When a calm, reasonable man like Martin Wolf dreads the thought of Donald Trump in the White House, it is time for all of us to worry. It is sad and frightening to see democratic governance fail in a powerful country. Martin blames not Trump, but “elites on both sides [who] promoted economic changes that ended up destroying trust in their competence and probity”.
Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for president. He might even become president of the US. It is hard to exaggerate the significance and danger of this development. The US was the bastion of democracy and freedom in the 20th century. If it elected Mr Trump, a man with fascistic attitudes to people and power, the world would be transformed.
Mr Trump is a misogynist, a racist and a xenophobe. He glories in his own ignorance and inconsistency. Truth is whatever he finds convenient. His policy ideas are ludicrous, where they are not horrifying. Yet his attitudes and ideas are less disturbing than his character: he is a narcissist, bully and spreader of conspiracy theories. It is frightening to consider how such a man would use the powers at the disposal of the president.
Economic, social and political changes have brought the US to the point at which a significant part of the population seeks a strongman. ….
Mr Trump realises that his supporters have no interest in the limited state beloved of conservatives. Their desire is rather the restoration of lost economic, racial and sexual status. His response is to promise massive tax cuts, sustained spending and reduced debt. But he does not need logical consistency. That is for the despised “lamestream media”.
Hillary Clinton is a weak candidate, tainted by her husband’s failings and her position in the establishment, and short on political talent. She ought to win but might not.
Martin Wolf, “Failing elites are to blame for unleashing Donald Trump“, Financial Times, 18 May 2016 (metered paywall).