Trumped Out: How Did We Get Here?
Throughout this election cycle, it seems as though Donald Trump is everywhere you look. In magazines, on news programs, on television, he just seems to somehow be everywhere at once. Being in the entertainment industry for decades, Trump knows how to speak to an audience. I don’t personally agree with anything he says or does but you have to hand it to him; he knows how to connect to his base of supporters very well.
When he accused Mexicans as ‘rapists’ and ‘bringing drugs and crime’, when he said John McCain isn’t a war hero, when he called for a ban on Muslims into the United States; his poll numbers somehow just kept going up. Perhaps this is the media’s fault, for perpetuating an endless cycle of Trump coverage. Perhaps this is the fault of the millions of Republican voters, who came out to vote for Trump this primary season. Perhaps it’s Trump himself who’s at fault, who’s managed to connect with his base of supporters in a way that’s unlike anything in presidential politics before. Whosever fault it may be for the widespread popularity of Trump, I’m for one officially Trumped out.
At first, I found this presidential campaign kind of amusing and silly, like seeing a little kid wanting to be an astronaut when he grows up, knowing that that most likely wouldn’t ever happen. Like many people at the time, I thought this campaign wouldn’t last, that it would be some sort of passing fad that would be gone by the time winter came along. Yet here we are, nearly a year after he announced his candidacy, and he’s officially the Republican nominee. I’ve been asking myself lately, “How did we get here?” We had all been busy laughing at the pure absurdity of Trump’s campaign that we seemed to forget that we’re actually choosing the leader of the free world.
This election season has been unlike any other in history and it’s certainly been entertaining to laugh at it all. But I believe it’s time for people to wake up and realize what’s at stake. We’re not electing the most entertaining candidate, or the most outrageous; we’re voting for the one who will get the job done and keep our country safe. With Trump, it’s unlikely how he’ll react if there’s a nuclear crisis or a terrorism attack. Would he just be sending out mean tweets to the enemy at two o’clock in the morning? It’s unclear what would happen, and with both Trump and Hilary Clinton having by far the highest unfavorable ratings among presidential candidates, it’s unclear who Americans will choose to vote for in November.
When Bernie Sanders grew in popularity among Democratic voters throughout the past year, I felt as though Sanders could bring something new, bold and exciting to the political process and I felt like somebody was finally bringing up the issues I care about. Yet it seems as though the enthusiasm generated by his supporters wasn’t enough, as Clinton is now perceived to be the presumptive Democratic nominee.
One thing that has worked for Trump so far is how he brands candidates by giving them damaging nicknames. Whether it’s by calling Jeb Bush ‘low energy’, calling Ted Cruz ‘lyin’ Ted’, or calling Marco Rubio ‘little Marco’, it seems to work every time, as those candidates were later defeated harshly by Trump throughout this primary season. Trump is now attempting to brand Clinton with the nickname ‘crooked Hilary’ and is pointing to her email scandal as a possible criminal act. It’s possible that this branding technique could work on Clinton but as we head into the general election, it’s sure to be quite a war of words between the two of them.
Many democratic voters may feel as though Clinton is ‘untrustworthy’ or ‘unauthentic’, but as we choose our 44th President of the United States this November, we all need to remember that we’re choosing America’s boss, not simply who’s the most entertaining or ‘just like us’.