Don’t worry, no one really likes Donald Trump

April 15, 2016 Originally published on SFGate

You can be forgiven for the mistake.

After all, it’s hard to go a split second right now and not be blasted asunder by another soul-curdling headline screaming about Trump’s latest lead in the polls, or about the dumb violence erupting at his puerile monster-truck rallies, or about the angry yelps of the sort-of-disenfranchised working classes – a nervous, easily duped demographic that appears to have no clue whatsoever that their billionaire savior actually despises them and their non-billionaire loser lives far more than the rigged political system he claims to be upending.

But the fact is worthy of remembering: Trump is not at all liked, pretty much everywhere. He’s just sort of shockingly unpopular, and the disgust and distaste – stemming from here to Europe, from Japan to the remote jungles of New Guinea – varies only between “staggering distaste” and “get-me-off-this-planet revulsion,” and runs across all demographics, genders, political orientations, animal kingdoms, plant species.

To wit: Nate Silver’s ever-engaging FiveThirtyEight, just a couple months back, with ‘Donald Trump is really unpopular with general election voters.’ Or perhaps Jamie Bouie over at Slate, reminding you that Trump is lying again (surprise) when he says he’s converting working-class Democrats to his toxic views (he’s not, not by a longshot).

Or how about the LA Times, summing up Trump’s uncertain successes and ugly failures, by pointing out that it’s not merely that lots and lots of people dislike Trump. It’s that they do so with passion:

And the unfavorable views were expressed with vehemence. Two-thirds of nonpartisan voters, who are essential to any chance of success for a member of the Republican minority in California, had a “very unfavorable” view of Trump. Seventy-seven percent of Latinos, 74% of those under age 50, 67% of women, 61% of men, and more than 3 in 5 voters of all education and income ranks had a very negative view of him.

Trump: The other other other other other other white meat.

Put another way, it’s easy to note that Trump’s popularity with his vulgar, scared white male fanboy base is off the charts, and that this fact is partially reflected in overall polling, when the truth is that most Republicans are actually being forced to hold their noses and choose (if they must) between two of the worst possible candidates: the loudmouthed racist bully with the outsized media attention, or the slimy moral weasel that makes flowers whither.

(Verily, Ted Cruz is a man who, in any other election, would be a laughable ogre, but, when running against the King of the Trolls, looks almost reasonable, sort of like comparing nuclear annihilation to child porn. As the The Onion more aptly put it: “Ted Cruz Opens Up To Town Hall Audience About Early Days As Larva Feeding On Porcupine Carcass”)

Even eternally Hillary-loathing Forbes weighed in, comparing Trump’s shocking unfavorability to their very own, most favoritist Causer of All Woes, a woman who’s had decades of practice and years of experience convincing old white male conservatives that she’s the devil. (Caveat: It’s Zogby data, AKA “the worst pollster in the world,” so caveat emptor).

In their severely questionable example, Trump and Hillary match up all too well in terms of overall negative numbers. What’s missing, of course, is the tone, the aforementioned anti-Tump passion. After all, conservatives have casually demonized Hillary for decades. For them, hating on her is a form of religion, a mantra, a rich-white-male masturbatory fantasy, all in one. For the Right, loathing Hillary is as common and comfortable as a pair of sagging argyle socks. They’re not savvy enough to do anything else.

But even for Forbes – much like the vast majority of the educated voting populace – Trump evokes a rather different, and rather telling, reaction.

No mere dislike, this. No mere mistrust or well-trained ideological posturing. This is far more akin to going into shock, as when the body realizes it’s taken on a bizarre parasite or a terrible kind of garbage-can poison, and it begins to shudder and sweat, clench and recoil.

The brain short-circuits. Rarely used defenses spring into to action. Healthy systems shut down for their own protection. The purge mechanism is activated. Quite nearly the entire system, the entire country and even much of the planet as a whole, begin to heave and convulse, hoping to cook, eradicate, dislodge the nasty, tenacious invader.

Can it be done before the body suffers irreparable harm? Can Trump be vomited out before limbs atrophy, organs rot and the brain says “to hell with this, let’s move to France?” Only the Fates know for sure.

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Mark Morford

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