By Chad Ingram
What seemed like a joke when it started is turning into a nightmare for some Americans as its seems more and more likely that businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump will become the Republican candidate in this year’s presidential race.
There is even a growing backlash from within the Republican party itself with prominent Republicans including past presidential hopeful Mitt Romney recently speaking out against the outlandish and polarizing Trump.
With the Trump juggernaut dominating media coverage of the presidential primaries in the U.S. the paper turned to some American ex-pats who call Haliburton County home for their thoughts on the phenomenon.
Belinda Gallagher was born in Nevada living her teenage and early adult years in Massachusetts.
“I am mortified with the results regarding Trump” Gallagher wrote in an email to the paper. “The American political system has been in the grips of inaction for years due to the Democratic president versus Republican congress and the population is tired of it. Having said that I am astonished that in 2016 the voters are supporting a man that in my mind is racist anti-women and a bully. I have thought a lot about this and I wonder if we are now seeing the results of popularizing rubbish behaviour through television and social media (talk shows reality TV behaviours going viral etc.). I think it took way too long for the media to stop giving him press for his outrageous behaviour and by the time they did move him from the entertainment page to the front page (the 'are you kidding he really said that?' news) Trump had the winner momentum.”
Gallagher told the paper she’s embarrassed for her birth country and that it should be clear to everyone that Trump is not fit to be a political leader.
“Whatever political belief one holds and trust me I am a strong supporter of the democratic process that man is not and should not be leader and I would not vote for him even if I was Republican” Gallagher wrote. “The Republican party is so fractured and disorganized that it may not recover. It too waited too long to deal with Trump as a candidate. I am embarrassed for my birth country and I imagine that if Trump wins the United States will fall into that isolationism that dominated in the pre-war years. I also worry for my adopted country Canada. Actions of the U.S.A always impact us here. Perhaps we should build our own wall.”
Thom Lambert is originally from Indiana coming to Ontario from the Boston area. He’s been a permanent resident of Canada for the past 27 years.
Lambert believes Trump’s rise indicates that the de-intellectualization of America has reached a crucial point.
“Like most folks I am equally entertained and appalled by Trump’s success” he wrote. “My reaction really has nothing to do with him as a person – he is so obviously a buffoon – but the fact that average citizens could actually see him as a viable candidate. I think when a person like Trump actually resonates with folks that it speaks to how broken the American system is. What does it say about the U.S .in 2016? It says that the de-intellectualization of not just political life but private life has hit some kind of critical point. When presidential hopefuls can win huge support while promising things that are both unconstitutional and illegal it means that the dream of a well-educated populace capable of critical thinking that goes beyond personal gain is largely dead . . . at least amongst a certain sector of society. The U.S . seems to be descending into a state of personal selfishness where personal beliefs and preferences are seen as viable alternatives to societal good – previously unimaginable.”
Michael Fay grew up in Cincinnati Ohio and came to Canada from Pittsburgh in 1970. He worked on the 1968 presidential campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy in 1968.
“I am not surprised at all" Fay wrote of Trump’s lead in the Republican race. “The steady drift downward has characterized the U.S. political process turning it as pundits suggest into a reality television show.”
While neither Fay nor Gallagher nor Lambert vote in American elections “If I thought Trump had a prayer at becoming president I would change my mind about voting” Lambert wrote.