It’s so easy to fall into the ad hominem slope with Donald Trump, and so many have already nailed him into place, that it seems pointless to add insult to injury (it’s funny that we’re not hearing much from Daddy Yankee about this... oh, never mind). So rather than to pummel Donald Trump repeatedly with my keyboard, I feel inclined to thank him for uniting Latinos worldwide behind a single cause: to clear our name from slander.
It still seems quite bizarre that, in a country where there are more than 50 million Hispanics (64% of which have Mexican backgrounds), somebody would perpetrate such a clichéd faux-pas in the midst of a presidential election, then insist on such obtuse opinions when they are so evidently guaranteeing the candidate’s defeat, if not his demise from politics. Who would commit such a social suicide? When there is so much money at stake, it is difficult to fathom that this was not somehow planned and slyly orchestrated in the dark.
If so, with what purpose? We have heard of sports teams being paid to lose, as is being elucidated with the recent FIFA scandals, and dummy political candidates are far from being uncommon – still it remains unclear who would benefit from such a montage. Trump has always been controversial and has elicited much ranting, yet never as disastrously as now. The geopolitical status of the Americas has been shifting ever more drastically, might this be part of it?
Also campaigning are the household names of Bush and Clinton, almost a flashback from the 90s, displaying a false stability; yet the recent thaw of Cuban-American relations, the socialist crisis experienced by countries such as Venezuela or Chile, and the growing radicalization of conflicts in Mexico and Colombia (being key geopolitical areas) signal a new routing for power, although not necessarily a shift in power itself. The worldwide web, the collapse of Europe and the expansion of fanatical ideologies set the scene for frightening results.
Trump is an unabashedly classic capitalist: his fortune was made the old way, whereas new generations have harvested immense wealth by new means and with new mindsets stemming from technological advance and ecological consciousness. What use can his xenophobic commentaries have in the age of information, if not precisely to distract? Could it be that he is being made to represent a political prehistory that must be transcended, is it a liberal plan to undermine conservatism? If such, the whole episode could be regarded as a rather elaborate set of scare tactics to evict the far right from power.
What does seem more likely is that the two main candidates, the household names, have looked into disrupting the weight of a third, independent line of thought in a vintage two-party monopoly, and have used Trump to attract voters to the usual sides. Right-wing voters might now feel inclined to choose Jeb Bush, a perceived moderate with a Mexican family. And possibly Latinos, traditionally more inclined to cast the Democratic vote, will be generally less scared to vote Republican for the same reasons. In any case, many foresee the focus of the election eventually being shifted away from Trump, and he is not overall expected to win.
Increasingly, new-coming parties worldwide have been obtaining surprising results in recent elections. More and more often, these new parties have shattered all polls and predictions and have established themselves firmly in their national arenas, as is the case with the Spanish party Podemos. The Bushes and the Clintons must have been made aware of the impending weakening of their traditional power structures and are willing to lessen the possibility of such an alternative actually appearing in the United States. Trump, a man with no sense of ridicule, was the right man for the job.
The danger is that he seems to be on a roll, as he is currently topping trends and casting a shadow on his opponents with his Make America Great Again campaign. If that happens, it will show that hillbilly racism is rampant in America and that many communities who live and work there are being exposed to mass marginalization and persecution, as could be clearly seen in the Ferguson troubles. After what has been perceived as a disastrous second term for Obama domestically, conservative groups in the country might just be getting the adequate momentum to gain power. If so, Trump’s gesture might have been no faux-pas at all, but an effective rallying call for conservatives.
As it stands, the incident has had amazing resonance across the world, beyond Hispanic countries and communities, and has elicited admirable responses, some comical, some derogatory (as my own, pictured above) and many, equally inflammatory. In a time in which Hispanics trouble to find a peaceful common identity, amidst an undisclosed exodus that is (mainly) the fault of the USA's foreign policies, it is refreshing to find solidarity among people who are typically at odds with each other. In a time when racism within the USA seems to be thriving, fueled by Bible-wielding creationists, this is a message of hope that cannot be neglected. For once, Daddy Yankee and I could have agreed.
So thank you, Donald. And fuck you.