The Rise of Donald Trump
After Mitt Romney failed to defeat a weakened Obama in the 2012 presidential election, the Republican Party needed to seriously reconsider its tactics and its ability to produce an electable candidate
By Theodore Harvey
Republicans concluded that one could not win the White House in modern America without appealing to women, young voters and minorities. And yet, only four years later, Donald Trump, a racist, populist demagogue, who appeals to none of those key groups, is the outright leading candidate for the Republican nomination after winning the New York Primary with 60.4% of the vote and all of the delegates. What on earth went wrong?
Donald Trump is the complete and utter opposite of the electable candidate the republicans need to challenge for the White House in November. The number of ethnic, religious and sexual groups he has insulted and demonized is terribly imposing. So why is he the frontrunner in the race for nomination? Trump does not have a single set of policies at the core of his campaign; (an exception is perhaps his insistence on building a wall to block Mexican immigrants) his views fluctuate and change. He touches on issues that the people want to be raised; no matter if it involves extremist rhetoric He is part of the wave of populism sweeping not only America but also places like France with Marine Le Pen and the United Kingdom with UKIP. Populists prey on the prejudice and racism of voters by blaming groups of minorities for current issues (for example: migrants are at the center of the economic crisis or ISIS terrorists hide among migrants). In a way Donald Trump’s views are just an excuse for current troubles, a solution for people in a bad situation to turn to. But who has caused this?
Trump is also an outsider to the Republican establishment; far too right wing and extreme to be the electable Republican candidate and his nomination would send the Republican party into tailspin. But it would not make too much of a difference anyway, considering how far the party has drifted from this ideal candidate, Ted Cruz, Trump’s closest rival, is as, if not more rightwing and extreme as Donald Trump. Furthermore, no one but the Republican Party themselves have created this demagogue. After regaining control of the House in 2010, the Republican Tea Party held such a hate for Obama and his “socialist” policies that it overturned any reasonable “electable” candidates in its will to erase Obama’s reforms. “Talented, electable Republicans were pushed aside in the midst of the Tea Party furor” (The Guardian)
Trump’s success is also directly linked to his history as a businessman, and the media. You’ve almost certainly imitated Donald Trump saying “You’re fired” on the apprentice at least once. Despite having filed for Bankruptcy several times and lied about his net worth “Trump’s net worth is $3.72 billion, a quarter of the $10 billion he has boasted” (Vanity Fair), Trump is an extremely successful businessman known all over America and the world. His name is synonymous to money and power and is in the title of every single one of his ventures. The name “Trump” has become a brand, which everybody knows. Donald Trump’s campaign has basically been funded and supported by the media. Every controversial statement he makes is broadcast all over the world, making him the center of attention, and ultimately bringing him more support and cash.
However likely he is to become the Republican nominee, Trump is utterly unelectable. As outlined by the Republicans in 2013, it is impossible to reach the presidency without, the minorities on board. Having alienated practically every minority group, Trump has effectively rendered himself unelectable. He may become the Party nominee, but if that happens, it means and easy victory for the Democrats in November.
By Theodore Harvey