Warning: Some adult themes and language in the video above.
John Oliver spent 22 minutes dismantling Donald Trump on Sunday night in a video that will surely warm the hearts of Trump opponents.
None of it is terribly unpredictable. Oliver basically takes on each of the most-cited reasons for voting for Trump and then offers counter-evidence. But I think Oliver really hit the nail on the head when he started explaining why none of his 22 minutes worth of material -- or any skeptical media coverage, really -- has done much to temper support for Trump.
Here's what he said:
"That may be because he has spent decades turning his own name into a brand synonymous with success and quality, and he's made himself the mascot for that brand -- like Ronald McDonald or Chef Boyardee," Oliver said. "And that is who we have seen in 'The Apprentice' or 'Wrestlemania' or 'Home Alone 2.'"
There's a lot of truth to this. Trump's brand is so ingrained in American culture -- thanks to his own efforts, I would stress -- that there is this backdrop against which his entire campaign has run. Trump's wealth and success started out as givens, and it has been up to Trump's opponents to disprove them.
Oliver continues: "But if he's actually going to be the Republican nominee it's time to stop thinking of the mascot, and start thinking of the man."
Call it a "mascot" or call it what you want, but Trump is symbolic of something many Americans find appealing, and until someone seriously calls into question the validity of his brand -- which I don't think has been accomplished, despite the bankruptcy stories, etc. -- his supporters will continue to give him the benefit of the doubt. Combine that with a healthy distrust of the mainstream media, and it's a recipe for Trump's Teflon.