The brash antics of Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump have earned him a comparison to a male chimpanzee by renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall.
Known for her decades-long study of chimpanzee social and family life, Goodall made the comments in the October issue of The Atlantic for a story about the upcoming debates pitting Trump against his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” Goodall said in an interview shortly before Trump clinched the GOP nomination.
“In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks,” she said. “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.”
Goodall said that as she watched the debates, she would be thinking of Mike, a chimpanzee she studied who maintained his dominance by kicking a series of kerosene cans ahead of him as he moved down a road, creating noise that alarmed and scared off his rivals.
The first debate is scheduled for Sept. 26.
Trump’s unorthodox style dominated headlines during the Republican primary debates, where he referred to rivals by insulting nicknames, tangled with moderators and even boasted about the size of his genitals.
Trump continued his fiery, anything-goes style of campaigning Saturday, bashing former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates over a scathing editorial by former defense chief in the Wall Street Journal.
In the commentary, Gates called Trump “unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief,” citing the GOP nominee’s lack of security chops.
“At least on national security, I believe Mr. Trump is beyond repair,” Gates wrote. “He is stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform. He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief.”
Trump swiped back at Gates at a rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, suggesting that Gates “probably has a problem we don’t know about,” calling the former defense secretary “a nasty guy” and “an absolute clown.”
Gates said in the editorial that the next U.S. leader would face an inscrutable task in figuring out the best way forward with Beijing, saying “every aspect of our relationship with China is becoming more challenging.”
While effectively giving Clinton a wary endorsement, the former defense chief said neither candidate had done much to inspire confidence on the China issue.
“China’s nationalist determination unilaterally to assert sovereignty over disputed waters and islands in the East and South China Seas is steadily increasing the risk of military confrontation,” Gates wrote. “Most worrying, given their historic bad blood, escalation of a confrontation between China and Japan could be very dangerous. As a treaty partner of Japan, we would be obligated to help Tokyo.”
Trump has ripped into U.S. ally Japan, saying last month that if the U.S. is attacked, Washington must defend the country but the Japanese “can sit home and watch Sony television.”
The Republican nominee said in March that the U.S. would not maintain military bases abroad unless allies such as Japan and South Korea coughed up more money to retain them.
The Republican nominee also suggested that Japan might be “better off” with its own atomic weapons, and that he would consider, as president, ending the U.S. defense commitment to Japan and encouraging them to “go nuclear.”
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