Donald Trump painted himself as the victim of an establishment conspiracy as he rejected fresh allegations that he had made unwelcome sexual advances towards women, slamming the media for producing them in cahoots with Hillary Clinton.In a fiery campaign speech filled with sweeping indictments of his perceived enemies, Mr Trump sought to use the furore over his alleged conduct to make the case to supporters that he was being mistreated by the elite just as they had been.
Brass neck he lacks not! However, incredible though it is Mr Trump’s candidacy does have one area of credibility. It speaks to the level of alienation from their political system of large numbers of Americans. It is a supreme irony that a billionaire has articulated the intuition of many citizens that America has the best democracy money can buy – and it has been bought from under them.
Whilst the election of Trump would have been a global disaster, the result of this election can only be, at best, least worst. Whilst the growing evidence of his lack of personal integrity may be pushing some supporters away it is only going to reinforce their frustration with a political system that does not seem capable of responding to their needs. The space remains for a more credible demagogue with all the risks that that entails. It is probably the case that western democracy is more at risk than it has been since before the second world war. These are frightening times.