"I don't think he's half as dumb as people think he is" - David McWilliams on Donald Trump

The economist told Pat Kenny that Trump is not just a unique character, but 'emblematic of a movement'

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David McWilliams. Image: RollingNews.ie

Ireland has been warned to prepare for Donald Trump becoming the next President of the United States.

Economist David McWilliams says the Republican hopeful stands a real chance of beating his likely Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

David has described Mr Trump as a 'frat kid' with a 'rich daddy' who has managed to convince people that "he's one of their own, he's a decent guy".

However, the economist claims the presumptive Republican candidate has figured out how to win the Presidential election in November.

"Trump has realised that American elections are show business, and it's like reality TV," David explained on Pat Kenny. "He has figured this out, and I don't think he's half as dumb as people think he is".

He said that in Trump's efforts to win the election, the businessman will likely "deploy language and insult, and frankly probably just tell lies about people - but all the time to ensure that 'me, Trump, I am the news'".

McWilliams says we should all be entertaining the notion of 'President Trump'.

"We in Ireland, rather than dismiss him, we've got to say 'hold on, this guy could be in the White House'," he suggested.

David argued that the rise of Trump is representative of the rise in radicalised politics seen around the world.

"Trump is basically is basically zeroing in on people's fears, but also their aspirations and their view - which is never articulated outside pubs, taxis and the privacy of people's homes - [that] 'the elite doesn't really speak for me'", he said.

"Trump is not just a unique character. He is emblematic of a movement - you can see it in Britain with the Brexit movement, you can see it in France with Le Pen, you can see it in Ireland arguably with all sorts of independents and single-issue candidates. There's a movement away from establishment politics, and Trump represents from what I can see is a new style of demagogue politics".

David also offered some thoughts on what a Trump presidency would be like in action.

"If you start by looking down your nose at the United States, or America under Trump, then I think what will happen is it will inflame American opinion even more," he observed.

"I could see Trump making weird alliances with people that the US would not typically get into bed with... They would have to deal with the fact that China is becoming a superpower, and they just have to get used to it".

David added: "A Trump presidency, if it were to happen - I don't think it will, but you've got to entertain it given the momentum he has - would look very different to a Trump electoral campaign".