The cult of Trump’s threat to American democracy

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One of the problems with a cult of personality, much like the one growing around Trump (which appears to be in the process of merging with the cult of the Farage), is how any statement from the dear leader can be escalated to a whole new level by his accolades.

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For example, Trump has long claimed at his rallies that he’s way ahead in the polls, even though the evidence points to the opposite being true. While he had a slight bounce after his convention (keep in mind the Bernie brigade were still in rebellion at the DNC at the same time), but since then his numbers have been in freefall. He’s also suggested that if he loses, it means the election is rigged.

Now its quite obvious what’s going on here, Trump is an egomaniac, he’s falling for the so-called crowd effect (he’s popular at his rallies, i.e. among the people who showed up to see him). Terrified of being branded a loser, he’s setting it up so that he can avoid that label by making excuses, ignoring the consequences for the country.

And of course this “grand pollster conspiracy” is just ridiculous. Why would pollsters, some of whom work for right wing think tanks, throw in with Hillary? And won’t it make sense for them to do the opposite? i.e. show Hillary as having a smaller lead. If Hillary does have a big lead, it suggests many in those in the anti-Trump brigade who also dislike Hillary, can safely vote for a third party candidate and Hillary will still win. So we must assume that there’s a massive conspiracy afoot whose goal is to jeopardise Hillary’s campaign just so they can hurt Trump’s feelings and offend his over inflated ego.

Certainly pollsters are open to the idea that they may be underestimating Trump’s level of support. But they are more convinced that if anything the opposite is likely to be true . Republicans have been doing very badly in recent elections with key demographics, ethnic minorities, women, younger voters, etc. However, Trump is doing exceptionally badly, he’s polling as low as 12-2% with some ethnic minorities and he has to content with a large “anyone but Trump” movement within his own party. Consider that he’s now even losing out to Hillary now among college educated whites (Romney won in this category….and still lost to Obama!). As a result its more likely that the pollsters are actually underestimating Hillary’s lead than overestimating it.

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And while there’s been a slight tightening of the race recently, in the key swing states, Hillary is still well ahead. Indeed, adding up all the states expected to vote democrat in November Hillary already has the 270 electoral college votes she’ll need. And of the states on the margins (e.g. Florida and Ohio) she has a clear lead. While its a bit early to declare the race over, but the odds are clearly in Hillary’s favour.

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US electoral College Map, 23rd of August 2016

Despite all of this its quite obvious that Trump and his inner circle exist in an echo chamber of self delusion, something which has led to some awkward moments with the media when they are confronted by this pesky thing called “reality”. But regardless of the facts, Trump’s comments have been taken up by his eager brown shirts (notably Alex Jones), who have decided to basically go off and invent polls showing him aheadeven in California! Trump’s also trying to create his own army of “election observers”, who will no doubt show up with their 45’s to see if they can intimidate ethnic minorities from voting.

In short he’s more or less guaranteeing violence either on election day, if not immediately afterwards, all for the sake of protecting his own fragile ego. The damage that he could well do to America, for petty narcissistic reasons is considerable.

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