In his dogged pursuit of the presidency, Donald Trump has turned the 2016 race for the White House into the most canine election ever. Trump has a strange obsession with man’s best friend, which pops up frequently in bizarrely hostile metaphors.
The use of canine insults by Trump and his supporters shouldn’t be dismissed as just juvenile behavior. It actually offers a revealing glimpse into Trump’s worldview. Trump practices dominance politics.
Trump’s barking-mad rhetoric served him well in the primaries, where he was able to get the GOP base to join his howls. But Trump’s strident language is likely to hurt him in the general election, where the broader electorate is likely to see him not as the leader of the pack but as a mad dog on the loose. Trump’s harsh view of humankind, expressed through his dog metaphors, helps to explain why his campaign is so short on vision and uplift, and so long on vitriol.
The real question for the election is whether America believes, as Trump does, that we live in a “dog-eat-dog” world—or whether, perhaps, Hillary Clinton can help create a more generous world, where “every dog has its day.”
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