So first off I'm not american, I have no skin in the game so to speak. Every 4 or so years the US elections are always interesting given the high stakes and the passion most Americans appear to feel for their chosen candidates.
When George Bush was elected I think the reaction from Europeans was surprise, but that was just because he leaned far more to the right than most of our politicians at home. It was surprise that someone could win with those ideologies but of course America isn't Europe and I'm sure lots that happens here seems weird to other nations.
What is really hard to understand is why anyone paying attention would vote for Trump. He seems to be unclear on most of his plans, and those that he is clear on appear to be really hard on lower income families while benefiting the already wealthy. When you throw in all of the legal threats, treatment of those in the media, incitement of groups to violence etc on top of what should be unpopular policies then its pretty surprising that he has any support at all.
Now I get that, on some level, voters can rationalize away minor issues and get behind a strong leader with a big following but how does anyone justify voting for someone that can do this:
If you're a member of a formerly majority group who is disenfranchised by a crappy economy and shrinking middle class.... (in other words - you're white person who's parents may have had it better than you do) and you're mad as hell about it...
and you want to blame people with skin that is shades of brown darker than yours...
and you want to be able to "speak your mind" without repercussions (in other words say racists and misogynist things without being called out for it)...
and you want to blame politicians who seem to have buggered everything up...
and you're not educated enough to know any better...
and you don't understand what the office of the presidency is REALLY about...
and there's a dude yelling:
IT'S OKAY TO BE MAD! I'M MAD TOO!
IT'S OKAY TO DEMEAN WOMEN! I'VE BEEN DOING IT FOR YEARS!
IT'S OKAY TO HATE ALL "MEXICANS" (even though he means all people of latin decent, and likely all people of skin browner than his)
I'VE GOT A GREAT PLAN
I'VE GOT YOOGE PLANS.
I'm not saying I like it... but there's a YOOGE population of people who are just. that. dumb.