaries, 5,000 supporters gathered at the Verizon Arena in Manchester. Their eyes and cheers were full of discontent and frustration, and I could see a strong desire for a revolution. What they want is different from the change that Barack Obama advocated in 2008. They want to completely redesign the playing field. The first goals are to drive out establishment politicians in Washington, destroy income discrepancy and return America to the country they believe it once was.
They believe only a candidate as radical as Trump can accomplish these goals. The time when Jeb Bush could easily win the game with his royal family background and super PAC support is gone. Trump reads what people want in the future, whereas Bush is trapped in the past.
The prediction that Hillary Clinton will win for sure if Trump becomes the Republican nominee also could be wrong. Supporters of Bernie Sanders would not necessarily vote for Clinton. Instead, they may choose Trump, who is at the other extreme but advocates revolutionary changes. There are also more land mines on Clinton’s field.
Nevertheless, having Trump as president is rather absurd, even when he has demonstrated an ability to tap into something in people.
His inability to manage his anger is one of his biggest problems. He cannot control his temper. He has blown up several companies in his business career, but managing a nation is different. The impact would spread around the world. The president has the ability to launch nuclear missiles. I am worried, and I laugh uncomfortably that Trump is really the best option America has right now.
The author is Washington bureau chief of the JoongAng Ilbo.
JoongAng Ilbo, Feb. 27, Page 26
by KIM HYUN-KI