Jack Tame: Terror a boost for Trump

Donald Trump was everywhere, of course. Photo / AP
Donald Trump was everywhere, of course. Photo / AP

The cops were out again. They stood on subway platforms and strode Grand Central. They parked outside the Belgian consulate.

In Times Square, officers with body armour and assault rifles shifted their weight and watched people in Spider-Man costumes pose with tourists for change.

It was the same after Paris.

Are we scared? Do more police and more guns make us more or less anxious? More or less vulnerable? It's not like living in Iowa or Wisconsin or even Chicago or LA. Most New Yorkers think of the city as the ultimate prize for someone with resources and terror on the mind.

Donald Trump was everywhere, of course. He's always everywhere, but on the morning after Belgium he was even more everywhere than usual. On morning TV, he said he'd close the US border, or at least put huge restrictions on who can enter the country.

And if he got hold of a Brussels suspect?

"I would do a lot more than waterboarding." After the attacks in Paris last year, Trump's numbers had a spike. He had been stagnant in the polls for a few months at that stage. Ben Carson - bless - was enjoying the strongest ebb of his campaign.

Then came the San Bernardino attacks and whack! Another Trump spike. He promoted a ban on incoming Muslims. From the day before the Paris attacks until a few weeks after, Trump's national poll numbers went up 7 per cent. For anyone who thinks Trump hasn't a chance in a general election, it's worth keeping in the back of your mind.

He mightn't have had the support to sew up the nomination just yet, but a massive slab of Americans watch the horrors in Europe and feel directly threatened. Never mind you can't drive from Syria to the States.

"There are definitely more cops around," I told a neighbour on the afternoon of the Brussels attacks.

"It's New York," he shrugged.

"Yeah, but let me ask this," I said. "What happens if there's an attack here before the election?"

"Now that's scary."

Jack Tame is on Newstalk ZB, Saturdays, 9am-noon

Debate on this article is now closed.

- Herald on Sunday

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