Say what you like about Donald Trump, and many people do, but the one thing you cannot easily do is ignore him. Trump’s many controversial comments, most notably his demand that Muslims be denied entry to the USA, have won him both admirers and detractors in equal measure.
I can’t help thinking that Donald Trump has something in common with Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour Leader undeniably appeals to core Labour Party members but seems unlikely to win the support which he needs from voters in the centre ground. Similarly, Trump may well be the darling of America’s Republican Right, but his message is not being well received by the floating voters who will decide the outcome of the Presidential Election.
The latest boost to the Trump campaign has come in the form of a ringing endorsement from Sarah Palin. While Palin may be a figure of fun to many, largely thanks to Tina Fey’s wickedly funny send up of her, there is no doubt that she appeals to many on the right of US politics.
There is a temptation for those of us in the UK to simply write off Trump and Palin as ridiculous. However, I also find home grown politicians like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg ridiculous, and yet their careers continue to blossom. As the old saying goes, the problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
Earlier this week MPs at Westminster debated a petition calling for Trump to be banned from entering the UK. Interestingly, nobody seems to have said much in support of Trump and his policies. Instead the debate centred mainly on freedom of speech issues. Many MPs put forward the give ‘em enough rope argument in the belief that the best way to deal with Trump would be to give him a platform and wait for him to shoot himself in the foot.
Of course the undoubted winner in the debate was Donald Trump who relished the publicity. Maybe the best tactic for Trump’s opponents to use would be to simply ignore him. It would be difficult, but it might work.