As of late I’ve been wondering how a man like Donald Trump is suddenly a candidate for American presidency. Trump appears in the news almost every day- his sensationalism and coverage shows in the polls. (A possible causation?) We consume this media that may be boring or repetitive but is critical for making intelligent political choices.
This entry is in light of Trump’s recent successes in the #SuperTuesday results & throwing out some general thoughts on Trump’s campaign.
Trump appeals to the “silent majority.” Working class, white Americans. They see Trump as what they can achieve- and a means to achieve it. Trump is often portrayed as your “American success story” archetype: born in a middle class family, living a “normal” life until striking it big in the world of business and real estate. However, this is far from reality. Trump was born in New York to a wealthy real estate agent, and naturally gained control of his father’s company. The idea that he will create that same opportunity for the silent majority is almost insane. “Success breeds opportunity, and opportunity breeds success.” The opposite can also be said. This comes into Trump’s equation. But not the equation for Americans. There’s a reason Trump supporters say his “saying what we are all thinking” bigotry is also appealing. They want permission for it. Some want bigotry…I don’t even think economics come into it at all!
The rhetoric in American politics isn’t really understood anymore. It seems like people think rhetoric and hype = plans, actions and solutions. It doesn’t. US politics has always had this aspect, but people were more critical about it. Trump’s plans rest on “I’ll just do it” rhetoric, which is appealing to people who don’t know how governments actually work (see education problem). “I’d just do it” isn’t a solution. Especially when “do it” means what Trump means. (People also think yelling the word “salad” or chanting “turn the lights off” is being “real” instead of crazy.)
Some Positive Thoughts…
A positive point to Trump’s campaign is the fact he is 100% financing his own campaign. He’s free to expose political corruption, campaign finance laws, special interests and lobbyists. He co-opts political language and employs it to such a stupid and shameless degree the emptiness is laid bare. He can also be the one to strip the last layer of credibility in the system.
You can dislike Clinton’s politics, attitude, past, whatever. But, she is not going to, for instance, try and build a wall between the US and Mexico. (But that doesn’t dismiss the track of destabilizing Libya.) You can’t ignore Clinton’s previous actions as Secretary of State, just like you can’t ignore Trump’s hate speech or racism. Don’t hide behind identity politics. But also don’t fall towards conformation bias and sensationalism. Educate yourself on all the nominees!
But I digress. It ain’t over till it’s over. Bernie is still solid and constantly outperforming predictions. We’re looking forward to a long drawn out slugfest like when Obama took it. Obama was trailing Clinton until May, so America, try to make actual change happen.