It’s a brisk November in Washington D.C. as the president elect walks toward the podium to make his first speech. The people collectively hold their breath as they wait for his first words.
“People of the United States of America—” all of a sudden, a burst of cold wind flows across the speaker’s face, ruffling papers, and with it and a bright red-orange toupee.
Mr. President is the one and only entrepreneurial mogul, Donald Trump.
What? Donald Trump, the man who has made millions as an entertainer for the popular television show, “The Apprentice,” as President of the United States of America? A leader with the power to affect the entire world is a man who makes money from selling his brand on anything worth money?
Now, I’m not knocking on the idea of a president who was an entertainer, like Ronald Reagan, or a man who made his success in business, like many former presidents, but there needs to be realistic consideration of his viability as a nominee when a shark of man is seriously rising in the polls as a favorable Republican candidate for the 2016 elections.
As a young voter interested in politics, how is Donald Trump rising in the polls so quickly when he is often stating very controversial issues with very black and white answers? Aren’t the young voters supposed to be the educated voters? The ones to bring change in the nation much faster than our Generation X predecessors?
One statement about Trump that even he will admit is that he is an excellent entertainer. Trump knows how to work a crowd of people the way any musician or artist can work a concert. Charisma is a very powerful tool used by many powerful people often disguised as “stage presence” or “an air about” a person. Charisma is what makes people drawn to someone; it’s the quality that gives a sense of general likeability to a person. Trump has a great mastery with this tool, as do other politicians, and he uses it effectively- especially in his rallies. As cynical individuals who are fed up with the idea of “too good to be true,” this tool should not be as nearly as effective now as it was when the internet wasn’t as easily accessible.
Another tool employed by Trump is that he is incredibly skilled with manipulating words and phrases that give one impression without telling the full story. Listening to clips, reading articles, and watching interviews with him reveals a pattern of skilled, subtle manipulation as he talks. He manages to do all of this while simultaneously offending as many people as possible with seemingly undiplomatic grace.
Trump passes it off as his indignation with political correctness, however, it could also be explained by his untried position as someone in the political world. Trump does this just enough to sound like a man of the people to some GOP voters, yet he also comes off as harshly honest. Sally Bradbury from Merrimack, a supporter of Trump, likes Trump for his “aggressive approach to save America.” Many of his other supporters will chime in with similar statements about his take charge attitude to “save America.”
Traits like aggressiveness, honesty, and capability make Trump ideal for many of the angered, the politically-cynical, economically depressed, and anti-anything-besides-guns populace of the United States.
Now, there may be some readers who are unaware of what Trump actually stands for. Sure, there are some memes and quotes about him- but for the most part, many young adults do not take the time to thoroughly investigate Presidential candidates. This is why it is so important, as busy college students, to take the time to read about candidates’ plans. The individual chosen affects the next four years of your life.
Military: Trump has stated outright in an interview with CNN that he wants to build up our military “so strong [and] so powerful that nobody will mess with us.” The Cold War is a great example of what happens when there is a large build-up of weapons with the potential of destroying the earth many times over. As we become more globally connected, the need for a super-police nation decreases with the ever present idea that some conflicts should not be solved with threats and violent intent. While the world is becoming easier to access, the idea of protecting our borders from other countries is more of a territorial ideal. People coming into the United States for opportunities and jobs can be viewed negatively with the thought that jobs should be given to Americans and that they are “taking our jobs.”
Oftentimes, new perspectives, new ideas, and immersion of cultures creates competition, innovation, and new insights to the world around us- a positive outcome. Already American associations make it more difficult for foreigners to work in positions like becoming a doctor, acceptance into college, and more with difficult restrictions and smaller limits. The National Priorities Project recently released the 2015 federal spending with the total military spending as the third largest expenditure at 16% of $3.97 trillion in federal spending. While 16% may not sound like a large percentage, only 4% is allocated to Veteran’s Benefits, 2% is towards Education, and Energy, Environment, and Science is a whopping 2% when combined. These are the categories that are often passed over and/or cut in federal spending.
Women’s Issues: Many have heard Trump’s accusations that Fox Reporter Megyn Kelly’s hard question during a debate stemmed from menstrual reasons. I’m sure many feminists and most women went up in arms about the ridiculous accusation, however, Trump attempted to alleviate his misrepresentation by stating in another interview with ABC News that he meant his comment to refer to a “nose-bleed” which he wasn’t able to get to at the time. I’m not questioning the sincerity of his explanation, but there is a question regarding his later statements, during which he told reporters that he desired an apology from Megyn Kelly for her hard question and accusatory tone.
Yes. Trump wanted an apology from the Fox news reporter he just insulted publicly.
Another issue that Trump was asked regarded women in the military. While women have been able to enlist in the military for a while now, and recently two women graduated from the infamous Ranger school, Trump was asked in an interview with a CNN reporter what he thought about women in the military. At first he stated that he did support women in the military, but then he said that he’d like to speak to the generals, without a political agenda, what they thought about women in the military.
Shouldn’t the tests that are required of all people in the military prove sufficient enough to determine capabilities for people in action versus the personal opinions of generals? Generals who could have a very deep bias towards women, bias that has nothing to do with their qualifications for service?
Illegal Immigration: Trump is becoming well known for his radical stance towards this issue. One stance that is strikingly similar to his other Republican opponents is that he is supportive of the enforcement of the border between Mexico and the United States. According to the Washington Post, Trump differs from his opponents by saying that he will enforce Mexico to pay for a giant wall between Mexico and the United States through part of the $200 something million that the U.S. already sends to Mexico for over 600 miles of fencing. While not the most controversial part of his plan for illegal immigration, Trump has curried favoritism from supporters for introducing a cost efficient way to enforce borders.
Another part of Trump’s plan is to deport all illegal immigrants because many of them are “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists. Some I assume are good people” which he has said at an Alabama rally of 30,000 people shown in a clip on CNN Politics. Trump emphasizes this point in his speech with stories from U.S. citizens who have been attacked by illegal hispanic immigrants. Trump goes on to say that while there are some good, hardworking Mexicans who have been here for years, they still have to go. However, they will have the ability to come back once they become legal— the “bad ones” are staying in Mexico. How will Trump come up with a system of determining who is good or bad, considering people cannot be defined in such subjective constructs? There has also not been a correlation found between immigrants and crime according to “The Nature of Crime: Continuity and Change,” a report by the U.S. Department of Justice. In the U.S., the largest percentage of violent crimes committed have been by white people at 42.9%, 22.4% for black people, and 14.8% by Hispanics according to “New DOJ Statistics on Race and Violence.”
The most controversial aspect of his illegal immigration plan is to “revoke citizenship of those born to undocumented immigrants,” which is very much against the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. These “anchor babies” are not seen as citizens by Trump. The issue continues beyond the scope of Hispanic children born in the United States. There have been issues with Asian mothers coming to America for facilities to give birth to their child for an American citizenship. Trump’s inhumane way to deal with anchor babies simply creates a racist and prejudiced notion that being Mexican equates to violence for America.
Scientific Issues: Trump stated in one of his tweets that he believes global warming is a “hoax” and “was created by the Chinese to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” Another ridiculous claim that Trump agrees with is that vaccines is linked to autism. He also tweeted the non-specific statement, “I am being proven right about massive vaccinations— the doctors lied. Save our children & their future”. This all despite the fact a 2010 Time Magazine article debunked this claim and the doctor who initially created a correlation between immunization and Autism has been revoked of his medical license. Another issue that can be found with Trump is that he released Senator Lindsey Graham’s phone number on national television mainly because he called Trump a “jackass.” While I am sure there are many other issues that could be discussed about Trump, it can be shown that he is a candidate of the “sheeple.”
Trump is a candidate without compassion. Hillary Clinton stated him to be “mean-spirited [and] unrealistic” on CNN with Donald Trump. It seems that Trump is liked by people because of his charisma, honesty, independent funding, and willingness to stand unflinchingly in the face of criticism for his stances. Trump wants to “Make America Great Again!” according to his campaign slogan, because he feels that we need radical change, and to get hard and get tough.
We need to remember that we are the voice and the change in the world. Being a young voter is a powerful responsibility because we can say who we support with good reasons. We have the capabilities to research and learn about our candidates beyond television, flyers, and basic sites set up by the candidates themselves. Being educated individuals is empowering when it comes to seeing the truth in politics. Instead of listening to candidates talk about their economic plans, research the viability of them. Instead of blatantly dismissing social policies, look at the effectiveness of them. Choose a candidate that is for the people, and who will lead the United States towards a more positive place to be among the other countries in the world.