Perhaps it’s not so surprising. The sleazebag is even attracting born-again Christians. If people believe the other options are worse for them, they go with what’s left. Whatever they feel about Trump’s all-round odiousness, the temptation to reject the man’s conventional and establishment enemies is too great to resist. This is a backlash against donors and insiders and being taken for granted – there are people backing Trump on the assumption that Bernie Sanders won’t be on the ballot. Trump is a symptom, not a cause, of what is happening. It is possible to envisage a better nation after voters give entrenched elites a good kicking.
Contrast that with Xi Jinping. Xi is deliberately steering China towards greater authoritarianism, harshness, intolerance and ignorance. He isn’t fortuitously swept up by or opportunistically exploiting public disgust at a corrupt and bankrupt economic structure. He’s actively, ruthlessly suppressing it – doing whatever it takes to preserve the rotten kleptocracy and keep himself on top. No-one knows how this ends, but the long-term flow of Mainland wealth and family members to havens like the US isn’t petering out.
I declare the weekend open with inspiring and entertaining insight into just one angle of this overall theme: how China’s censorship and propaganda machine would have grappled with Godzilla.