Paul Thomas

Americana columns

What Exactly Is Trump?

As we count down to a presidential election in which the rest of the world will feel it has even more of a stake and less of a say than usual, we wonder: what exactly is Trump?

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Disregarding the Truth Works for Candidates

His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one and, if you repeat it frequently enough, people will sooner or later believe it.

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Trump and being an ass

For the sake of argument let’s assume Donald Trump is, in American parlance, an asshole. So the question is: why is an asshole – and not just any old asshole but someone widely regarded as a gigantic asshole, one of the world’s biggest – holding a commanding poll lead…

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Sore Losers who Seethe with Rage

The leaders of America and Iran are talking to each other for the first time since 1979, but US domestic politics remain mired in communication breakdown.

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Santorum: A Word for all Sorts of Nastiness

You’d think that if you googled “santorum”, you’d be inundated with stuff about Rick Santorum, the US religious right’s flavour of the month now being touted as a serious contender to be the Republican Party’s candidate in this year’s presidential election. Well, yes and no.

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Mid Life Crisis in Land of the Free

Observing American politics these days is a bit like watching an old family friend go through a mid-life identity crisis: he’s dumped his wife for a pole-dancer, become a Buddhist, and got himself a tattoo and a ponytail.

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