Painting a picture of a nation in decline and in need of a strong leader, against all the empirical evidence – this is where Donald Trump’s true genius lies. In creating one enormous lie, stoking it hysterically, then parading it endlessly before the country’s most ignorant voters. It is a propaganda campaign that will go down as a watershed in the history of political marketing.
Let’s make America great again, says Donald Trump. As though the US were in decline. With just 4.3% of the world’s population, this country accounts for 22% of global GDP. It overcame the crisis before anybody else, and its jobless rate is under 5%. The US heads all imaginable sectors of the economy, from medical research to nanotechnology, not forgetting military and aerospace innovation.
Let’s build a wall with Mexico, says Trump. But the US is the country that does the best job at integrating immigrants quickly and efficiently
The country is also at the helm of two key revolutions: energy, where it has managed to become self-sufficient, and digital, where it is ahead of everyone else. The 10 largest companies in the world are American, and US dollars are used as reserves by all the nations on the planet. Its universities are without peer. Its language has become the world’s lingua franca, and dominates the entertainment industry.
Let’s make them respect America again, says Trump. This, in a country that despite its colossal foreign policy mistakes – meaning Iraq – maintains security agreements, allies and military bases across the globe, from Japan and Australia, to Germany and Spain. The US accounts for 50% of global military spending, more than all its rivals combined. With its 10 aircraft carriers (China only has one and it’s still at the trial stage) it patrols all the oceans and guarantees the trade flows that feed globalization. The US sustained a colossal attack in 2001, but its capacity to protect itself from subsequent attacks is, and continues to be, matchless.
Let’s build a wall with Mexico, says Trump. But the US is the country that does the best job at integrating immigrants quickly and efficiently, and it has the most open and dynamic job market in the world. This is a country with an African American president where identity is so adaptable that anyone can become an American at any time. It’s enough to make anyone jealous.
So let’s call the nonsense coming out of Trump’s mouth “trumpisms,” and submit the term to the dictionary of populism.
English version by Susana Urra.