Caitlin Mayo is a freshman nursing major.
As the next presidential election nears, Republicans are gearing up to send a worthy contender to face off against former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton’s bid for candidacy is proving to be difficult— According to the latest ABC News and Washington Post polls, Bernie Sanders’ campaign is burning bright, consisting of 24% of Democratic support. Vice President Joe Biden, though not yet confirmed to run, has 21% of Democratic support.Clinton has a lot of work ahead of her. Especially with someone like Donald Trump spearheading the Republican effort. Donald Trump has caused large ripples through Republican waters with his unprecedented announcement to run for president. Trump, a businessman and television personality, has received much media attention due to the radical nature of his ideas. As reported by Huffington Post in “Donald Trump’s 19-Point Plan To Make America the Best”, Trump has proposed to make America great again. His ideas include ceasing debt payments to China and taxing them “until they behave properly,” building a “great, great wall” funded by Mexico on the U.S. Mexican border, creating jobs (“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”), and selling “junk” (Trump does not specify more than that) to Saudi Arabia.
Conor Friedersdorf, a writer for The Atlantic, asked Trump supporters why they believe Trump would be the best candidate. Friedersdorf had found that Trump’s supporters either adamantly believe that he can do good for the country, or are eager to see America fall in the wake of Trump’s radicalism. Either way, such voters are dissatisfied with the current state of the American political system and find Trump’s calls to deconstruct America’s political tradition appealing.
Trump is first and foremost a businessman and an entertainer. This was very evident during the second GOP debate on September 17. The debate began with questions to the other candidates such as “Would you feel comfortable with Donald Trump’s finger on the nuclear codes?”, to which Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, quickly retorted “You know, I think Mr. Trump is a wonderful entertainer. He’s been terrific at that business.” Trump goes on to brag about his success in the business world and “The Apprentice”— not a single response about his capabilities as a potential Commander-in-chief.
When Trump’s response to the tension with Russia was put into question, he responds with “I will get along with Putin, and I will get along with others, and we will have a much more stable— stable world.” His knowledge of foreign policy is obviously lacking, especially with his ignorance regarding the economic importance of our partnership with Mexico. The most controversial statement of his, from the second GOP debate: he would do away with the 14th Amendment. Retracting a constitutional amendment would require drastic decision-making in Congress and an almost impossible two-thirds approval from the states.
And some Americans are giving their approval, despite Trump’s obvious policy faults and political ignorance. American voting behavior has grown into one of political apathy and lack of care for the American government. According to Pew Research Center, only 24% of Americans have trust in government. As a result of this apathy, it seems many simply don’t care if Trump were to be elected. Many others may believe that someone as radical as Trump is needed for effective change to occur in America, that the political system must be broken down to be built back up.
The GOP debate did bring up one good point: America wants new faces in Congress. Trump claims to not be sponsored by a single interest group, his views evidently uninfluenced by such groups, which have claimed much power over Washington through money. In truth, this has made Washington almost inaccessible to the average citizen. However, throughout election season, we must remind ourselves of this: Our vote is the key to the power of politicians, and it is our duty to make informed decisions as we elect the people we wish to represent us.