Everywhere on the internet and cable news, you’ll find a ready supply of bewildered folks who watched Donald Trump’s especially unhinged speech when he won the Nevada caucus (and after Melania Trump appeared on a morning talk show). Post-victory, Trump bragged about taking 46 percent of the state’s Hispanic GOP vote while saying Mexico is “going to be thrilled to be paying for the wall.” That statistic may be skewed, and of course, Trump is only collecting those votes from registered Republicans. Yet one wonders what these folks gain with Trump that they’re not getting from Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz. Trump’s delivery was even more theatrical than usual:
“We won the Evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.”
People are really grabbing onto his “I love the poorly educated!” statement because it seems condescending at best. At worst, Trump’s not even thinking about what he’s saying, sort of like another popular figure.
None of this absurdity negatively affects Trump’s popularity. He hasn’t suffered while making increasingly volatile statements — saying he’d love to punch a protester and encouraging others to do so while also claiming he could shoot someone and win more votes. Trump practically owns a huge chunk of Vegas (and according to Jeb Bush, nabs property from old ladies to build parking lots), so it’s no surprise he prevailed there. Vegas was also where a Trump rally featured a Nazi salute and much chaos. Trump has not been fazed at the subsequent Adolf Hitler comparisons, which arrive fast and plentiful for such a divisive candidate.
Speaking in an Alternet interview, Noam Chomsky adds his thoughts to the Trump phenomenon. Chomsky believes the time is right for a candidate like Trump, and he says this has happened before in history. The word “Hitler” never actually comes out of Chomsky’s mouth, but that’s probably because he knows folks will bring in Godwin’s law:
“Fear, along with the breakdown of society during the neoliberal period. People feel isolated, helpless, victim of powerful forces that they do not understand and cannot influence. It’s interesting to compare the situation in the ’30s, which I’m old enough to remember. Objectively, poverty and suffering were far greater. But even among poor working people and the unemployed, there was a sense of hope that is lacking now, in large part because of the growth of a militant labor movement and also the existence of political organizations outside the mainstream.”
Chomsky also shifts to a discussion of Bernie Sanders, who he says is considered “extreme” because there’s a “shift to the right of the whole political spectrum during the neoliberal period.” Chomsky declines to make an official prediction for who will win the race, but he does admit to “hopes and fears.” He’s donated to Sanders’ campaign but says he’d “absolutely” vote for Hillary Clinton too.