Donald Trump becomes the U.S 45th president after defeating Hilary Clinton in a hotly contested 2016 presidential campaign. This news came as a surprise to many people globally. The shock began with the announcement that Donald Trump was among the candidates running for a presidential ticket under the Republican Party (Caldwel & Sarlin, 2016). This was on June 16, 2015. Many political experts perceived that his move was a joke. Some even thought that his move was his attempt to seek media attention to publicize his businesses since he was a renowned businessperson. However, Donald Trump continued his presidential pursuit, and he was nominated as the presidential flag bearer for the Republican Party. At this point, many people believed that the Republican Party had eased Hilary Clinton’s quest to Whitehouse. Nonetheless, on 8 November 2016, most Americans surprisingly voted for Donald Trump to be the 45th president of the United States of America. H.E Donald Trump now belongs to a select group by winning the presidency having lost the popular vote. In addition, he is the first president with neither political history nor government experience. The election of Donald Trump into this top position is still puzzling to many individuals in America and across the world; however, there were some secrets tools that Trump utilized so as to appeal to the majority of American voters.
Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump had a simple message “Make America Great Again” (Tumulty, 2016). Despite the fact that he borrowed this slogan from Ronald Reagan, Trump demonstrated a high degree of patriotism in his campaigns. The four-lettered word appeared to have a two-sided meaning. It showed optimism and pessimism. Of essence, the slogan was meant to help the electorate to reflect the golden age when America was a hub for manufacturing companies. Probably this was between the 1950s and 1980s. In that respect, the slogan used by the president-elect showed that a lot of promises had been made to restore the status of the country, but none has been realized. This slogan was well understood by all citizens, unlike the one that was adopted by his rival. Furthermore, the slogan appeared to be an appeal made directly to the heart but not the mind. This was important for a country that ought not to take patriotism for granted.
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A report by Tumulty (2016) indicated that most supporters of Trump were pleased with his level of patriotism as well as how he urged the electorate to be patriotic for their country. This was evidenced in his speech where he condemned former leaders by suggesting that they failed to regulate immigration issues. He also added that they failed to control trade policies in favor of the country and the American employees. Donald Trump also lamented that former leaders took the country into wars that they had nothing to reap from war. The elected president of the United States indicated that individuals would be deemed patriotic if they believe in the potential of their country. As such, elected leaders should not betray and take the citizens for granted. Donald Trump was the leader that American people wanted since he was ready to condemn the way in which former leaders treated the Americans.
Symbol of Hope
Throughout the campaigns, Trump demonstrated to be the candidate that would guarantee the Americans the change they needed the most. For instance, he started the recovery plan with his own party. Donald Trump declared war on the Republican Party. For example, before and after the preliminary campaigns he attacked some individuals such as the Bush family, Paul Ryan (House Speaker), John McCain and Mitt Romney among others (Caldwel & Sarlin, 2016). Some pundits argued that his actions were reflecting on his lack of ground game and his overreliance on his financial muscle. However, his supporters claimed that Donald Trump actions were decisive since most elected members of the Congress failed to deliver the promises they made during campaigns.
It was apparent that most American citizens were silently thirsting for change and Donald Trump presented himself at the right time. As such, even when Romney and other members of the Republican Party were condemning him, the electorates were firmly behind him due to his stance on their actions. According to the voters, Trump represented hope against corruption and the do-nothing culture that was embedded among former leaders. Of essence, he managed to organize his affairs in the Republican Party despite his radical nature. On the other hand, the Republican National Committee did not stop believing in him. The then chair Rence Priebus did not hesitate to declare Trump as the flag-bearer of the Republican Party (Caldwel & Sarlin, 2016). In addition, Sean Spicer who is the chief strategist and communication director was on the forefront pushing Trump’s election. Therefore, Donald Trump managed to be the U.S 45th president since the party machinery strived to ensure that their presidential aspirant gets the much-needed victory.
The presidential campaign of the incumbent president of the United States was filled with controversies. His actions and statements made many people say that he was a racist and mentally unfit to lead a nation that is considered a world superpower. Political analysts stated that his campaign policies were polarizing the electorate. However, after the results of the voting exercise were released, Donald Trump had proved many leaders wrong by clinching the presidential seat. The question that is lingering in people’s mind is how he managed to do that. Reports have indicated that Donald Trump won the top seat the same way he did during the Republican Party primaries. He ensured that he gained the support of the silent majority who happen to be loyal and homogenous electorate. Of essence, his policies were appealing to this category of individuals.
H.E Donald Trump had many campaign promises that were appealing to the American citizens. In fact, his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” was emotionally appealing to most Americans (Gorman, 2016). It is hard to select one factor that enabled Donald Trump to land the U.S presidential seat. As such, the discussions herein will highlight some of the campaign promises he made to the American citizens that were captivating. The promises will be discussed under the subheadings below.
Improving Border Security
Since time in memorial, the U.S has been facing multiple security issues. However, the major security challenge was that of border security. In his campaigns, Donald Trump insisted on the dangers that the southern border posed to the country. He explained how the border was facilitating criminal activities such as drug trafficking into the U.S. He also pointed out that the country was experiencing a surging influx of immigrants into the country through the southern border (Gorman, 2016). Such influxes not only harm the economy of the country but also make the country susceptible to terror attacks. In order to address this issue, Trump promised to build a wall to act as a border between the U.S and Mexico.
According to Gorman (2016), most political analysts saw deemed this stand as unachievable. However, while delivering a speech at Trump Tower in the New York City, Donald Trump said that he was going to build a great wall. He even stated that no one knows how to build walls better than him. He also confirmed that he would build a great inexpensive wall at the southern border and Mexico will pay for the wall. After Donald Trump made clear his plans to construct the southern wall, the president of Mexico did not support the idea that His country will have to pay for the construction work (Gorman, 2016). Nevertheless, Donald Trump insisted that the country had to pay for the multibillion-dollar project. This is one of the instances where the Americans felt that they had a president who was willing to restore the country security issues.
In relation to border security issues, Donald Trump was critical on the immigration issues. The president-elect stated that his government was going to ensure that the U.S no longer receive refugees who were originating from Islamic countries that were experiencing war such as Syria. In his speech, Trump noted that some individuals take advantage of their generosity to harm the natives. He reached this decision following the December 2015 shooting that took place at San Bernardino, Calif (Gorman, 2016). This incident made Trump embrace the idea of barring Muslims totally from entering the United States. Notably, some citizens in the U.S. associated all terror attacks that were experienced in the country with Islamic religion. As such, they believed that preventing Muslims from entering the U.S would help in addressing some of the security challenges that the country was experiencing.
In his campaigns, Trump promised that he would repeal and replace Obamacare with a market-oriented alternative during his 100 days in office (Gorman, 2016). He noted that his administration would work with the Congress to come up with policies that would broaden the healthcare and make it more affordable to all citizens. Besides, he promised that his administration would improve the quality of care provided to all Americans. Besides the controversies in Obamacare, there is also a dispute on Planned Parenthood. Notably, Congressional Republicans have been striving for long to reduce federal funding. Therefore, after their long pursued struggle, they now have a chance to approve the move to stop funding organizations that support abortion (DeBonis, 2015).
Many people in the private sector believed that the Obamacare policies were causing “Crowding-Out Effects” in their institutions. For instance, the introduction of medicards saw many people moving to seek affordable and quality treatment from public hospitals. As such, private healthcare facilities are left powerless and unable to meet the needs of their programs due to a reduction in demand for their services. Therefore, individuals in the private sector embraced Trump’s idea of creating a market-oriented healthcare alternative that would revive the performance of private health sectors.
Donald Trump came up with reforms that would see every citizen of the United States experience a tax reduction. Notably, the tax cut has been a policy for the Republican Party since time in memorial. Since the time of Reagan, the party has been insisting on the need to reduce taxes among the wealthy individuals as a way of spurring economic growth (Gorman, 2016). However, most reformers have been striving to see this proposal being abandoned so that the benefits can favor working families as well. In Donald trump’s campaign, the president-elect embraced both sides of the concern. He embraced that idea that rich people should be taxed more than the lowly earning individuals should. Nonetheless, he came up with two tax plans that would benefit top earners in the country.
Vow to Bring Manufacturing Jobs Back In the U.S
In order to fulfill the promise of making America great again, Donald Trump pledged to the American citizens that he will ensure that manufacturing jobs are back in the United States of America. In a statement during his campaign, Trump stated that he was going to make sure that the U.S gets out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He also added that he was going to renegotiate the terms of North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) so that they can reach a better deal for the American workers (Bédard, 2016). In his speech, Donald Trump noted that he was going to use presidential power at his disposal to ensure that all trade disputes are resolved including how tariffs are applied.
NAFTA is an agreement that was reached by the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to create a free trade between the countries. The agreement was signed in 1994. During that time, Bill Clinton, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and Brian Mulroney were the heads of states of the U.S, Mexico, and Canada respectively. The NAFTA idea was initiated in 1992 by these three heads of states, and it became operational in 1994 (Bédard, 2016). It is important to note that before the NAFTA agreement, the U.S and Canada were actively involved in free trade. The introduction of NAFTA was to ensure that Mexico is also introduced to free trade arrangement. Some individuals claim that NAFTA has done the U.S more-good than harm. They suggest that the agreement has helped the country to create more employment opportunities. Besides, the proponents of NAFTA indicate that the agreement has provided small businesses with a chance to expand their geographical territories.
However, according to Donald Trump and other opponents to NAFTA, the agreement has made the country to experience an economic meltdown. In fact, the President-Elect argues that NAFTA was one of the worst trade agreements the U.S has ever engaged in (Bédard, 2016). Donald Trump indicated that because of the agreement, the rate of unemployment in the country was escalating. He also added that the country would continue to experience such trends unless it disengages itself from the agreement. During the campaign period, Donald Trump stated the agreement was in favor of Mexico since America was importing more goods from Mexico than she was exporting. Owing to this trend, the U.S. had a balance of payment deficit with Mexico worth 90 billion dollars.
The president-elect also stated that NAFTA has caused America to move more employment opportunities to Mexico. During the presidential debate, Trump noted that a company such as Carrier that manufactures air conditioning appliances had moved about 1,400 employment opportunities to Mexico. He also indicated that Ford Motor Company had moved about 0.96 American jobs to Mexico since the NAFTA agreement was implemented (Bédard, 2016). The incumbent president thus perceives that it was imperative for the agreement to be renegotiated so that more tariffs would be charged on American products being sold in the country or the deal should be abolished for good.
Like other nations, the U.S faces the challenge of creating job opportunities for its citizens. Besides, countries also strive to ensure that their economies show sustainable growth. America has been struggling to create jobs for her citizens. The citizens had been blaming the government for this failure. Donald Trump on his side noted that the problem was because of the agreement that paved the way for formerly domestic companies to shift their production plants to other countries where they would make maximum use of cheap labor in Mexico (Bédard, 2016). This, on the other hand, implied that little jobs were created in the U.S while more opportunities have been set up for Mexicans. Furthermore, the trade between the U.S and Mexico was one sided. As mentioned earlier, America was importing more Mexican products than she was exporting. This implies that the U.S. will always be operating at debt in its business with Mexico. Therefore, Trump ensured that the citizens were aware of the negative impact of some agreements that had been signed in ancient days. This made it possible for him to win the trust of the public.
Reports indicate that Donald Trump tried what former presidential candidates like those that George Wallace did but failed. He spoke directly to the working-class electorate on issues that were burning them. Precisely, he talked to the electorate who perceived that they had been left technologically. He, therefore, capitalized on their situation to polarize them with his ideas. As such, his power originated from a group that is tagged “the silent majority” working-class non-colored electorate who perceived that the government actions were an act of negligence (Calldwel & Sarlin, 2016). Besides, he shunned the orthodoxy of trade and government expenditure that was typical of Republican Parties.
In conclusion, Trump managed to win the presidential race in the United States due to a couple of factors that worked in tandem. The incumbent president took a firm stand on economic and ethical issues that many people thought that it would offend women and the minority group. Political analysts came out strongly suggesting that there is no way a candidate who was polarizing voters was going to win the presidency of the country. Besides, they argued that the American population was more educated, diverse and culturally tolerant to buy into his ideas. Nevertheless, Donald Trump adopted a slogan that was emotionally appealing to the voters. He also came up with policies that diverted from the ones that are routinely associated with the Republican Party to convince the electorate that he was a reformer. Essentially, he understood who his target audience was, and he had a message that was particular to their needs.
Bédard, M. (2016). NAFTA: Donald Trump’s Criticisms are Unfounded . Retrieved on 30 January 2017 from http://www.iedm.org/files/lepoint1016_en.pdf.
Caldwell, L. & Sarlin, B. (2016). How Trump Won: His populist message proved everyone wrong . Retrieved on 30 January 2017 from http://www.nbcnews.com/specials/donald-trump-republican-party/presidency.
DeBonis, M. (2015). House Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood, but Will That Helps Avert a Shutdown? PowerPost . Retrieved on 30 January 2017 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2015/09/18/house-passes-planned-parenthood-defunding-and-anti-abortion-bills-but-will-they-help-avert-a-shutdown/?utm_term=.623e33a32393.
Gorman, M. (2016). Keeping Score of Donald Trump's Campaign Promises . Newsweek. Retrieved on 30 January 2017 from http://europe.newsweek.com/keeping-score-donald-trump-campaign-promises-526391?rm=eu.
Tumulty, K. (2017). How Donald Trump came up with 'Make America Great Again . The Washington Post . Retrieved on 30 January 2017 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-donald-trump-came-up-with-make-america-great-again/2017/01/17/fb6acf5e-dbf7-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?utm_term=.9b5b9ca3b0ae.