Donald Trump has long been a household name who is famous for his wealth, business exploits and reality TV appearances. However, since he entered the contest to become the Republican presidential nominee the general opinion here in the UK is that he is a racist, sexist, unstable fool. If this is all true, why is he predicted to earn almost half of America’s vote in the forthcoming election? How does he still manage to fill town halls, theatres and stadiums? Why do his fans stay loyal despite so many controversies?
When Trump announced he was going to run for president most people deemed him a joke candidate; a reality TV star just looking for more attention. A few weeks after his nomination Pivit gave him a 1% chance of winning the nomination; yet by the end of the Republican vote Trump had courted the most votes of any presidential candidate in history for the Grand Old Party, beating George W. Bush’s earlier achievement by 1.8 million votes. So what happened? There are many factors owing to his success, but there are some too significant to ignore.
The main focus of his campaign has been about being the anti-establishment candidate something which became more evident after his speech at Gettysburg. Many of his supporters believe that his policies could be the kind of change that only comes around once in a lifetime. However, they also claim that the media focuses too much on the women who have made accusations about him and his intention to sue them. Many Americans are tired of their national government’s supposed corruption and the control of special interests. They believe that Trump will be the one to fix that by reducing the government’s power. The belief that he will truly bring back “a government of, by and for the people” is what drives so many people towards him.
To many Trump voters, Hillary Clinton, having spent thirty years working in politics, is the embodiment of the corrupt political establishment. They believe that she is a puppet of the 1% and, if she is elected, will cast the middle class aside. Through her political reputation she has developed a net worth of around $31 million, contributing to the Clintons’ net worth of $111 million. A lot of this money was gained through speeches sponsored by companies and organisations which have at some point lobbied the US government while Clinton was Secretary of State. Many of these companies have profited from the government contracts provided to them. To think that this will continue if she is elected is a rather easy assumption.
Another very strong factor is the Second Amendment. If you are pro-Second Amendment then the obvious candidate for you is Trump. Considering that between 45%-65% of Americans could be seen as pro-Second Amendment it is no surprise Trump is receiving strong support from gun enthusiasts with the NRA endorsing him earlier this year. The right to bear arms has been a central part of American culture since the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the idea of removing those rights is seen as an attack on their personal freedom.
With the election just over a week away the result could still go either way. A handful of states might decide who enters the White House this year. Trump’s recent statements about the election possibly being rigged against him, allegations of the Democrat nomination being cheated out of Bernie Saunders, and the recent unconfirmed videos by James O’Keefe about possible paid agitators and suggestions of mass voter fraud all add to the level of discomfort and uncertainty that surround arguably the biggest political event of the year. The new President will have a difficult time mending a sorely divided American society.
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