Making sense of Donald Trump
Sir, – Dependent as one is on comparing media reports on the campaign of Donald Trump, Diarmaid Ferriter’s assessment seems plausible, at least in part (“Analysis of Trump’s success does not go deep enough”, Opinion & Analysis, March 25th).
Mr Trump’s supporters may well be “a coalition of the dispossessed”, suffering “lost jobs, lost wages, lost dreams ... [and] the system not working for them” .
The Emperor Constantine comes to mind. He was no pillar of virtue, was extremely ambitious, was a ruthless general and politician who triumphed over his opponents, became a great emperor of Rome, and went on to save the empire.
He created the environment which gave Christians the freedom to influence society. The early Christians were perfectly capable of influencing society themselves; all they needed from the emperor was the freedom to do so.
“The dispossessed” have not lacked good arguments, but articulate defenders with the space and freedom to address issues bluntly in defiance of the norms of political correctness and dominant commercial forces.
Perhaps Donald Trump is perceived as the one presidential candidate capable of changing society to make it more tolerant of robust input from all groups and sub-cultures.
Conceivably, with a leader who publicly holds the silencing tactics of the establishment and media in utter contempt, it becomes more possible to counter the pervasive, so-called liberal influence on important matters.
For those who have had enough of the culture of political correctness and the consequent restricted levels of debate in the media, academia, and politics, Mr Trump perhaps raises the possibility of a once-in-a-generation opportunity of leading a diminution of this restrictive feature of western cultures.
In any case, does anyone seriously believe that Mr Trump has a bigger ego than Hillary Clinton?
Is it just that he refuses to display the fake humility that some politicians have come to perfect and large parts of the population have come to distrust? – Yours, etc,