Can nothing stop Donald Trump? On his journey to securing the Republican party nomination for the next President of the United States, he has been plagued by never-ending waves of negative publicity; the level of which would sink any other candidate with ease. Now, his messages of anger and words of condemnation against various minority groups have inspired a series of volatile and often violent incidents at his rallies. Yet his poll numbers and victories throughout the primary season keep escalating. The new documentary short titled The Fire Breather, produced by CBC News as part of their acclaimed The Fifth Estate series, takes a biased, but thoughtful look behind this unprecedented phenomenon.
From the start of his campaign Trump was severely underestimated by officials and pundits in the establishment, many of whom are still reeling from the extent to which his message has resonated with voters across the country.
With insights from several interview subjects, including esteemed NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw and Rolling Stone political writer Matt Taibbi, the film attempts to identify the core of Trump's appeal. His first asset is his celebrity. He is already a familiar face to many tens of millions of Americans, and his reality television experience makes him ideally suited to the increasingly surreal and vapid political circus. His most valuable distinction, however, is his ability to tap into the fears and anger of the nation's disenfranchised; the citizens who feel powerless over financial constraints and the growing threat of terror.
The film contends that Trump's rhetoric has inflamed widespread support of racial and religious intolerance among those who are most susceptible to his message. This is apparent in his expressed views on immigration reform, his encouragement of civil disobedience during public events, and his call to impose a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. As despicable or offensive as these tactics might appear to Trump's detractors, there's no doubt in their effectiveness in the modern political arena. The Fire Breather peels back the curtain to reveal the inner workings of an outsider who has outplayed even the most deeply embedded political elites.