It’s easy to criticise US presidential candidate Donald Trump for being bigoted, racist, and intolerant – anyone with a hint of common sense would be able to do it without much thought. However, to say that Trump is a dim person with a low IQ is a gross misrepresentation of who he really is, and undermines the bigger, more important issues.
My point is simple: Trump isn’t stupid … the American people are.
I was eight years old when I first saw Trump on his funky reality game show, The Apprentice. Though he didn’t have the best of haircuts even then, he did have the business acumen, and the ability to make good TV.
To Trump, the election is another big reality TV show. He knows how to appeal to an audience and gain their support. He says things that sound good to a largely conservative audience, but don’t make sound sense (pardon the pun) to ordinary people.
This argument sounds even more convincing when you take a look at things he has said before he entered politics. In interviews with CNN, and other television channels, he voiced opinions that are much more liberal than conservative. During this election campaign, he has managed to contradict himself multiple times, all for the sake of making good TV.
He knows that the people who watch him aren’t too concerned about the facts, or any notions of this new-fangled thing called “common sense”. As long as it feels good to hear, Trump has nothing to worry about.
People also tend to forget that Trump’s success comes from American voters; people need to agree with the things he says for him to be successful. Trump has merely performed the duty of saying what a lot of old, bigoted, racist, conservatives have longed to say, but didn’t have the chance to do so in the past. He’s merely taken the lid off a can of worms, it’s that simple.
Trump’s rise isn’t so surprising when you take into account the Republican Party party, which has been pro-business, pro-military, anti-abortion, anti-LGBT rights, and anti-immigration for quite a long while now. What has changed is the way Trump has managed to repackage the message with fiery rhetoric and a bit of good ol’ drama.
What we should really be questioning is why traditional American conservatism is still going strong, rather than whether or not Trump is an intelligent being. I sincerely hope that these people will be able to see the light soon.