Up like Donald Trump: from Towers to Walls. United States’ primary election campaigns.

The US is currently witnessing ongoing primary campaigns for presidential candidates of 2016. Donald Trump is running from the Republican party – an eccentric businessman, who earned billions on real estate, author of the best selling business book “The Art of the Deal,” head of the Trump Organization, popular media person and host of The Apprentice show, and the only candidate financing his own political campaign.  Trump wants to “make America great again. ”

He finds the main problem to be in illegal immigration and promises to solve it with a wall. (Author’s note: the idea of building walls to stop the flow of migrants is spreading around the world – Hungary’s Viktor Orban is already building one on the border with Serbia). Trump suspects Mexican authorities of sending the most problematic people to the US and expresses intention to deport migrants because of them “bringing drugs, bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.” Donald Trump on twitter: “We MUST have strong borders and stop illegal immigration. Without that we do not have a country.”

wsj: In recent years, we have seen a new type of Patriot King: the tycoon. ILLUSTRATION: JOE CIARDIELLO

wsj: In recent years, we have seen a new type of Patriot King: the tycoon. ILLUSTRATION: JOE CIARDIELLO

US media recently made a tremendous deal of noise on the iconic Trump headpiece, the “Make America Great Again Hat.” His camaigning baseball cap was actually made available at www.donaldjtrump.com for $25, but apparently sold out within the first two hours. Donald Trump was also the most searched google candidate in virtually every state of the country.  The Wall Street Journal presented a tremendous variety of articles  on Donald Trump, with topics ranging from Trump’s immigration policy to him serving on jury duty. In many cases, the candidate’s own quotes served as headlines for pieces like “Trump: Rivals are ‘Totally Controlled’ by Donors” and “Trump: Bergdahl a ‘Dirty, Rotten Traitor.’” A life essay entitled “Donald Trump’s New Version of an Old Political Fantasy” entertained the idea of the presidential candidate being “just the latest incarnation of the ‘Patriot King,’ the hero swooping in from outside to save our broken politics.” 

Donald Trump arrived by helicopter at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Saturday. His campaign later offered children rides on the chopper. Photo:Eric Thayer for The New York Times

Donald Trump arrived by helicopter at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Saturday. His campaign later offered children rides on the chopper.
Photo:Eric Thayer for The New York Times

The New York Times also produced massive quantities of Trump-related content in the month of August. The more recent headlines included Trump in the context of the Republican party and competitor Jeb Bush. In the opinion pages, the Editorial Board declared that “G.O.P. Candidates Follow Trump to the Bottom on Immigration,” recounting that Mr. Trump “has offered a plan to ‘take back our country’ from what he calls the rapist-murderer-job stealers being exported from Mexico.” Another article suggested that, through continued discourse on immigration policy, “Donald Trump Paints Republicans Into Corner With Hispanics.” The authors quickly point out that failure to appease the demographic has already proven catastrophic to Republicans in the previous general election.  Vice  was no less critical of Trump, as coverage of his campaign remained heavily imbued in sarcasm. Discourse regarding the candidate’s views on illegal immigration was approached in “What Mexican Criminals Think About Donald Trump,” as the Vice crew reached out to groups like

“first-generation Mexican-American drug dealers with intimate knowledge of the border.”

In its distinct style, the piece did touch on the more serious considerations of cases “where women have been raped coming into the United States illegally, and…  that many illegal immigrants are involved into the drug trade.”

Russian media doesn’t employ sarcasms as much as the American media on this topic. It is mostly concerned about Trump’s position regarding Russia. Official vesti.ru has the most of articles and videos on Trump compared to other news outlets.  It emphasises that Trump plans to get along with Putin and doesn’t like that relations deteriorated following the crisis in Ukraine. vesti.ru quotes Trump’s interview with NBC on Ukraine’s accession to NATO:

“I wouldn’t care. If [Ukraine] goes in, great. If it doesn’t go in, great.”

 meduza.io and slon.ru produced a few articles on Trump’s candidacy and the migrant question. slon.ru summarises the commentators’ discussion on Quora: “Why Americans are stupid?”. One of the opinions is that

“Americans are considered to be stupid because of the US foreign policy, George Bush Jr. and Donald Trump.”

In German media all channels share the opinion that Trump has no real chances and will lose to other Republican candidates. Articles from tagesschau.de focus on the sexist comments towards a journalist in the TV debate. A headline from Süddeutsche Zeitung saysSold out; How dangerous is populism in politics?” It quotes the German satire magazine “Titanic” on the kind of Americans that support Trump:

“Readers that like Trump also like ferrets that have been beaten with the wooden hammer on the head, ‘political discussions’ on Twitter that are carried out with the wooden hammer, sex with wooden hammers, wooden hammer stocks from regions that have been haunted by termites.”  

Spiegel.de doesn’t take Trump seriously. He is called a “real estate tycoon” and “ex-star of the trash TV show ‘The Apprentice’.”

„Reuters“/„Scanpix“ nuotr./Donaldas Trumpas pats nebankrutavo, bet tai padarė keturi jo įkurti verslai

„Reuters“/„Scanpix“ nuotr./Donaldas Trumpas

Lithuanian media portrays Donald Trump in a rather negative light and often uses colorful vocabulary to describe him: reality show veteran, plainspoken and boorish, showy businessman, scandalous, scathing, eccentric businessman. On the other hand, Donald Trump is the only candidate that receives so much attention in Lithuanian media. Headlines from Lietuvos Rytas: “Three Trump’s wives: how does it feel to be a billionaire’s wife?” “D. Trump in the epicenter of the first debates,” “D. Trump: illegal immigrants have to leave,” “D. Trump: I would get on very well with Putin.” Not a single picture depicting Trump in a reserved posture of a conventional politician has been detected in Lithuanian media.

Estonian media finds Trump as a blunt, rich, know-it-all who doesn’t care about rules and ridicules traditional politicians. His resemblance to some far-right politicians in Europe is also stressed. Delfi.ee:

“He [Trump] is loud, rad and dumb in many spheres. Moreover, he looks simply absurd with his hair combed back,” “Trump is a part of a wider phenomenon in the democratic world… Unsatisfied voters have started to love political entertainers and clowns.”

ERR writes that:

“Trump is actually a much more moderate person… He needs to seem radical for his image” and “the reason why Donald Trump runs for the presidency is to strengthen the Trump brand, which is important for his business.”

Just Russia takes Trump entirely seriously among the observed countries. His party affiliation and political positions are totally opposed to those of  the current president – especially when it comes to the question of illegal immigration. But Donald Trump’s  budget for financing his own political campaign allows him a tremendous amount of space to maneuver. In the end, the primaries will truly show if Americans can embrace the idea of Trump as a presidential candidate.


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