Prime Minister David Cameron—Trump’s would-be partner in the special relationship, and a conservative—considers Trump “divisive, stupid and wrong.” George Osborne, chancellor of the Exchequer, decries Trump’s “nonsense.” Not to be outdone, London Mayor Boris Johnson recently noted, “The only reason I wouldn’t want to go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.” It was perhaps Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling who put it best when she said that, compared with Trump, “Voldemort was nowhere near as bad.” At least 500,000 other Brits appear to agree: In response to Trump’s call to ban any Muslim from entering the United States, they signed a petition calling to ban Trump from Britain.
For a long time, most foreign observers have confidently expected the Trump bubble to burst. Sure, he might be a blowhard, and sure, he might do well in early polls, when name-recognition is a candidate’s most valuable attribute. But, come the choosing time, everything would be different, we told ourselves. The fever would break, and the American people would, as they usually do, choose wisely. Or if not wisely, then at least not stupidly.
Those predictions may still prove sensible, but they’ve taken a battering as severe as anything seen in the stock markets of late. The choosing time is almost upon you, and you still—I am afraid there is no soft way of saying this—appear to be out of your minds. Or, at least, according to the polls, a plurality of those Republicans preparing to vote in Iowa and New Hampshire appear to have departed from the planet of sanity.