Who comes after Trump?
Trump holds terrible views. He is sexist, xenophobic and authoritarian. It’s why so many are so committed in their opposition to him.
Trump is also very loud about his views. He’s brash and unashamed. He doesn’t dress up the opinions he holds. It’s likely what will lose him the election among swing voters.
But Trump is not alone in these views. Not in the country, and not, as some would have you believe, in the Republican party either.
It is unlikely now that Trump would win. The real concern for those who believe he would be dangerous for America and the world is that his ideas cannot win either. The possibility is all too real that someone else will come along after Trump; someone who can sell his ideas with a smoother polish, who can tie a nice electoral ribbon around the proto-fascism.
The alt-right is already in some ways characterised by a new generation of millenials with hard right or even extremist views. They smile, they choose their words carefully and they dress up smartly. When standing on the lookout for the rise of a new fascism there are two things we have to keep in mind: firstly, it will sound similar though not identical to the old fascism, and secondly, they won’t be wearing political uniforms.
A defeat of Trump the man must not be equated with a defeat of his ideas. Often in politics it is the losing side that rallies, that comes together and strengthens its union. People who feel like they have nothing, like their lives are under threat, like the system is rigged against them and their beliefs — if and when Trump loses these feelings will only be reinforced.
Trump is odious but his ideas have a popularity that must be addressed. Too much of the campaign has focussed on why Trump himself is a bad person, why he would be unfit to lead. Comparitively little attention has been given to why his ideas would be dangerous, why is beliefs would be bad for the USA no matter how great the leadership qualities of the person espousing them.
There are consequences to playing the man rather than the ball. We can be almost certain that the ideas he rambles on about somewhat incoherently will be taken up by others, who can organise those ideas into policy plans, policy plans that can be targeted, that can be sold, that can be voted for. When that time comes, Trump’s bumbling idiocy may feel like a blessing.