(Feature picture courtesy of InsideGov)
By Alexander Trombley (’17)
The votes are in and Trump won the election, despite the best guesses of major news sources like MSNBC, CNN, and FOX. So what happened? How did Trump pull this surprising victory? The answer lies in the so-called “hidden” Trump vote.
For the past several months, news audiences have been constantly assaulted with anti-Trump rhetoric, and the vast majority of outspoken voters were in favor of Hillary Clinton. The Trump vote, then, comes from the silent.
The Trump-Clinton debate has sparked an animosity amongst the voter base that hasn’t been seen before in American politics, with both options seeming like poor choices to a large number of people. An NBC poll from Tuesday Night’s election stated that 55% of voters surveyed were dissatisfied with both candidates and that, in that group of dissatisfied voters, Donald Trump outperformed Hillary Clinton 2-to-1. But the question lingers, why have these voters in favor of Trump been so quiet?
The answer comes in the form of media bias, which constructed an unhealthy view of the average Trump supporter from the onset of his campaign. Trump supporters were demeaned and called names by the likes of Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon and several other TV show hosts (not to mention being called “degenerates” by candidate Hillary Clinton herself). With that sort of toxic environment surrounding the words, “I’m voting Trump”, the number of people who were willing to give their true opinion was vastly diminished.
During their coverage late Tuesday and early Wednesday, NBC cited an excellent example of this suppression of free speech when a woman was openly accosted in a subway tunnel by several other passengers simply because the woman had a pro-Trump sticker on her backpack. The public sent her a clear message: “You’re not allowed to say that you support Trump”. The media and many Hillary Clinton supporters created an atmosphere of peer pressure, telling Trump supporters that their opinions weren’t valid. Thus, the Tuesday election was not a failure of the democratic system, but actually a major success. It showed that the United States has managed to remove that same sense of peer pressure that we experience in day-to-day life from the polling centers.
So what is the draw of Donald Trump? What made the supporters stick around despite the accusations leveled against Trump, the horrific quotes from his campaign trail and the abuse of the media and many Hillary Clinton supporters? I think Michael Moore said it best when he warned that Trump was the American people’s “human Molotov cocktail”. People all over America believe that the government has hurt them in some way or another, and Donald Trump is their revenge against the system that hurt them. Hillary Clinton could never tap into this wealthy spring of angry voters because she was part of the system. The DNC being revealed to have colluded to remove Bernie Sanders (her opponent for Democratic Nominee) from the race, and her past as Secretary of State under Obama left a bad taste in the American people’s mouth but through no fault of Hillary herself. Hillary Clinton was supported by the existing establishment, and so she became a symbol for the current regime. The email scandal served as little more than something that Donald Trump and the Republican party could use to consolidate the public’s sense of distrust relayed onto her by her party ties.
Trump, on the other hand, was essentially an independent candidate legitimized with a Republican nomination. In truth, Donald Trump’s views have very little to do with conservative Republican stances. He has even made pro-choice statements in the past, prior to the election. But “The Donald” made a brilliant realization about the current state of the United States of America. He realized that we are bandwagon society; once a trend or a line of discussion starts, more and more people join the discussion until it snowballs out of control. He realized this effect and started the firestorm of a campaign that he’s run so far. Using tactics similar to some of the more successful stars of game shows like Survivor and Big Brother, he started trying to cause outrage. Once those seeds of fury and disgust were sewn and the media picked up the story, no one could get in his way for the Republican nomination. The more outrageous he pretended to be, the more attention he got, the more followers he gained. Donald Trump played a character role of a loudmouthed braggart, seeing just how outrageous he could be. This act won so much support because of the current self-loathing society of political correctness, where people follow the strict societal rules so as not to offend anyone, but hate that they must follow these.
Trump made himself into a sort of beacon to shine against the ugly fog of censorship and oppression. With this new culture of expecting acceptance of everyone no matter their beliefs or culture, the American people forgot to accept the fact that some people disagreed with them. And so, Trump gained the votes of a majority of the American people who were frustrated by their being silenced by a social movement towards acceptance.
Ultimately, that is one explanation for how Trump won the election. His supporters were silent until Tuesday’s election but when they voted, that small ballot spoke volumes about the new face of the American voter. Donald Trump showed us that we want a radical candidate who fights against the “politically correct” and the establishment. He showed us that America wanted a change. The question now is, “Will Donald Trump change America for the better?”
*Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by the author in his personal capacity and perspectives. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Overachiever and the International Academy.