I think I finally understand why Trump is doing so well (he recently pulled even with Hillary Clinton). It's only after years of shows like American Idol and America's Got Talent that his rise is possible. These shows got Americans used to the idea that they could vote with no actual consequences. In most cases (with very few exceptions), people with minimal talent are voted on and selected as "the winner", then almost immediately return to obscurity. In some cases (remember Sanjaya Malakar) there was an actual campaign to rig the vote so that a thoroughly undeserving candidate would win.

What else could possibly explain this lunacy?

You may be onto something.
I read these polls that say he rates low with women in the Republican Party and a majority of men don't like him either yet he still wins state after state for the nomination.
I don't profess to understand American politics at all, this drawn out horse race just to decide who gets to run for each party is nuts, but from what I've read only about 20% of the Repubican Party get to vote for the nominee so maybe it's has been skewed in some way?

I refuse to belief that the majority of Americans want this idiot in charge. He shows the most despicable traits: narcissism, arrogance, bullying, xenophobia, racism, sexism, constantly lying (badly) - who can take him seriously?

commented: Those despicable traits are what the people "LOVE" about him. However, don't forget about the evangelicals who worship him has their savior. +0

Well there are a variety of reasons. I'm certainly no Trump fan and I'm one of those people who thought he would fizzle out fast, so I was wrong before and I'll admit it. But hey, we were pretty much all wrong, weren't we? I can't think of a single pundit who predicted he'd win. As to his appeal, well he is entertaining, at least for a while. I found myself cheering for him when he was insulting all the bland professional pols and smug beltway pundits and his opponents. So I didn't have Trump fever, but I did like the fact that he was really shaking things up and making a lot of wealthy, comfortable fat-cats very UN-comfortable. We all have our personal list of people who we love to see taken down a few notches, and Trump was doing that. There is a lot of fear out there and a lot of people feel disenfranchised. NAFTA, for example, was lauded as a great thing by just about every politician and pundit, but lots of people feel they have been negatively affected by it. Ditto illegal immigration. Ditto trade with China and a lot of the other stuff he talks about that very few others talked about. He gave those issues needed air-time and that was a good thing. So I can see a populist gaining traction this election season. A lot of people are angry and feel they're getting taken advantage and he's telling them they're right and he's going to fix it.

Where I part ways with Trump voters is that I don't see how anyone thinks that a narcissicistic billionaire playboy is the guy who is going to fix any of these things. I think that if he wins, the people who voted for him are going to be very disappointed. Hardly any politician keeps his campaign promises, but I think Trump in particular doesn't have the slightest intention of TRYING to. He's not going to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it, he's not going to deport millions of illegal immigrants, he's not going to ban all Muslims, he's not going to default on the National Debt, he's not going to kill the families of terrorists, etc. He knows this better than anyone else.

He does carry himself like a winner in a high-school jock bully sort of way and that's appealing to some people who feel powerless. No one wants a wimp. He carries himself and speaks with confidence. Where he loses me is with the teenage tough-guy behavior, bragging about beating people up, sleeping with beautiful supermodels, etc. That's alpha male behavior for a fraternity member in college, but he's 69 years old. It's like going to your 50 year high school reunion and the guy who was "cool" for an 18 year old is still doing the same thing and it's not cool anymore because you are supposed to have grown out of it.

In summation, I'm guessing that the long election cycle is going to doom him. His schtick was new and exciting the first month, but now it's wearing thin and more and more his insecurities and boorish, immature behavior is showing. He originally was a protest vote, but people tend to get more serious when they get into that voting booth and realize that they're giving a guy like Trump the nuclear button. I predict he'll lose, but I predicted he'd lose the Republican nomination, so what do I know?

Wow, just read my post. I planned to write a short paragraph, but Trump just brings something out in me. I just started banging out sentences, hardly realizing I was doing it. My mind was on auto-pilot, turned off basically. Maybe he has that effect on everyone? I find myself turning my critical thinking off when I talk about him. It's more emotional.

only about 20% of the Repubican Party get to vote for the nominee so maybe it's has been skewed in some way?

People are much more highly motivated by fear and anger than by logic and reason. Using logic and reason against a rational person might convince them of the validity of your position. Against an angry or scared person, not so much.

I refuse to belief that the majority of Americans want this idiot in charge.

The majority doesn't. Unfortunately, too many of them are turned off by a two party system that has become a one party (the business party) system. Instead of a left party and a right party you now have a right party and a monster raving loonie party. There is no left left.

NAFTA, for example, was lauded as a great thing by just about every politician and pundit, but lots of people feel they have been negatively affected by it.

Brian Mulroney, before he became Prime Minister, said "free trade will be the death of Canada and I'll have none of it." Then he was elected and the original Free Trade talks fell apart. He basically fired the Canadian negotiator and signed a blank cheque.

Oh well. Perhaps the left will find enough fear in the thought of a Trump presidency to get out and vote. Perhaps he should select Omarosa as his veep. That should do it.

There are some interesting similarities between Trump and the "Vote Leave" in the UK. I was going to go on a long ramble but discovered this which is a decent summary.

Likewise there are lots of similarities between Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn on the Left but that is for another day.

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Your link made me laugh. Trump says "Britain would not be at the back of the queue with me". Well Trump (not the US) would be back of the queue with all colours of politician in the UK - The London Mayor and the PM think he's a buffoon and have pretty much said so.

Italy under Berlusconi was a joke. Nobody could understand who the hell would vote for him. USA under Trump - not just a joke, but a bad joke with nuclear weapons. Surely nobody could be that stupid to vote for him? Unfortunately, the world has a history of voting for complete idiots.

BTW - a straight choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I pity you. pow(Nixon,10)

Boris Johnson and Berlusconi are buffoons, Trump is an insecure narcissitic psychopath. You know the kind who become paranoid and persecute their critics and rivals, not the kind who just waste everyone's time & money on frivolities. It's funny how the political right jumps on anyone who tells them to be more considerate of the feelings of others in the name of free speech but when a candidate openly says they want to change the slander/defamation laws to make it easier for people to sue their critics they barely bat an eye.

BTW - a straight choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I pity you.

Diafol, if I recall correctly, you're from Wales, correct? I bring this up because I've been having a few heart-to-hearts with folks from Britain/Ireland lately and they seem to expect ME to justify my country's nomination of Donald Trump, sort of an "If you guys elect Donald Trump, we can no longer be friends." These conversations remind me of similar conversations from 2004. The Brits I knew were absolutely devestated that their "Special Relationship" partner could vote for George W. Bush TWICE. They considered the first one a fluke and were just positive we'd dump W after the first term. When we RE-elected him in 2004, they truly felt betrayed. When 2008 rolled around and we elected Obama, it was like we'd come to our senses. Now 2016 and Donald Trump i.e. "Bush from New York City" (coined by an Irishwoman I know) might be the next Pres and it's like deja vu from 2004, only worse. George W. never threatened to torture the familes of terrorists. Dick Cheney probably would have, but W never did, nor did he threaten to nuke anyone. Said friend from Ireland will be boycotting the US if Trump is elected and it sounds like she is not alone.

Anyway, I have a fairly small sample size (6 - 8 folks from that part of the world who have shared their opinions on this) and while they're all rabidly anti-Trump, none of them are rabidly anti-Hillary. Seems like they think she'd be just fine. So my question to you is, assuming my memory is accurate and you're from Wales, is what is the feeling about Hillary over there? It seems like you are lumping them together as complete disasters, who cares who wins? Is that the common view over there or are most folks OK with her? And is it true that your countrymen are unanimously anti-Trump?

Well Trump (not the US) would be back of the queue with all colours of politician in the UK - The London Mayor and the PM think he's a buffoon and have pretty much said so.

Trump & his supporters don't give a rats ass what the rest of the world think, many of them are completely oblivious to the existence of the rest of the world except for the list of "bad guys" they are doing to nuke: Iran, Terrorists (where ever they are), ISIS, and North Korea; and of course Mexico who is going to pay for the Wall.

Trump & his supporters don't give a rats ### what the rest of the world think

The weird thing is that Trump DOES care what everyone thinks of him. It's bizarre. I had an article bookmarked, but I lost it somehow. It's a shame because it displayed an angle I haven't seen written anywhere else. A reporter was interviewing Trump at some event and missed his plane or was stranded somehow. Trump insisted that the reporter fly on Trump's chartered plane and have a long weekend at one of his fancy resorts. Really rolled out the big shot red carpet for this reporter: free drinks, free airfare, free room and board, free clothes, etc. The reporter was reluctant because it was his publication's policy to not allow interview subjects to "comp" the reporters interviewing them, a very reasonable policy designed to avoid the perception/reality of bias. Trump was very insistent and the reporter decided to allow the "comping", but insisted on paying Trump what he would have paid anyway for the services (room, board, clothes, travel, etc.). This was obviously much less than it would have cost him to travel on a chartered jet, dine on caviar, stay at a ritzy hotel, etc., but he tried to figure out what he would have paid for a coach ticket, a flea-bag hotel, normal per-diem rates, etc. He also asked Trump what all this cost and Trump blew him off saying stuff like "Your money's no good here, you couldn't afford it", stuff like that.

Trump and his entourage went all out wining and dining him, but the whole extravagent affair was a complete turnoff to the reporter and he wrote that Trump was shallow and surrounded himself with yes-men and good looking women who were clearly only there because they were good looking. Trump had a meltdown and accused him of being an ingrate and of boorish behavior, saying the reporter spent all of his time staring at the beautiful women's breasts and making awkward come-ons, and saying that was not a surprise because he was homely and had probably never dated women this beautiful. On and on Trump went about how pitiful this reporter was and how Trump had given him the best weekend in his life, treated him to all this stuff he could never afford, and the reporter turns around and stabs him in the back.

People who actually don't care what other people think about them don't act like this. It's also interesting that Trump is running on a populist platform, targeting people who are living paycheck to paycheck, and he goes out of his way to make sure everyone (especially this reporter) knows that he has his own private jet, has slept with more beautiful women than anyone else, stays only in 5 star hotels, etc. Everyone who knows this reporter has come out and stated that he is definitely NOT the boorish stare-at-breasts type and that Trump is almost certainly making the whole thing up.

It was pretty clear that in Trump's mind, since he paid for the reporter's lavish accomodations, etc., the reporter owed him, out of "friendship", a "Trump is great" writeup. It doesn't seem to have occurred to Trump that the reporter's job is precisely NOT to do that and that is why the reporter insisted on paying his own way and that they were not "friends" in any way. It drove Trump completely nuts that he couldn't buy or intimidate this guy. He had one of his waitresses publically accuse the reporter of staring at her breasts (I'm assuming this is a lie).

Donald Trump has the thinnest skin of any presidential candidate I can recall, ever. He runs on a platform of alpha-male confidence, but I've never met a confident alpha male who spent all his time bragging about all the women he's slept with. Particularly not one who is running for President. It's weird, man. I'd love to get a psychiatrist's take on Trump.

That's very true, I should have emphasized the "rest of the world" part because Trump is hyper-insecure about what the American press think of him and what individual reporters think of him. It is just when it comes to 'foreigners' that Trump doesn't care because he doesn't know them/about them. The impression I get is that Trump thinks that everyone who gets to know him will like him because he is such a great and generous guy (eg. giving all that stuff to the reporter), and that he honestly doesn't understand how people could not want that - ie care about things like integrity over material wealth and luxury. That story actually reminds me of all the guys on the internet who complain that not every girl they ask out ends up liking them even though they are "a nice guy" and "paid for the date". It's clash of the simplistic "I know how the world works" mentality with a reality that does not follow their rules.

PS I suspect the reason he won't release his tax returns it that they will reveal he (or his companies) are in debt again revealing all his talk about how rich he is was just that - talk.

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Yes from Wales, but that is irrelevant here. The comments made are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of my compatriots. I am at odds with the majority of voters in my own country, so I really can't speak for the rest of them. However, I think Trump is universally disliked. I believe many would like to see a female president, so HC would, superficially, be an acceptable choice. Most of my friends liked Sanders - they saw a man of conviction and integrity, but realised that the American public would never go for a "pinko".

I find Trump to be a lampoon of a candidate - you couldn't make him up. Yes, the Dubya results flummoxed me, and while I didn't exactly feel betrayed by the American electorate, it certainly concerned me. There is a view of "what's it got to do with you?", but realistically we have to appreciate that the election (or rise) of certain characters in certain countries is a global concern. I'm thinking USA and Russia - possibly a few others (not including the UK - however important they think they still are!).

Hillary Clinton strikes me as a schemer, devoid of policy and vision. Seeing her performances against Sanders, I thought she was appalling - stilted, evasive and a little disingenuous. So now we hear that she is going to appoint Bill to a senior position in her government. Surely, the USA needs to get the hell away from these "dynasties" and nepotism - it's not healthy. Anyhow, I'm just calling it as I see it from articles (almost inevitably biased one way or the other) and video footage.

My "I pity you", is obviously down to my opinion of the two candidates that will probably be in the running, but also to some extent, the system itself. Only two candidates, unless a billionaire independent runs - I remember somebody called Ross Perot a while ago? So you have the choice between a conservative or ultra-conservative party president.

I had an article bookmarked, but I lost it somehow. It's a shame because it displayed an angle I haven't seen written anywhere else.

Found it! These are long, but worth the read. If my theory is correct and the reporter DIDN'T ogle the women at Trump's resort, then wow, what a hatchet job by Trump and how completely dead-on the reporter is on Trump's character!


Interestingly enough, these were written BEFORE Trump announced and the reporter was saying the talk about Trump running was all a big con. So he got THAT wrong. But everything else? 10 ring.

In Belgium it's a mess, guess America is worse.

Clinton is a schemer. I think the fact that she won't release her Goldman Sachs lecture notes basically says she is making promises to her moneyed friends behind closed doors.

Does anyone else see a strong similarity between The Donald and the Squire of Gothos?

B TW: Hi diafol.

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Hi Jim! Glad it's not just me who got that impression of Clinton. Wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her. But that goes for 99% of politicians - those who've made a living from "coming from the right families" and making dirty deals in secret. I once thought Obama was a decent politician with convictions, but I reckon the machine wore him down. Not a single syllable about Saudi's New Year beheadings for speaking out about the ruling dynasty. How pathetically weak and cowardly. I wouldn't want a president to open his/her mouth to just swap feet, but some things around the world need to be publically condemned. Did somebody mention oil? FFS.

The fact that she won't release her Goldman Sachs lecture notes basically says she is making promises to her moneyed friends behind closed doors

Of course she is. She is a political player who knows the rules of the game. It's arguable she is actually more honest than other politicians because she barely tries to hide it (because let's face it unless they explicitly say they are not it's a good assumption they are all in on it too). The trouble with her is that she's too private about herself so it's unclear for who or why she is playing so you can't trust your interests are ever factored into the closed door deals.

Not a single syllable about Saudi's New Year beheadings for speaking out about the ruling dynasty.

Yeah, don't get your hopes up on that front. The civil service advisors will make sure whomever wins is fully briefed on the "Realpolitiks" of the situation so they don't ruffle the wrong feathers. Plus it would be somewhat hypocritical for the US to critize another country for capital punishment while it continues the practice itself.

I think Obama was a decent politician with convictions but in some ways he was a complete idiot. The GOP said from day one that they were going to ensure that Obama accomplished nothing. And yet he still wasted the first two years (when the Dems controlled the Senate AND Congress) trying to govern with the approval of both parties. Think of what he could have accomplished in those first two years if he didn't have his hear up his a$$. Just look what FDR did in his first 100 days and how much better the country was for it.

You know, now that we are at the cottage for the summer my dog has taught me that there are better ways to spend my time than obsessing about some orange skinned freak.

I'll bookmark that for much later. Here at the cottage I have a data cap (3 gig per month unless I want to pay more) and with Microsoft not allowing me to disable updates (Windows 10 now) I have to be careful.

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Well worth the watch. Canada's Canada-cy for POTUS. Enjoy your break Jim :)

Trump is now ahead of Clinton in the polls. One voter has said he supports Sanders but will vote for Trump if Clinton takes the nomination because "a Clinton presidency would be boring." America is now officially like my alcoholic friend who won't admit he needs help until he hits rock bottom.

Homo sapiens : The first species to destroy itself for a laugh...

America is now officially like my alcoholic friend who won't admit he needs help until he hits rock bottom.

Alcoholics vote, and their vote counts as much as yours or mine or anyone else's. Trump knows this better than anyone. Trump also knows that alcoholics who have hit rock bottom find authoritarian savior figures and simple solutions appealing, particularly if those simple solutions don't require them to stop drinking or ask for help. "I'll make it better. Don't worry about how. Just obey. If what I'm saying doesn't make sense, it's because you're an alcoholic and I'm a billionaire and you're not smart enough. You, a loooosssseeeerrrr who's hit rock bottom, dare to question ME, a billionaire alpha male success who's slept with more beautiful women than anyone on the planet? Here, take the blue pill and shut up."

The new bumper sticker: "Vote Trump: It's not your fault you're an alcoholic who's hit rock bottom. It's the (insert scapegoat)'s fault"

That won't quite fit on a bumper sticker, but it'll fit in a single Twitter Tweet.

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Democracy is overhyped. Giving the population a choice, where almost 50% are below the national average for intelligence, is just asking for trouble. We're getting the same stupid shits over here campaigning for Brexit. You have the smart people on one side, the terminally stupid and the deluded on the other. Some of the deluded actually think that voting for Trump or Brexit is a "protest vote". Dog help us.

where almost 50% are below the national average for intelligence

Well I would certainly hope so. It would be strange if 90% were above average....

It would be strange if 90% were above average.

Don't confuse average with median. If you average the numbers 90, 90, 90, 90, 90, 90, 90, 90, 90 and 1 you get 81.1 Ninety percent of those numbers are above average. There was a flap a few years ago (I think it was in New Mexico) where a state legislator wanted to address the serious problem in the education system where 50% of the students were testing below the median. I'm guessing the solution had something to do with charter schools.

Don't confuse average with median.

For intelligence/IQ, they would be the same, as would the mode since it's a normal-based distribution with mean/median/mode 100.

Back to diafol's point, "stupid" and "deluded" people get the same vote as smart, informed people. As do alcoholics, bigots, and "insert negative adjective here". The founding fathers were very much against this and made sure you were a White male landowner to vote, plus there was quite a buffer between the people (i.e. "the mob") and their representatives (electoral college, etc.). Thus the "super delegates" and the smoky filled room to make sure the powers that be can tilt the result to the "right" candidate if the mob gets too dumb. The powers that be of course always have the common man's best interests in mind and are just saving the common man from himself when the common man votes for a guy like Trump or Bernie :). California's voting today, but the super delegates have already put Hillary over the top.

The common man may be dumb, but he's not so dumb to not realize this thing's rigged. Hence the vote for the "outsider", in this case Trump. However, you have to be sort of dumb to believe that Trump cares about the common man. Something else is at work. Dumb people resent smart people in America, but losers/failures don't resent winners/successful people in America. In other countries, they do and hence would resent Trump. But not in America. American Dream and all that. The 99% hate/resent the 1%, as seen from the protests because they feel the 1% cheated to get there, but Trump is more like the 0.0001% and the Joe Six Pack crowd loves him.

People studying Trump's appeal should study Goebbels, not Hitler. The Big Lie gets you hooked. Once you believe The Big Lie, cognitive dissonance requires that you bend facts to protect your psyche. Thus if you rip me off by selling me a broken radio for twenty bucks, I can blame you and not feel stupid for falling for the scam. If you sell me a "turn lead into gold" kit for half a millionn dollars, I need to continue to believe in this kit. To admit to myself that I was suckered by something this obvious is to admit to myself that I am a complete fool. Devestating. Much easier to continue drinking the Kool Aid. To believe in Trump to the extent some have, then realize he's been playing you the whole time is devestating.

Trump is screwing up by telling small, petty, obvious lies, a complete violation of Goebels' strategy. The election cycle is too long and his DNA won't allow him to ignore small slights by small people. Goebels kept his eye on the prize and did not worry about petty stuff and give people stupid nicknames like "Lyin Ted".

Apologies for the Godwin's Law foul. Probably ruined the thread. :)