I’d like to preface this post by making it clear that this is not a post trying to sway anyone to vote, or refrain from voting, for any candidate. This isn’t some sensationalist piece, nor is it any sort of claim that I have all of the answers. This is simply a think piece on the horrific trainwreck that is the 2016 Presidential Campaign.
Now I don’t think it’s physically possible to talk about this presidential election cycle without at least mentioning the elephant in the room, or should I say, in the lead. Donald Trump, the self-made billionaire and current Republican frontrunner, may be the most uttered name over the course of the last several months. I heard a rumor that if the anchors for any station doesn’t say his name at least 100 times an hour they get fired, which explains why you see Bret Baier start breaking out into cold sweats whenever there is an actual topic in the world that needs to be reported on.
It is understandable why Trump gets the coverage he does though, with incredibly controversial quotes such as “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn’t lose voters,” or “I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” Feeling like he hadn’t bestowed enough of his inner ponderings on the general populace in rallies and debates, he’s also taken to twitter to share inspired words. Check out some of the highlights.
While admittedly, some of these came before Trump has officially announced his campaign, you’ll notice his new found presidential sense didn’t slow down his comments. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of asinine comments for trump. From supporting the anti-vax movement, to denying climate change, to banning muslim integration, to claiming he will build a wall across the US-Mexico border and have Mexico pay for it, Trump’s mouth clearly has no bounds, and that is the main reason for his success at the polls so far.
Trump is running his campaign with the slogan “Make America Great Again”, and his plan to accomplish that involves a lot of what has already been mentioned and more. You can read more about it if you want too but he, for the most part, falls into the general GOP ideologies….kind of. Trump gets away with some more progressive views such as supporting medicinal marijuana, higher taxes on wealthy, and opposing free trade expansion. He’s actually far more progressive and moderate than his main opposition, Ted Cruz, but still more right leaning than the third and only other republican runner, John Kasich.
How does he get away with these views without being ostracized by the normal GOP voters? By saying literally just about anything he wants. It seems the voters of the GOP, having learned from their mistake of voting in George Bush, want someone about as non-establishment as you can get. He’s praised for saying “what’s been on everyone’s mind” and for not speaking like a politician. He’s praised for his brash nature and for entertaining the populace during this election cycle. He’s praised for being controversial, and he is so often that there are websites dedicated to picking out a quote of his for you to enjoy every day.
While I agree with the sentiment in Trump’s campaign slogan, I feel there are a couple of things wrong with it; it implies that America was, at some point, not great. I challenge those of you who believe his slogan, to point to a time in your life where you would have rather lived in any country other than the great U. S. of A., because that’s what it has always been – great. It is a land where people of all backgrounds and walks of life can come together and prosper. In America, progress happens – socially, technologically, and culturally. What else can a country be but ‘great’, when the concept of going to another place and building a better life there is literally named after that country?
There’s this perception that has come about with the increase in availability of news and sensationalizing of news, that America has fallen into shambles. That, because one study found we’re the 13th best country to live in instead of the 1st, God has abandoned the country and everyone in it – or that since groundwork for universal healthcare has been laid, soon the government will personally come beat you up and steal your lunch money every Tuesday before third period. 24 hour news has now caused things like a monkey, rare enough that it was just found, being classified endangered, to be newsworthy rather than just common sense. Or a personal favorite, the subject of this article selling his own jet to himself, which is surely life altering news.
And the best part is, these articles were found on the front page of these news outlets’ websites. Useless information is constantly being fed to viewers and is sensationalized to the point where trivial information seems critical and important information seems benign. So now every time real news occurs, it often gets underwhelming coverage if not swept under the rug entirely; but when an organization that thinks the best way to respond to an offensive comic is to murder 12 people also struggles to balance their check books, well, you better believe your friend Jimmy will post a Facebook status or two about that.
The fact of the matter is, America is still an incredible country to live in, and regardless of the outcome of this presidential campaign, it will stay that way. It will continue to be a place where any man, woman, or child can set out to achieve their dreams, where people from all parts of the world can come together and celebrate their lives, and where you can find people proudly displaying the flag anywhere from the front of their house to the back of their trucks. America was made with a checks and balances system for a reason, and no matter which of the various evils eventually makes its way into the White House, you can be assured that the resilience of the nation will outlast them. And besides, if we made it through James Buchanan, I’m sure we can make it through whoever wins this one.