There are at least three reasons why Donald Trump is leading in the United States Republican primaries, three more why I would vote for him, and another three reasons why sensible Americans shouldn’t.
As he trumps the other Republican candidates, Trump’s popularity figures contradict most predictions of an early demise.
If this outsider who defies all scepticism maintains his lead into March, the Republican establishment will have no choice but to embrace the obnoxious New York contractor as one of its own.
This in effect should guarantee Trump the Republican nomination and set the US, and indeed the rest of the world, on an unpredictable path come November.
Causes for success
The first reason for Trump’s popularity on the right stems primarily from the angry and frustrated white Americans, especially male voters, who have been screwed by the financial crisis, rising inequality, and a shrinking middle class.
This malaise on the right, or what former President Bill Clinton aptly called, white America’s “broken heart”, is being channelled in two very opposite directions.
Many of those whites on the left support Bernie Sanders – apparently more than Hillary Clinton – but unfortunately, those on the right who have been led to believe that changing demographics, illegal immigrants and Muslims cause their misfortunes, support Trump.
Those on the right who have been led to believe that changing demographics, illegal immigrants and Muslims cause their misfortunes, support Trump.
Second, Americans are increasingly bitter and disappointed by the Republican and Democratic party establishments, both of which are at the mercy of “special interests”, powerful lobbies, and big money.
On the left, millions of Democrats and independents have donated an average of $20-plus to support Sanders against Wall Street.
But on the right, the culturally and economically disenfranchised white Americans seek refuge in Trump the billionaire, the party outsider, who boasts of his independence of “Big Business” thanks to his own personal big business. Quite the paradox.
And last, by supporting Trump the political outsider, more and more Americans are expressing their bitterness, hostility and downright disgust with the Washington establishment, and its so-called beltway politics and its political paralysis over the past decade. For lack of horses, Republicans are saddling dogs, better yet, a bulldog.
The perils of a Trump
Trump is dangerous. But contrary to conventional wisdom, his potential danger lies not in his political or ideological extremism but rather his vulgar populism.
What seems like off-the-cuff spouts of racism against Latinos, Asians or Muslims is in fact a carefully considered appeasement of white angry Americans? If America is somewhat in the middle of a “nervous breakdown”, expect this racist demagogue to make more false promises to gain traction or get validation.
Second, Trump’s paranoiac reflections and solutions bring out the worst in Americans. His explicit support for torture, banning Muslims, breaking international agreements and reversing healthcare, among other things, doesn’t bode well for the future of the US or its role in the world.
And third, as Trump gains momentum and moves centre-stage, his neo-fascist demagogy and racism become the new norm on the Right and eventually an acceptable discourse in the US.
What thus far had been the political rhetoric of the fringe, has been amplified by the electoral process, and is growing into a regressive force in US politics and culture. Indeed, by way of food for thought, this McDonald offers more of the same mass, fast and cheap recipes for disaster.
Bearing in mind…
So why, in light of the above, would I vote for Trump?
Well, first because I usually tend to bet on the losing horse. Be that a movie director in the Oscars, a company stock, a team, or any racehorse, metaphorically speaking. My preference is like a spell, a curse on the ill-fated.
Second, at the risk of sounding disingenuous, I assume that if I publicise my support for Trump, it might – just might – create certain doubt in the minds of the insecure, the short-sighted and the ignorant bigots who are not 100 percent sure about Trump.
And last, what does it matter who I’d vote for when I can’t or don’t vote.
Marwan Bishara is the senior political analyst at Al Jazeera.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.