How Trump became President of the United States of America

Nick Butcher reflects on how Trump appealed to some of the American people and won himself the Presidency over Hillary Clinton.

Edited by Isabel Aruna.

“RIP the American Dream” Illustration by Hannah Garland

Nick Butcher reflects on how Trump appealed to some of the American people and thus won himself the Presidency over Hillary Clinton.

On the 8th of November 2016 the majority of the world looked on in shock as Donald Trump, possibly internationally, the least popular Presidential candidate in recent memory became the next President of the United States.

Out of the top 100 circulating newspapers in America, only two declared support of Trump by September 2016. This should give some idea of the public doubt surrounding his candidacy, doubt that dogged his campaign from the get-go. He has described alternatively as ‘coarse’, ‘vulgar’ and having ‘all the right enemies’; the greater media painted Trump as the ruin of 21st century America.

The American electorate certainly got the message; Hillary Clinton walked away with the majority of the public vote because apparently 0.4% more votes can be called a majority. Sarcasm aside, the least popular candidate won the day with no small amount of surprise and dismay from his detractors.

With all this negativity in mind, a question that has been asked before needs to be answered now: What exactly made Donald J. Trump, businessman, a more appealing candidate than a woman with nearly 30 years of political experience?

For 40 years the man has been making more money in a day than most people see in a lifetime and for the most part, he has only been in the public eye to answer questions about felony tax evasion. In the short span of a year, he announces as a Republican candidate, conducts a juggernaut of a campaign and seems to go out of his way to insult every minority group with the loudest voice. We all remember the firestorm that erupted after his comments about women, immigrants and the infamous Mexican wall but a great many must have come out and voted in his favour.

While listening to some interviews on the night of the election, one unifying point is clear; Trump is not a politician. He seems to be a paragon of the American Dream; a self-made man (small loans from his father notwithstanding) who can now swim around in his money-pit a la Scrooge McDuck. He is larger than life with big words and big ideas, something that has historically appealed to the American public. Many have called his brashness- honesty, his vulgar comments as ‘saying what all of us are thinking’, he is even praised for being so upfront about the things he finds insulting or just plain wrong.

You can almost see the appeal, in a sense. Politicians seem to be regarded without fail as criminals who haven’t been caught yet, so a man who has the sheer bravery to stand in front of a bank of cameras and say that he wants to physically separate two countries is a refreshing change of pace.

Trump is an outsider, and as the adage says, only an outsider can see both sides of the issue. His supporter’s claim that Trump can look through petty political agendas and do what is best for America, not what is best for the Democrats or the Republicans.

While that is a good and noble outlook, we outsiders are forced to query what this means for the future of American politics. It has been proven now that a political background is not necessary for the Presidency, and if one businessman can win on the merit of ‘honesty’ and a good propaganda machine, then you can bet that more will try.