The Donald Trump effect has been a wildly interesting phenomenon to follow.
And this is coming from somebody who detests the man. I deplore everything about him, and am dumbfounded by the amount of people who could listen to him speak and still say they support him.
But that’s the key. People are supporting him. Lots of people. And therefore, we must take him seriously.
Despite his bigoted and verbally abusive jargon, despite his apparent lack of interest in acquiring any knowledge regarding a single pertinent issue, and despite his glaring lack of qualifications to hold the most powerful position in the free world, he is still earning support.
Why he is gaining so many followers will be a case study for years to come. The easy answer is people are fed up with the establishment and appreciate his “outsider” status.
Deeper contemplation tells you that Trump is leeching his following from the most vulnerable and susceptible faction of our country — the intolerant and the uneducated. The people who lack the motivation or wherewithal to delve deeper into a candidate beyond what lies on the surface, and those who actually embrace divisiveness as the remedy for whatever shortcomings they believe exist.
But that’s a debate scholars will have many years from now when they return to 2016 to determine what the hell went wrong?
A more appropriate debate to have right now, on March 1, is to wonder why the hell it has taken so long for someone to directly challenge him?
His Republican competitors have mostly backed off, and their placement in the polls tells you how well that strategy fared. Even the media for the most part has taken it easy on him, instead writing simple reaction pieces anytime he says anything controversial.
And amazingly, it took a non-American to finally step up to the challenge.
John Oliver, a Brit, the heir apparent to Jon Stewart, and whose unique once-a-week long-form broadcast journalism on HBO allows him to really hone in and pick apart a topic, officially launched a campaign last Sunday to demystify the aura that is Donald Trump.
And thus Donald Drumpf was born.
Oliver’s contention is that the only way to stop the Republican forerunner is to debrand him, and the sly comedian — amid many other brilliant observations and revelations — happened to find out that Donald Trump’s ancestors changed their last name from Drumpf to Trump.
By Monday, #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain was trending on Facebook and Twitter. And Donald Drumpf has become the second most searched candidate on Google.
Furthermore, the fact that Trump has yet to respond to Oliver’s takedown, nearly 48 hours later, is proof that he knows he can not match wits with the snarky Brit.
As I write this, Trump is currently dominating Super Tuesday, which shows that Oliver’s manifesto probably will not sway too many of his supporters. But it still implants the notion in the rest of the electorate that this man can not be taken seriously, and could go a long way in ensuring that he never wins a general election.
I’ve been a loyal John Oliver fan since his days on the Daily Show, and my admiration for him has only grown since he began hosting Last Week Tonight.
And if I’ve learned anything, then this is only the beginning,
Donald Drumpf, your days are numbered.