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Make America Great Again?

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Make America Great Again?

Dashiell Yarnold

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The presidential elections in November are approaching quickly. In 2016, we have witnessed one of the most bizarre lineups of candidates in political history. On the left we have a self-proclaimed socialist as well as a former first lady who is the sole target in a criminal investigation by the FBI. On the right, we had a neurosurgeon, a failed Fortune 500 CEO, and a governor of Florida from one of the most talked-about political dynasties. But the most farcical candidate goes by the name of Donald Trump, reality TV star, billionaire, and former Democrat who accumulated the majority of his wealth through the licensing of his own last name. Trump provides comic relief during the political debates and pisses off massive religious and ethnic groups on a monthly basis, but is he capable of running our country?

The majority of his supporters, a surprisingly broad group of individuals, would say yes without hesitation. These supporters are either vastly ignorant and racist, or extremely educated and conservative. They insist his success in business could easily be parlayed into a successful presidency, as running the government would require similar leadership skills as being a CEO. But the majority of his critics say he would take a similar approach to running our country as Hitler did in early 20th century Germany. In my opinion: both groups are correct.

Trump, whether you have the guts to admit it or not, is far from an idiot. His success in the polls and his ability to beat down candidates with far more political experience is of evidentiary value. But the reason for his success is entirely predicated on his ability to communicate with a body of extremely uneducated voters. Trump understands the majority of his demographic with the precision of a skilled samurai. He understands what they value and what they hope to see in a candidate. Typically, Republican voters stand with candidates with an appreciation for a strong military, securer borders, and faith in free(er) markets. It is to the best of my understanding that all of the comments he’s made about border security, minorities, women, and even the conversational techniques he utilizes in interviews are all a genius fabrication. His own beliefs do not mirror what he is proposing publicly, nor what appear in news headlines.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that “The Donald” one is probably a flaming Democrat. Strategically taking into account the fact that Hillary Clinton would have beaten him in a Democratic primary, he chose the next best option, the Republican nomination. The GOP would be much easier to secure, as long as he followed the principles which the party tends to adore. Trump, a seemingly atheist man, began proclaiming his love for the Bible early in the presidential race. When asked to cite one of his favorite verses during an interview, he responded with, “All of them.”

Trump’s critics have quickly noted his similarities to Hitler, which, while seemingly comical, should still be taken seriously. He is approaching the presidency as a strong leader who is willing to bring great change into a country whose leaders, his supporters believe, have failed them. Obama clearly lacked the ability to achieve compromise between conservatives and liberals. After numerous attempts at unity, usually through executive order, he essentially stopped trying. Instead, he hit the golf course, approximately 55 times in 2015 alone. Although an admirable decision, it didn’t do much that would improve things in the United States. Trump is taking an alternative approach. He claims that if he can’t reach a compromise, he will bully Democrats and Republicans into agreeing on decisions, a non-democratic way to handle the presidency, hence the fascist comparisons. Hitler’s voter base was in a similar situation. Germany was experiencing great economic downturn due to strangulatory reparations imposed by the United Nations after World War II. Germans hoped for a candidate who could bring any form of positive change. While Hitler was far more eloquent a speaker than Trump, they both used public rallies and big promises of change to motivate their supporters. What Trump’s critics don’t take into account is the possibility that what he is saying and how he is acting might differ from his personal beliefs, ones he would later practice in office. Trump is a master of public relations, and anyone who is experienced in PR understands how to properly market a product. Trump has begun to market his favorite product, himself, an entity far different from real estate.

In conclusion, Trump has brought more entertainment to the election than he has a valid candidacy. Despite all of that, if he were to win the presidency, I am interested in seeing how the views he expressed during his campaign compare to the decisions he actually makes. The downsides of electing a public relations guru is that we won’t know when he’s being honest with the American people, a concern also expressed by many voters when discussing a Clinton presidency. I am perfectly supportive of the notion that Trump will attempt to strong-arm the legislative branch into getting what he wants. I just hope for oursake, that what he wants is beneficial for America.

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Make America Great Again?