The Trump Effect

Donald Trump recently stated that ‘the country needs someone who knows what they are doing’. On his road to the white house, he has expressed his views without mixing his words. So far he has completed six debates and the polls have put him ahead, so it begs the question just how accurate is the polling? In our UK general election last year, despite all the polling statistics we were met with a very surprising Conservative landslide win. After the unexpected loss in Iowa, if Trump falls again at the New Hampshire hurdle then that might be an indicator that perhaps he should throw in the towel rather than wasting more time and money going against the grain of history.

His non-concession speech did not give credit to Ted Cruz but rather it was an attempt to underline why his republican counter-part is not eligible to run. Trump has brushed shoulders with a number of politicians over the years so he is no stranger to the political arena, but even now that he is running he claims he is not a politician. Some have questioned his motivation for announcing his bid back in June. I suppose there is nothing untoward about his decision, he wants to make a difference but do we know enough about the person behind the billionaire businessman status?

Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness – this is the American way. But there is something profoundly flawed when the front-runner for the republican nominee race can boldly state that we will place a ban on an entire religious community. What is more frightening is that his views largely resonate with many middle class Americans. We are aware that Donald Trump has many controversial views; he claims to be pro-life but he has publicly said planned parenthood does some ‘good things’ despite accusations which surround the abortion clinic, he is all about the creation of jobs -particularly in manufacturing in order to stay competitive with Japan and China. He has expressed great concern about the country’s deficit. Trump wants a stronger border as a means of strengthening the security of the country. It is a fair assessment to state that he certainly has tough plans for immigration; with many Americans and Europeans alike stating that his views on this topic are racist. He has been branded sexist too, what we do know for sure is that he is not a big fan of the Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly; he calls her a ‘light weight’ whatever that means. She has highlighted the many derogatory terms he has used to label women on his twitter account, to name a few; fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. Hilary Clinton accused him of being part of the war on women. I wonder what his views are on equal pay for women. Another observation, it appears every republican candidate backs the second amendment, so nothing new on that front. But the battle over gun laws will persist as long as mass shootings continue to happen because of the availability and easy access to guns. Of course everyone should have the right to self-protection, which is essentially why the second amendment is in the Bill of Rights.

Every republican falls on the opposing side when discussions about Obama Care feature, I stress again nothing new there. However some of the other candidates in the race have explicitly suggested that Trump simply wants to expand on Obama Care, he has previously revealed that he supports socialised medicine available to every American citizen; this view is not dissimilar from that shared by senator Bernie Sanders – the democratic presidential candidate. Trump has not expressly stated that he will raise the minimum wage, provide more funding for childcare, or guarantee paid maternity leave. There are no plans on the table to tackle tax evasion by big corporations. As a republican, Trump is expected to cut social security and do away with medicare. Trump certainly has a strong stance on illegal immigration, what I have found is that in most cases immigrants do not come to “take our jobs” as people are quick to fire in the debate. On the ground you will find that they do jobs most people would snob or shy from. America has had a couple of notable mass immigration waves in the not so distant past. The famous Freedom Boatlift saw over 100,000 “undesirable Cuban” refugees fill the shores of Miami from Mariel. We cannot forget the Chinese. What these incidents depict is the level of intolerance that is rife throughout American history, although immigration is a cause for concern in many countries.

lead_960In Europe we are currently undergoing a major migrant crisis which to some extent has influenced David Cameron’s decision to pander to the dissatisfied-wing of his party who want Britain to push for a referendum. We have closet euro sceptics in the Tory party who are gagged from airing their personal views on the issues; it has become a complicated battle of compromise, hypocrisy and cynicism. Trump has spoken freely of his desires to control the borders but his words have been divisive and destructive. He has conjured and moulded a negative image of Mexicans and Muslims – although America has had sceptical opinions of both of these populations for many years now.  The Black population publicly suffer from racism. In the past racism was rampant and vicious against the Chinese who were marginalised and isolated. In 1882 President Chester A Arthur enacted the Chinese Exclusion Act in order to prevent Chinese labourers coming into the country. It is understandable that when arriving as an immigrant to another country one should attempt to adapt and assimilate but it seems that many U.S. citizens feel immigrants coming into ‘their’ country have to be ‘Americanized’ in order to fit in. Should one have to shed a little bit of their culture, heritage and even religion in order to be accepted into Trump’s ideal America?

Trump’s arguments have been called ridiculous, it causes one to wonder what life would be like for minorities if he did get elected, his sentiments do not promote integration but bleak future. For months now, his hard-line rhetoric has triggered heated emotional debates. His comments about refusing Muslims entrance into the U.S. led to an uproar of condemnation from political figures here across the pond. A controversial character like Donald Trump – to disagree with MEP Paul Nuttall – is not a bland politician and does give straight answers albeit outrageous and somewhat ‘colourful’.

Whatever his deficiencies, Trump brings drama to the US presidential race and the general political sphere, his actions give him exactly what he wants: Attention. He knows many American voters will take notice back him on his various controversial outbursts. American politics is fascinating to say the least if not backward and is currently littered with interesting albeit controversial characters. Some claim to run out of a sense of duty, evidently others are obsessed by career politics. The fact is, he had a presence before this campaign but can he run the country that is the question which comes with some extremely resolute answers. Perhaps he is just the latest flavour of the changing Republican Party. We have heard pledges to renew America, now ‘the Donald’ feels he can “make America great again” for him to win would imply wholly that the American people in all their patriotism do not feel the country is great. He is running this race with his own money; this should give his credibility a boost, running alone is high-risk let alone with your own capital. Although it has to be said that Trump is sure to have many key friends in high places. Whether he is running a smart campaign is yet to be determined but he has shown that he is willing to go back to the drawing board, it is an open race so far. Can he be trusted on the defence of the country and foreign policy? Well it very much depends on which side of the fence you are on, pun intended.

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