If someone would have said six months ago that Donald Trump had a chance to win the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential election, the reaction might have been loud laughter and the thought that the odds of winning the lottery would be better. However, not only could the entrepreneur win the nomination, but he has a fighter’s chance to play a trump card and actually win the presidency.
Numbers tell the tale, and a recent Monmouth poll has Trump leading the Republican nomination with 30 percent, while Quinnipiac has him leading with 28 percent. Presidential polls conducted by NBC/Marist have Trump beating Hillary Clinton 48 percent to 43 percent. One wonders how this man, who is better known for his haircut and his catchphrases, could actually be pulling this off.
One factor is that people are sick of career politicians. Americans are so jaded as far as politics that they have come to accept the scandals and various wrongdoings which occur in politics as par for the course. Many believe that the politics on either side of the aisle are dirty. Some like the fact that Trump is a Washington outsider; better known for his doings out of the political arena. Many people feel the politics of politics has to change in this country, and there is no better person to foster that change than somebody who is new to the political arena and has made it as a successful entrepreneur. Others find his rhetoric refreshing because it is so drastically different than the politically-correct speech of every other candidate vying for the presidency.
Many people wish they could play the Trump card and tell it like it is without worry of who might be offended. When the question arose at the first Republican debate of 2015 if there was any person on stage who would not pledge his allegiance to the winner of the Republican Party nomination and possibly run as an Independent candidate should he lose, Trump was the only candidate to raise his hand. The move took guts and conviction, as it was guaranteed to be an unpopular stance within the party.
At the same debate, when moderator Megyn Kelly scolded Trump about his history of denigrating women as “pigs,” his reply that he had only referred to Rosie O’Donnell in that way was genuine and honest. There are people out there who not only agree with his sentiment but also find that line very amusing; something that a shock jock like Howard Stern would say, and not a presidential hopeful. His willingness to say whatever to whoever is perhaps what makes him so attractive to so many people – people who would love to wield that power for a day.
Trump’s stance on immigration is another big reason for his surge in popularity. His plan to build a huge wall along the Mexico border may be a little far-fetched, but his sentiments are not. His belief that all nations have borders, and therefore must protect those borders is very true and his question as to why the U.S. does not do this is a valid one. Trump also points out that illegal immigration is, well, illegal. He believes that amnesty plans reward illegal behavior and hurt those who play by the rules. Trump also likes to cite some of the terrible crimes committed by people who are in the U.S. illegally. This seems to be working with the average American, and many local newspapers are running similar stories. Even those who do not agree with his immigration policy must admit that he has forced the other candidates, both Republican and Democrat, to take a tougher stance on immigration.
Many of Trump’s biggest critics argue that he is using racism and xenophobia to gain votes. Others believe that even if he is using the immigration issue, that does not constitute racism. According to a SurveyUSA poll, 25 percent of African-Americans polled said they would vote for Trump over Clinton. If those numbers hold up, they would count as the largest African-American vote for a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan, who may be one president who compares with Trump. Just like Reagan, Trump wants America to be great again after damage done by a weak former leader. If Trump were to win, he would surely get tough on Iran, possibly holding them up as the new “evil empire,” or he could remind the Soviet Union just why they blinked in the Cold War. Trump, like Reagan, is a believer in big business and trickle-down economics.
The final comparison has to do with the scene in the movie Back to the Future, when Doc asks who the president is in the future, and Marty Mcfly responds, “Ronald Reagan.” Doc is shocked and says, “The actor? And who is vice president, Jerry Lewis?” The scene could repeat in 2046 with a character asking who the president was in 2018. Upon hearing the answer, the comment would be, “Trump? The guy who fired everyone on television?” A presidency for “The Donald” would be the ultimate trump card play.
Opinion by Adam Hovorka
Marist Poll: 9/6: Trump Clear GOP Leader, as Bush and Walker Plummet in Iowa and New Hampshire; Clinton Stumbles, and Sanders Emerges in Democratic Contest
Monmouth University Poll: NATIONAL: CLINTON LEAD SHRINKS While non-candidate Biden makes gains
Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License