3 Reasons Why Donald Trump's Gaining Popularity
Tuesday 15th December 2015 | T
Despite all the hype about Donald Trump and his controversial statements, the rise of the business mogul is actually unsurprising. Trump represents a controversial side of American politics, and in an era of fear, his outlandish statements are more appealing than ever. Feeding on the fears of the American people and the discontent with the current government, Trump is taking advantage of the political battleground in America.
1. He's feeding off the fear of the American people.
The most obvious example of this is with Trump’s statement last week about banning all Muslims from entering the United States, stating that the refugees could act as a ‘Trojan horse’ for radical islamists. With the increasing threats of ISIS some people are turning to Islamophobic views as a mechanism for keeping the United States ‘safe.’ Trump is really gaining support by exploiting these fears, and endorsing this racially-insensitive policy. Even though people initially saw him as the joke of the Republican Party, he’s rapidly gaining support in the polls from those voters looking for an alternative to the present political machine. The problem with this alterantive is that it greatly curtails the freedom of some individuals for the percieved safety of others. This contrasts the immigrant culture America was built upon and spoils its democratic name.
2. He's not Obama.
Another big reason he’s gaining support is that he represents the polar opposite of President Obama. At the end of the day, most politicians are the same, or at least seem to represent either a slightly more conservative or liberal side of political moderacy. For those voters who blame the current problems of the United States on Obama, Trump is an appealing alternative. Aside from the obvious differences, he represents everything Obama doesn't: he supports the right to bear arms, disagrees with Obamacare, is anti-refugee and anti-immigration. Unfortunately, this supporters fail to see that Obama is not the at fault for many percieved American problems. Obama inherited a messy political situation from the Bush administration, and governs over a tensely gridlocked Congress. Changing presidents does not mean a change in the political situation.
3. He represents 'change.'
However just like Obama did in 2008,Trump represents change. For all the angered voters, Trump’s views are a radical departure from the current system. He wants to replace Obamacare, cut taxes, reform the job market, and most controversially reform immigration policies and send millions back to Mexico, whilst blocking further immigration. Trump is promoting an economically and socially nationalistic view with the slogan ‘Make America Great Again,” which appeals to many voters dissatisfied with the current American system. However, it is everything but great. It promotes American supremism at the expense of others, and counters the progressive work of Obama in trying to help America retain the title of 'The Land of Opportunity.'
Trump’s controversialism is what is gaining him so many supporters, he’s appealing to those looking for something outside of the current political system. For now, this seems to be working. Just yesterday it was reported that in a Monmouth University Poll, Trump earned 41% of the votes from Republicans or conservative-leaning independents.Whether or not this support is enough to get him elected is uncertain. What is certain is that American voters need to seriously consider whether or not they want an Islamophobic, insensitive, business tycoon as the face of American democracy.