NEW YORK – In less than 50 days, we will know who the next president of the United States will be. Though Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has a lead in national opinion polls, it has narrowed to a near-tie, meaning that her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, could well triumph. Indeed, US observers are now examining what a President Trump’s first 100 days in office would entail. It’s not pretty.
With Trump’s candidacy, reality has become more incredible than fiction. No Hollywood scriptwriter would have dared to invent a presidential candidate – much less an actual president – as ridiculous as Trump. In comparison, Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood, the evil and conniving protagonist of the American version of the television series House of Cards, who actually commits murder during the series, looks like some kind of Kant-Lincoln hybrid.
Trump is America’s reality-TV Mussolini. He is not just a populist, isolationist politician; he is a caricature of one. By electing him to the presidency, American voters would achieve what neither the Soviet Union during the Cold War nor Islamist fundamentalists today ever could: undermining – and potentially destroying – the democratic system of the world’s greatest power.
Consider the support for Trump provided by Russian President Vladimir Putin, arguably the West’s most prominent authoritarian nemesis. Given his denigration of the West’s democratic model, the master of the Kremlin views Trump’s candidacy as a divine gift. Trump’s election would be definitive proof that, despite more than two centuries of struggle against the Enlightenment spirit of reason and freedom, the gods of despotism have not forsaken their earthly agents.