Trump: A Conjectural Essay
I would like to further emphasize the title of the essay by claiming, once again, that it is a piece of conjectural writing. Truth be told, I am simply unpacking my feelings about the 2016 election bit-by-bit. Should you obtain some meaning from my catharsis, all the better.
Like many of my fellow citizens, I have watched the Donald Trump campaign with horror. This horror has recently manifested itself in the form of a protest, resulting in Trump having to postpone his rally in Chicago. Seeing my fellow citizens engaging in such political action fills me with a certain amount of good ol’ fashioned patriotic pride.
However, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly enamored with Trump as an amateur rhetorician, and a lover of messy republican politics. By republican politics, I do not refer to the politics of the Republican party, but of the republican system of government. I believe that for a republic to function at its best, it must have as much citizen involvement as possible. With Trump’s ascendance to the position of front runner for the Republican party, citizens from all across the nation have gravitated towards him to either stand with him, or to bring him down. Trump has certainly been an invaluable agent to stimulate citizen involvement in politics, more so than any other candidate.
The budding rhetorician inside of me also admires Trump in all of his populist glory. More than any other candidate in the Republican field, Trump has answered the fears of lower and middle class White America through unabashed simplicity and racially-charged bravado. Trump does not offer an extensive plan to build a wall across the southern border of Mexico, he simply claims that he will build it at the expense of Mexico. Trump forgoes all the political nuances that are required to curtail radical Islam, and simply states that he will temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.
Simply put, Trump offers answers that are easily digestible for an audience that does not have the time or patience to be sold a more politically sound course of action. His bravado and propensity to heckle his fellow candidates only serve to add flavor to his positions, and to build his own mythos as an “outsider” candidate.
Regardless if Trump wins the nomination, he has completely changed the way that both the Democrats and Republicans will operate in the future. The Republicans, still reeling from their identity crisis in 2012, have been forced to look in horror as the wave of populism stands high at its peak, waiting for it to crash down come convention time. The Republican party will either be forced to embrace the racial and nationalist politics that Trump has brought to the surface, or they will embrace a more centrist candidate at the expense of victory.
On the other hand, The Democrats will have to meaningfully engage in the race politics surrounding Trump, and America as a whole. In doing so, they must continue pushing to the left in order to further distance themselves from Trump, and to appeal to outraged minorities and millennials.
So regardless of where you might stand, Trump has completely caused a political upheaval. He has brought people to the streets, and he has coerced both major political parties into truly facing their constituents, and I happen to dig those sorts of things.