BY: NICK SAWICKI, CONTRIBUTOR
The Trump Effect
It was entertaining at first, all of the videos and soundbites created from Donald Trump’s many political blunders and offenses—gaffs that would surely sink any ordinary campaign long before the phrase “Super Tuesday” and “Trump” were uttered in the same sentence. But now, many are finding Trump to be less than amusing with only less than a few months to spare, before a nominee will be chosen for the Republican party.
It started with the wall. Half a year ago, Trump first stirred the pot with his highly controversial plan to “build a wall, and build it quickly.” Everyone laughed incredulously at the prospect of a Great-Wall-Of-America being built between Mexico and the US, but deep down, many people wanted to see this wall built. Most Americans acknowledge that there is a considerable border control problem between the US and Mexico, but do not see anything substantial being done about it. The Donald appeals to the masses by providing a solution so obviously simple as building a wall, that he portrays himself as the savior who can fix all of the American people’s problems with solutions that the “imbeciles” in Washington cannot figure out.
After a few months, the grandeur of building a wall begins to wear off, and another soundbite is needed to refuel Trump’s campaign—deportation. His plan: to deport all of the illegal Mexican immigrants living in the United States. This entails breaking up millions of families with children who are considered to be legal U.S. citizens under the Constitution and bussing them back to Mexico. The idea sounded great, especially following the murder of California resident Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant deported multiple times for committing felonies. What people failed to recognize was that besides initiating a humanitarian crisis, this plan would also cost the government billions of dollars to execute, and cripple the labor force. All of the career politicians laughed at the foolishness of Trump’s plan, and vehemently condemned it as nothing more than smoke in mirrors.
Yet Donald’s support grew. The more laughs the establishment members shared about Trump, the larger he grew. It took the GOP over half an election season to finally see this pattern.
Fast forward to early December just days after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, and Trump stokes the fire yet again with his “temporary ban on all Muslims traveling in and out of America”. Aside from being virtually impossible to physically stop all Muslims from entering or leaving America, Trump’s plan is completely unconstitutional. His rivals pointed this out, but yet again, Trump had tapped into the anger of millions of Americans and masterfully manipulated their anger and fear into support for his campaign. Listening to the news today, is anybody including Trump talking about temporarily banning practicers of the Islamic faith from entering the United States? No, because most people have short memories, and can only react with charged emotion, guns a blazing, to a situation after it has already happened. As soon as the devil is no longer at the doorstep, people forget all about the danger they were once in and the harmful rhetoric that was once uttered. Stop and think how foolish the most powerful country in the world looks by alienating practicers of a historically peaceful religion from the land of the free, because of the malicious actions of a few.
Now today, Trump is not the only one stealing the spotlight and making news headlines. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have been doing a magnificent job of stooping to Trump’s level of insults and immature conduct as seen at the most recent Fox News debate and on their campaign trails. Between genitalia jokes, breathing exercises, and bad spray tans, the past month in the GOP has transformed into a clown show (no offense clowns). Sadly, John Kasich, the only adult left in the mix, struggles to find traction in his campaign because he refuses to play Trump’s game of SNL host. Ben Carson’s campaign fell victim to the race’s savagery and inability to be heard without screaming insults, and it is starting to look like Kasich might be next. All of this results from Trump and his domineering influence on this election season.
All things considered, Donald Trump’s presence in this election season has been catastrophic for the establishment who have no idea how to stop him, but not so terrible for some American people. Aside from providing quality entertainment to notoriously dry debates, Trump has breathed life back into the GOP. We can see this at primary polling stations where voting turnout on the Republican side has doubled and in some cases tripled that of 2012. Citizens who normally choose not to vote because they feel as if their vote is irrelevant in a system seemingly aimed at helping the rich and powerful see hope in Trump, even though he is a billionaire. This is a testament to the total disregard of the will of the American people by our government.
It remains to be seen whether or not Trump’s mockery of politics as usual will win him the White House, or end up being his and the Republican Party’s demise, but one thing is for certain: “Politics as usual” and “establishment politicians” have made it up there on the average conservative’s list of despised terms, right behind “Hillary Clinton”, “Barack Obama”, and “It was George Bush’s fault.” The Trump Effect.