“He’ll never get to August.” “There’s no way he’ll become front runner.” “He won’t get the nomination.” Donald “No He Won’t” Trump has surpassed the expectations of both Republicans and Democrats. A candidate who was never expected to move past this summer is now the front runner, and well-positioned, to win the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential contest. Many have wondered how Trump reached this spot, how he has gained the almost cult-like following he has achieved, how he might become the Republican nominee. The answer to the Trump Effect is simple. He has tapped into the overwhelming sense of fear, abandonment, and anger that has welled up in the American public.
On the international stage, foreign relations have grown increasingly tense particularly due to ISIS’s growing presence in Europe. Throughout Europe, ISIS has claimed numerous European cities including Paris, Brussels, and Beirut. They have systematically worked to instill fear into the hearts of millions of Europeans and Americans. This fear is not just isolated in Europe. Americans have already seen the effects of terror on American soil at San Bernardino and the Boston Marathon in 2013, and they fear that these attacks will only increase in size. Donald Trump has called for reform in containing ISIS and extreme Islamic rebels, whether those solutions are agreeable or not. His rhetoric has been extreme and, despite startling many, has brought some Americans comfort as they see a candidate directly addressing how he intends to quell this issue – sans political correctness. To those Americans who agree with Trump, they view his solutions, extremism and all, as a solution to a long unanswered problem. They see security and safety presented to them in the form of Donald J. Trump.
Likewise, parts of the American working class see this same security in Trump, however for a different reason. Despite America’s 5% unemployment rate, many Americans still feel the effects of a poor economy. They are hurting and frustrated. They feel that President Obama, for his talk of hope and change, has brought none, and the political establishment has perpetuated the problem. Enter Trump. He comes on stage and promises to help these Americans, to give them the chance to achieve the American dream, to make America great again. He is blunt. He is honest. He is offering answers. This white working class sees solutions in Trump. He actively engages with them, feeds off of their frustration, and promises them that he will make changes. He offers them solutions. White working class Americans who feel they have been marginalized and overlooked, look to Trump as the chance to achieve again.
Abandonment, fear, frustration. These are unanswered emotions that are finally getting their answer in the form of Trump. Trump’s trajectory to the top has come from giving a voice to the voiceless. When Democrats and Republicans neglected them, Trump embraced them. Donald Trump, despite all his bombastic rhetoric, has shifted the focus back onto working class Americans. He has offered them a solution – one they so desperately cling to in hopes of experiencing real change. While you might not agree with their supporting Trump, they do have their reasons and for many they are not misguided.