Well, folks, he's gone and done it. On Monday, right after we raised the possibility of Mr. Trump finally going too far, he went and proposed a "total and complete shutdown" on Muslims entering the United States, until they could figure out what the hell was going on (hint: it's not that hard)
Ah-hah! the Left rejoiced. He's done for. Kaput. Surely that's the end of him. He can't possibly say such a thing, and hope to hold on to his support, in this day and age!
The Obama White House wasted no time in slamming him as having disqualified himself for the presidency, The Next Clinton tweeted out that "Love trumps hate" (if with slightly ironic choice of colours, and which lends itself to an easy transcription error), and American citizens from all walks of life finally woke up to the enormity of the evil they were up against, and finally came together as one - Democrats and Republicans and Independents alike - to exorcise once and for all He Whose Hair Must Not Be Combed...
Nah, that last bit didn't happen.
As it turned out, Trump's outrageous statement had next to no effect on his polling popularity, as he continued pulling in 35% of the Republican support nationwide, maintaining 20% of clear daylight between himself and the next pretender. If that doesn't make sense, some additional survey results might clear the air; only slightly less than half of the U.S. population is even against such a ban, and among Repubs, a full 76% of them happen to think that Islam is un-American.
It's like, you know, nobody bothered to ask.
It appears to be very slowly dawning on the GOP elite and the mainstream media as a whole, that Mr. Trump's wild success thus far might have a very, very simple explanation - he is simply faithfully representing the Republican base, nothing more and nothing less.
But, let us play devil's advocate for a moment here. Was what Trump suggested really that unthinkable?
To begin with, some have blasted the proposal as illegal and unconstitutional in the first place, and therefore would have no actual effect, other than reflecting badly on its champion. But, after the first wave of reflexive denouncements had died down, legal scholars who actually bothered to read the fine print discovered that, erm, it's actually completely above-board. In fact, didn't Jimmy Carter impose a similar blanket ban on Iranians in 1979? And on ideologies previously? Yeah, it might be unfair to the good 'uns, but it's not like most of the Iranians back then were terrorists either?
And, going back to the people, it seems that a majority of them are totally fine with a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, actually, which is exactly what Mr. Trump wanted. Cue some nervous shifting of gazes, and Rand Paul slowly raising his hand and muttering that he was after something close to that too. As for Trump's closest competitors, Cruz is up for carpet bombing ISIS until the sand glows in the dark, among other tall tales, while Carson is threatening to pack it in and run independent too. Oh, and a police union has endorsed the Trump, as has Sarah Palin. Dontcha know, the VP spot's mighty open!
Oh, and, is he taking interns?
Prime Foreign Happenings
The local mainstream media nearly regained my respect with their well-timed foray into satire as commentary, which had one butthurt commentator resorting to the "let one without sin cast the first stone" defence, where the Cleansing of the Temple parable might have been far more apropos. They've also published a call for an Upper House, which appears to be hinting that a stranglehold will be maintained on the actually-important Lower House/current Parliament by any and all means necessary, but it remains a fine effort.
Of course, they would then go on to describe the sale of Neptune Orient Lines as, get this, "boosting shipping hub ambitions", which turns out to merely be what the buyers are saying to be nice. Furthermore, the fact that the sale took place at a near rock-bottom price, and that Our Most Successful Investment Firm could have divested at almost any time between 2004 and 2011 and gotten a significantly better deal, has been completely glossed over in a sterling synthesis of local journalism and unfathomable investment genius.
On the positive side, homegrown writers seem to be growing more backbone, which does admit some hope for the future.
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