I’m dying for an update from you on Donald Trump.  Last summer you called him “not a president” and a “carnival barker.” Do you still feel the same? If you loved Trump, would Salon even let you proclaim it? I mean, they’re kind of as liberal as they come, no?

Why can’t there be a party that is basically Republican, but minus the religion, minus the legislating of morality, and that cares about climate change/overpopulation? Could Trump be that guy?

Christie Cooley Randolph
Santa Rosa, CA

Well, Trump may still be a carnival barker, but he’s looking more and more like a president!  Along with most media pundits in the Northeast, I found it improbable if not impossible that Trump could survive his klutz-o-rama cascade of foot-in-mouth flubs, from carelessly categorizing Mexican immigrants as rapists to hallucinating about “thousands’ of Muslims cheering the fall of the twin towers from the mean streets of New Jersey.  Surely he would soon implode and pouf into fairy dust!

But only a few weeks after that interview of mine in Salon, I suddenly realized that Trump’s candidacy had a broad support that few had expected or discerned.  The agent of my revelation was a hilariously scathing, viral Web blog video posted by Diamond and Silk–Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, two African-American sisters and former Democrats in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  They were reacting with indignant outrage to the first GOP debate, broadcast by Fox News from Cleveland on August 6 and hosted by Megyn Kelly, whose loaded questions had impugned Trump as a sexist.

If Trump wins the White House, that no-holds-barred video will go down in history as “the shot heard round the world,” Ralph Waldo Emerson’s phrase for the first salvo of the American Revolution by rural insurgents at Concord.  The video signaled a popular uprising and furious pushback against the major media and political elites, who had controlled the national agenda and messaging for far too long.  Diamond and Silk threw zinger after zinger in defending Trump:  “Here’s the damn deal, Megyn Kelly—or Kelly Megyn, whatever your name is!…. Go back and report news on Sesame Street!…You hit below the belt, Kelly!…He was the only one up there on that stage with any common sense!… He’s going to be the next president, whether you like it or not.  Get used to it, girl!  Get used to it!”

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