By Vivian Sanchez – @vivalaviviannn
As we grow closer and closer to the Republican nomination date it is clear that Donald Trump might in fact be the chosen candidate, and can possibly become America’s next president. Currently, Donald Trump stands with a 12.7 percent lead over the Republican candidates. So, for someone like myself, understanding how we got this far is quite difficult, but the numbers do not lie. Why is it that Trump is so popular among a vast majority of Americans? I believe it has to do with his “do-it-all” attitude itself more than the actual policies he has laid out.
Through Barack Obama we were presented with a new kind of president: the celebrity. Obama went on talk shows, like Ellen, collaborated with organizations aimed at younger crowds, such as Buzzfeed, and held a massive Twitter following. He became “accessible.” However, as shown on Politifact’s “Obameter,” many of the promises made during his presidential campaigns have since then been broken or stalled. After placing so much hope into a president that seemed more like a friend looking out for our best interests the disappointment was bigger. Bottom line, Americans are tired of broken promises, and this is the climate that Trump has come into.
Donald Trump is a well-known successful billionaire who has made a fortune through real estate and other investments. He has no formal background in politics, yet his campaign continues to lead with force. Some of Trump’s campaign promises include the building of an ostentatious wall about 26 feet high along the Southern Mexican border. To put it in perspective, that is about four Michael Jordans stacked one on top of each other. This raises questions, like, who will build it? Who will pay for it? How long will it take to be built?
During the February GOP Debate Donald Trump said he will have Mexico pay for the wall even when the former Mexican president, Vicente Fox, provided insight that, “Mexico will not pay for that [f-word] wall.” When asked about this statement, Trump never answers the question HOW. How will he get a country to pay for something they did not agree to? Yet no one seems to be concerned with the answers. Instead, he continued to rally the crowd by once again pointing out that anything is possible with him as president, and will not take as long or be as expensive.
Many of Donald Trump’s answers to the real hard questions follow suit; the reason people are not concerned with plans and logistics ultimately come down to Trump’s convincing manner. A natural speaker, Trump puts things in simple terms the public can grasp. According to the Washington Post, psychologists determined that, “We [Americans] like people who tell us that our problems are simple and easy to solve, even when they aren’t.” Stanford University’s Jeffrey Pfeffer said, “[People] are responding to dynamism, to force, to movement, to smiling, to facial expressions that convey authority. Trump does it with more force. He does it with more energy. Energy is contagious.”
Furthermore, Donald Trump says and does things that have been “silenced” for far too long. When CNN talked to more than 150 people who support Trump, the collective attitude is that someone is finally looking out for the “real” American people, not the rest of the world and certainly not the immigrants. One voter said he supports Trump because he “seems to just not give a [f-word].”
Many individuals and organizations have tried to explain the Trump phenomenon. One of them, Frank Luntz, an American political consultant, assembled a 29-person focus group to ask the very same question, “Why do you like Trump?” One of them said, “When Trump talks, it may not be presented in a pristine, PC way, but we’ve been having that [c-word] pushed to us for the past 40 years!” At the GOP Debate in August Trump made it clear that the last thing he was concerned with was being politically correct, and many have aligned with this view.
Donald Trump has ensured that his TV personality shines across and continues to gain the support of Americans while having no real concise plan to follow through with his promises. It is not a far stretched thing to say that those who support Trump have been brain washed to agree with whatever he says, as absurd as it sounds. To prove my point, entertainment group SoFlo posted a video asking three people if they agreed with what Trump said. The jaw-dropping detail is that supporters were actually agreeing with quotes by Hitler. Ultimately, it is frightening to see that one man’s charisma can take him this far and influence so many people towards a skewed world view.