Donald Trump has taken the nation by storm with his crass, apolitical style. Despite all of his racist and ignorant statements, he is continually gaining support. Why is this happening?
The Republican Party is broken. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are both the most popular and the anti-establishment presidential candidates in the Republican Party. Trump has founded his campaign on his ability to “make America great again” because, he claims, “We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning.” He and Ted Cruz demonstrate the conservative backlash to President Obama’s socially liberal agenda, including the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of gay marriage. The problem here is that it is nearly impossible to undo liberal social reform. In the most recent polls, Cruz and Trump both are projected to lose to Clinton and Sanders in a general election because the American people, for the most part, are moving on. A minority of the population is supporting social conservatives, and Republicans are losing most independents as a result.
There are some plausible explanations as to why Trump has gained so much support. Trump may truly represent the voices of many Republicans, even considering his constant personal attacks and racist comments. However, it is hard to imagine why people are willing to support him during a time of socially liberal changes.
There is another possibility. Despite all of the negative aspects of Donald Trump, he may be supported because he hates the establishment and harvests hatred to generate more support. Washington has been ineffective, largely due to stubborn Republicans, which is ironic since they are the ones upset about this issue. If this is the problem, it is the responsibility of the citizens to hold their representatives more accountable for certain issues and become more actively engaged with current events. Even if this is not the reason Trump has received so much support, it is important for U.S. citizens to hold their representatives accountable by going to the polls and actively participating in political events. I tend to subscribe to this explanation because it captures his campaign slogan well and makes intuitive sense. Everyone should participate in political events from all points of view and register to vote so representatives can more effectively represent the American people’s points of view and work more efficiently. We hold the politicians accountable, so it is our fault if Washington is not working efficiently for an extended period of time. The next time you think twice about voting, remember: it may lead to another Donald Trump.