By Yongchang Chin
With Ted Cruz and John Kasich having dropped out, Donald Trump looks to be the Republican nominee for President. But how did he get this far? Trump is the antithesis of everything we think constitutes a good politician: he is brash, blunt, egoistical, and does not care to filter his words, much like ‘Lyin’ Ted’ and ‘Crooked Hillary’ do.
His emblematic ‘Make America Great Again!’ posits that America is no longer great. He says America is losing on economics, losing on immigration, and losing on terrorism. Bold claims they may be, but founded on some truth they are.
This is also the reason why Bernie Sanders’ ‘collapse of the American middle class’ rhetoric has such support. Indeed, Americans on both sides of the partisan split believe America is fundamentally weakening.
But why Trump is outperforming a figure like Sanders, who both derive their positions from America’s supposed weakness? Never mind how Trump exploits the media to give him free coverage, and never mind how he mercilessly attacks and embarrasses the other candidates. The key difference lies in today’s toxic ‘PC’ culture.
As journalist Milo Yiannoupolos explains, Trump is the only one fighting this election as a cultural war instead of an economic or political one. In this light, Trump’s outrageous comments are not his weakness, but his strength.
Today, it is impossible to raise important points publicly without being called racist, elitist, homophobic, or islamophobic by self-righteous social justice warriors. Donald Trump slaps PC in the face by pointing out the absurdity in the big issues, and calls bullshit on the traditional media and other establishment politicians.
But Trump is no populist demagogue. Instead, Trump represents a popular rebellion against those who would police thought-crime on one hand, and the self-serving establishment politicians on the other. Slowly but surely, many believe that trumping the end of PC will bring genuine discourse and debate back into the democratic process.
Trump’s support derives not from his policies or business acumen, but because he represents a fundamental change to politics. Election after election, interchangeable and empty suits are sworn in. Americans are sick and tired of it, and Trump, however repulsive he might be, represents their best bet for real change.
Photograph by Michael Vadon via Flickr