The starting premise is that this is not rational - to have effectively a joke candidate be taken seriously by the electorate at all, never mind for this long. If you think it is rational then maybe start another thread.
In a conventional, mature democracy the rise of people like Trump does not happen. So what has happened in the USA?
Initially I was inclined to think Trump represented a form of protest vote - despite having policies the electorate was attracted on that single protesting issue, but it seems to be more than that.
Does the cause goes beyond dissatisfaction and into the realm of dysfunction, social, politics or both?
On my superficial grasp of US politics it’s almost as if all those recent years of GOP/Fox buffoonery over Obama - from Kenya to the new Supreme - have come back to haunt the national party. Is being infantile now normal in US politics?
I also have a sense, based on little other than the European experience, that there has to be consequences if media is allowed to persist without boundaries; if left to the free market it must inevitably become right wing, and if is allowed to operate without regulation t will become radically right wing.
IN US terms, the obligation (certainly in the UK) to balanced reporting is, I believe, against free speech provisions in the constitution.
Or maybe the dysfunction lays in the need for so much money to even think of becoming a politician in the US.
I don’t know, but this situation is very wrong. I’m curious as to how it came to be?