Donald Trump’s 75-minute authoritarian rant at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention sent chills through millions in the US and across the globe. Newspapers across the world were quick to condemn Trump’s rhetoric and attack him in ways never seen before.
The Washington Post, which Trump has consistently criticized, took the radical step of preemptively refusing to endorse him. In a scathing editorial, the Post called Trump ‘a unique threat to American democracy’. The editorial condemns Trump’s ‘contempt for the Constitution’ and concludes in Tom Clancy-like language, calling him ‘a unique and present danger’.
The UK’s Guardian newspaper called Trump ‘a madman‘, claiming the GOP had ‘driven itself insane’. Comparing Trump to Richard Nixon in 1968, the newspaper recalled Norman Mailer’s insightful analysis of the American right that seems to prescient now. In a bleak assessment of the state of the union, The Guardian contrasted today’s tensions with 1940s Colombia – just before a brutal civil war.
Ireland’s main broadsheet newspaper branded Trump a ‘snake oil salesman‘ who had ‘hijacked’ the Republican Party but struck a more upbeat tone, hoping Trump would alienate moderate Republicans and help to recreate the GOP as a more centrist party. Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine simply called Trump a liar and offered a dry fact check in the most German way possible.
Back in the US, The New York Times hasn’t yet gone as far as the Post, but points out that Trump’s claims to unify the party are already undermined by his attacks on Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Trump plans to set up a super PAC with his own money to destroy Cruz and Kasich’s political careers. This vindictive move is similar to Trump’s proposal to ‘purge’ government employees if he becomes president, echoing what is now happening in Turkey.
The moderate and left-leaning media will continue to attack Trump, highlight his lies and criticize his dangerous policies but that will have no effect on is core vote. The desperation of The Washington Post editorial shows just how worried many news outlets and editorial boards are about Trump.