News World Trump’s ‘chimp-like’ antics behind success: primatologist

Trump’s ‘chimp-like’ antics behind success: primatologist

Jane Goodall on Trump
Jane Goodall sees Trump as a real chest-beater. Photo: AAP
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US presidential nominee Donald Trump’s boastful and outspoken debating style is oddly familiar to renowned British primatologist Dame Jane Goodall.

Mr Trump has dominated headlines throughout the US election campaign, and it owes more to his monkey-like antics than political strategy, Dame Jane says.

donald trump African-American vote
Shouting from the tree-tops: Trump in action. Photo: Getty

A recent analysis published in The Atlantic included Dame Jane among a number of “intellectual and emotional” experts who were asked to explain Mr Trump’s successful campaign thus far.

Drawing on her years of research into the social interactions of chimpanzees in Africa, she suggested it might have had something to do with his “vigorous” and “imaginative” attempts to assert dominance.

“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” she said.

“In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks.

“The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”

Mr Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton are set to go head-to-head in the first presidential debate on September 26.

Speculation is rife among both Republicans and Democrats as to how their nominees will perform, with Mr Trump’s penchant for confrontation and Mrs Clinton’s recent pneumonia diagnosis.

As for Dame Jane, she said she would be thinking of one of her research subjects “Mike” as she watched the debate.

Mike was a chimp who Dame Jane wrote about in her book My Life With the Chimpanzees, who would kick around kerosene cans in order to intimidate rivals and maintain dominance within his troop.

During the Primaries, before gaining the Republican nomination, Mr Trump’s debates were marked by his penchant for giving his opponents belittling nicknames, while employing self-aggrandising rhetoric.

He called Florida senator Marco Rubio “Lil’ Marco”, and Texas senator Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted”, while repeatedly referring to former Florida governor Jeb Bush as “low-energy”.

Mr Trump made frequent references to his wealth and success, and at one point boasted he was physically ‘well-endowed’.

– with ABC

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