If aliens came to earth, they would probably be surprised at how xenophobic we are of our own kind and how determined we are to trash our home planet. Following events stateside with a mixture of exasperation and trepidation, with four days to go, the vote is too close to call. How has it come to this? The Donald has been described by one of Britain's own political facepalms as a silverback gorilla. And in the way that even a broken clock is right sometimes, perhaps he is on to something.
At the most basic level, silverbacks lead because they are bigger than other males and have the most distinctive markings, so they are the easiest tribal member to see and follow.
Silverback leaders, because of their size, usually have greater access to food and sexual partners than other males in the group. They are in this sense “wealthier” than the males who compete with them. Even their dung deposits are bigger than those of their followers.
The silverback always appears supremely self-confident. He never displays fear, but he may exaggerate the extent to which outside forces pose a threat to the group in order to present himself as totally courageous.
Followers show great deference to the silverback, often gathering around him and bowing and making guttural noises or otherwise displaying willing submission to him.
Silverbacks roar when under stress and they may make false charges and short lunges to wrong foot opponents. If challenged, a silverback will hoot and scream, beat his chest and bare his teeth.
What can we learn from this? Please, America, for the love of all that is holy, please don't elect a silverback gorilla as President.