John Dybvig: Trump's bravado and buffoonery takes over GOP race

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo / AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo / AP

Examining the American political scene from my distant vantage point I have to say I feel for America. I honestly do.

I can feel their angst, their bewilderment as they watch in horror as the Donald Trump Express roars right past them, ripping open their underbelly and exposing a whole lot of American ugly.

I hear America wailing: "Serious. How did we get to this point?"

Not an easy question to answer. And I'm sure political experts vying for the bright lights of television in The Home of the Brave will come up with a deep and complicated analysis of the under-currents of the American psyche.

But to me it all boils down to this: If you can explain the raison d'etre of big time wrestling fans then you're well on your way to explaining the Trump phenomenon.

Trump has done a David Copperfield on America and morphed into Vince McMahon.

He's turned the GOP Presidential Primary race into a nationwide Superstars of Wrestling competition. With the ultimate prize of becoming Da Man. Or, as Trump would boast, "America's biggest dick".

Trump bills himself as a street brawler from the back alleys of the New York real estate business. In terms of his other political combatants, Trump is a whole class above them because he actually believes his own bullshit.

He lives it. While Cruz, Rubio and Kasich are explaining their policies in great detail, Trump just keeps it simple, hitting the masses time and again straight in the solar plexus with gut-level emotion.

And the punters are lapping it up. It's like the game has changed and he's the only one who knows the new rules.

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All the mean and dirty tactics at his rallies are pure showmanship - the pens to corral the low-down filthy media ... his security force roughing up the wimps ... Trump compelling the crowd to raise their hands pledging allegiance to him ... Trump declaring he'd like to smash someone in the face ... Trump staring down the bad guys (like he could actually do something physical ha!) ... Trump shrugging his shoulders and pretending not to know anything about the KKK. All theatrics.

Trump has turned the entire political world upside down, he's turned it into a sideshow of stylised violence. And his fans have abandoned any sense of reason. There is no logic or facts or truth or anything else to weigh them down.

Uncle Donald relieves his fans of any responsibility to think or even to be held accountable, rather he encourages them to just let go and vent their anger even if they have no idea what they're angry about.

The Donald understands his fans, he totally gets it that they want to see him belittle his opponents with the oldest trick in the book - name calling: Little Marco, Lying Ted, no energy Jeb. And they eat it up. It's a ritual dance about the struggle between good (Trump) and evil (Washington): the forces of light against the forces of darkness.

If light is the victor, Trump gets to strut his stuff and puff out his chest and sneer "I'm the one". On the other hand, if corporate America (read: Wall Street, banks, the Washington elite) wins, there's always the sense of being cheated, just like in real life.

Trump is not about substance, he's all about style and enthusiasm. Personality and excitement and involvement. You know that old saying: Don't let facts ruin a good story. That is Trump to a T. The Donald is America's new Teflon Man, easily deflecting lies, lawsuits and an avalanche of attacks.

The whole basis of Trump's philosophy is naturally all about him. He told himself that he could do it and he believed himself. Homer Simpson and Trump have more than a little in common.

The ball's in your court America - let's hope this is one show that will get cancelled.

John Dybvig is an American former basketball coach living in Auckland.

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- NZ Herald

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