Well America, this is it. You’ve done it. Liberals may want to pretend it’s some kind of cruel joke. Conservatives may want to pretend that he was planted by the Clintons to ensure a Democrat victory. However, Donald Trump has been in first place for the GOP nomination for a while now. In fact, he isn’t just leading the race, he’s eighteen points ahead of Ben Carson, who is the only candidate making it over ten percent. If that doesn’t tell you enough, Trump is the most searched candidate of the 2016 election
It may be hard for some to swallow, but the idea of a President Trump has become a little more than just a far-off dream. Now, it’s a very real, and very serious, potential nightmare. Allow me to explain.
Since President Obama took office almost eight years ago, White America in particular has slowly tugged and resisted the course that the rest of America was taking. Consciousness over racism in America erupted when Trayvon Martin was murdered by a neighborhood watchman. Healthcare coverage was expanded to millions of impoverished people of color. Gay marriage gained traction and was eventually legalized only a few months ago. The Occupy Wall Street movement brought the conversation of income inequality to the television screens and Twitter feeds of America’s youth.
Those on the right and far right of American politics suddenly found themselves in a world that was changing. In reaction to this newfound progress, they naturally turn to America’s largest demographic: White Americans.
So what does this substantial audience get? The issue of police brutality was transformed into a conversation on the thugs and savagery of the African American community. You have cases such as Kim Davis, who has become a martyr for Christians because she refuses to give LGB couples the marriage licenses they legally qualify for. “Obamacare” has become the victim of a Red Scare that would make the McCarthy trials look like a game of hide-and-seek. Occupy’s message was completely blurred by one or two clueless people who wandered into a media microphone and a few masked hooligans terrorizing Starbucks. Every action that threatened the power and stability of White America was met with a swift and hostile reaction.
Eight years later, the riots in Baltimore and an actual Socialist having a chance at the White House just seems too much for White America to handle. America’s blissful ignorance to the problems of racial, sexual and economic inequality has been ever-threatened by the achievements of the past few years. Political and social upheaval has always cumulated into a massive wave of traditionalism. This longing for the good ol’ days is perfectly embodied by the slogan of the man who championed the racist Birther movement himself: The Donald. His slogan? “Make America Great Again”. “Great”, for who?
So how far can Trump go?
In a world that sees corporations as people, Trump’s larger-than-life ego is literally a corporation if it were a person. Riding his reputation as a harsh judge on his TV show The Apprentice, as well as several years of milking his business exploits to the American underclass, Trump is a breath of fresh air to White America. He speaks what angry, confused, ignorant Americans want to hear. Instead of greed or corruption, America’s economic woes are labelled on illegal immigrants. Fox News’ years of framing Obama as a weak leader has created a Donald Trump who would insult foreign leaders to their faces and build up an army that would make pre-WW1 Europe look like a sandbox.
While America appeared on the road to a more pluralistic and economically sane society, Donald Trump emerges almost like a secret final boss in a video game. He embodies the anger of an American majority that is seeing the world they know change too quickly. Like a band aid that is ripped off too fast, the red-faced Trump is a pain that will last only as long as you allow it to.