Douglas Carswell

10 DEC 2015

The elitist Establishment is feeding the Donald Trump monster

Isn't Donald Trump appalling? He's brash, abrasive, and obnoxious – not to mention deeply illiberal. He even treats the US Constitution with contempt. But here's the thing: if everyone agrees he's so awful, why is he so popular?

Millions of Americans support Donald Trump because they can't stand mainstream politicians. Confidence in Washington has plummeted. People look at Congress and see both parties cosying up to lobbyists. They know that legislators collude to gerrymander electoral districts – denying voters a real choice.

The political cartel creates bland politics. A year ago, everyone assumed this presidential election would be a contest between another Clinton and another Bush. In a country founded on rejecting monarchy, politics has become dynastic. Is it really a shock that voters are thumbing their nose at that?

In the West, we are fortunate to be citizen consumers. Choice is a normal in almost every area of our lives. Why should we be expected to put up with identical politicians?

Hatred of the political classes is the fuel for Trump's campaign. That's why he says ever more outrageous things. On Monday, a new opinion poll suggested his support in the first primary state – Iowa – was fading. His response? Bait the Establishment. Right on cue, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and his Republican rivals lined up to condemn him – and handed him just the boost he wanted.

The people who really fear Trump are the Republican Establishment. They can't bear the thought of him winning the nomination. Yet they helped make his candidacy possible. Under Bush Junior, they complacently assumed the Republican base was behind big-spending, oversized Federal Government, and illiberal economic intervention. They expanded Washington as much as the Democrats. Now the base has rejected them because of it. Donald Trump is the monster they created.

People on this side of the Atlantic need to understand that hysterically attacking Trump only makes him stronger. Instead of virtue signalling at PMQs about foreign political showmen, maybe we could allow MPs for Cumbria to ask about flooding. When political insiders focus on self-righteous grandstanding instead of real issues, is it any wonder people are sick of them?

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