After his decisive triumph over Sen. Ted Cruz in Indiana on Tuesday, Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee in this year’s presidential election. And the rest of the world is aghast at the brash mogul’s rise.
“The specter of a contested convention fell away and the Republican primary was a one-man show,” wrote Guardian columnist Lucia Graves. “A big, orange, frightening one-man show.”
The new reality is still sinking in.
“So this Wednesday morning, Europe wakes up to Donald Trump across the Atlantic as the presumptive Republican nominee,” wrote the left-of-center French daily Liberation, as cited by a comprehensive BBC roundup of the European press. “A man who many considered just a few months ago as a clown. Many voters vote Trump precisely because he has no political experience and has never held elected office.”
Contemplating the “craziest U.S. presidential election campaign” that awaits, Germany’s conservative Die Welt declared “the unthinkable has come to pass.”
The respected German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung described Trump’s ascension as part of a “historic election marked by an element of madness.”
That theme proliferated elsewhere. “From a farcical act, it became a party revolt, and it finished last night with a Republican power grab,” noted the liberal Dutch newspaper NRC. It said Cruz attempted to play the savior of the conservative cause, wooing religious support, but failed.
Instead, “Republicans, as the People of Israel, worshiped the Golden Calf,” the newspaper wrote.
An article in the Hindu, a leading Indian daily, summed up what has come to pass: “Entering politics 10 months ago, Mr. Trump, whose business practices may be questionable but has unbeatable showmanship, ran a campaign that upended the Republican Party and outraged the American liberal conscience in his march to victory.”
In China, which has watched Trump’s campaign with a degree of mirth, state and private media played up the extreme dimensions of the election.
“American people say that if Trump becomes president, democracy will be finished,” reported Phoenix News.
“Americans are beginning to hate the political elite as voters gamble by betting on Trump,” the provocative state-controlled Global Times wrote. “Voters are willing to gamble on the future of the United States, and let the outsider and political madman race on.”
An editorial in Mexico’s El Universal weighed the prospect of Trump’s presidential campaign. From the outset, the Republican front-runner has heaped criticism on the United States’ neighbor to the south, demonizing Mexican immigrants while promising to build a vast wall along the country’s desert border.
“Many Mexicans might be stunned by the success of a man who has said so many absurd things — from the mad idea of building a wall on the border with Mexico and making this country pay for it, to the concept that global warming was invented by the Chinese to hurt the competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector,” the editorial noted. “Nonetheless, just as in Mexico people are tired of traditional politicians, the same thing is occurring in the United States. Being distant from the ‘establishment,’ the political elites in Washington, is in itself a virtue that is more important than other defects.”
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