The trouble with Trump

Donald Trump arrives to his Comedy Central Roast in New York, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Donald Trump arrives to his Comedy Central Roast in New York, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

I know how I am supposed to write this article. I am supposed to begin by acknowledging that Donald Trump has been brilliantly successful in a variety of businesses over several decades and that he has raised the profile of issues, such as immigration, which are of concern to millions. From here I should proceed to examine his ridiculous statements about Mexicans. First I should condemn his claim that they are rapists, while noting his acknowledgement that some are probably good people. (It is not clear, by the way, if he thinks some Mexican rapists are probably good people or if he is merely acknowledging the strong possibility that some Mexicans are not rapists).

At this point I should examine the facts about immigrants – legal and illegal – and crime. The data are unequivocal. Immigrants are less likely to commit offences in the US than native born citizens. It would probably be worth exploring the obvious explanations for this. Immigrants are capable, ambitious, people who have shown the initiative to move to another country to better their lives and those of their families. Also, illegal immigrants face additional consequences for crimes that native-born Americans do not. Americans can face punishment. Illegal immigrants are subject to the same punishments, but also deportation for themselves and their families. Anyone who believes in the role of judicial deterrence can easily see that illegal immigrants have significant disincentives to commit crimes.

I should then examine his absurd comment that Mexico “doesn’t send us” its best, as though the Mexican government rounds up undesirable people and forcibly ships them north. In fact, ambitious Mexicans, determined to improve things for their families, make their own way to the US.

That’s the article I should write. But I can’t be bothered.

Donald Trump is a bizarre, hateful, disgusting jackass. His braying, angry, denunciations of Mexicans, Republicans, Democrats, and other people so insignificant as not to be Donald Trump, are made with a single purpose: getting Donald Trump’s name in the media, for the sincere entertainment and pleasure of everyone named Donald Trump.

This is the reason that Trump is “running for president” – in reality, simply making outrageous remarks, guaranteed to generate headlines. Ignore suggestions from Democrats that Trump speaks for a significant portion of Republicans. Polling is clear on this. He has support varying from the high single figures to the high teens. While this puts him at the top end of a field of 16 candidates, a large majority of GOP primary voters would not support Trump under any circumstances. If he remains a contender as others drop out voters will coalesce around his rivals. If he makes it to the final two his opponent is guaranteed twenty point wins in most states.

Ignore suggestions from Republicans that, as a former Democrat and supporter of Hillary Clinton, Trump’s objective is to sabotage Republican chances. That is a possible outcome, but it is not his objective. Donald Trump’s objectives don’t include positive things for other people. Other people don’t enter into his considerations. Trump’s objectives include being the center of attention. They do not really stretch beyond that.

This – and this alone – explains his willingness to say any, absurd or invented thing that crosses his mind. People like unfiltered thoughts, but these thoughts come from a diseased mind.

qlQuentin Langley is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Bedfordshire Business School as well as a freelance columnist published in the UK and all parts of the US. He blogs on social media and crisis communications at

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