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Why do people support Donald Trump?

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As Mrs Clinton finds herself under investigation by the FBI regarding her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, the tide in the US election is turning in favour of “The Donald”. The election is just days away and perhaps the most mind-warping part of what feels like a never-ending campaign is the fact that Donald Trump actually won the Republican Party nomination and gained so many supporters along the way. The question a lot of lefties, and indeed many right-wingers, are asking is, simply, “why?”. Why are people supporting such an extreme, buffoon of a man?

Widespread frustration is sweeping across America with many voters angered by the current political establishment and the way in which they behave. Many Americans dislike the legacy left by Obama and Bush, and the fact that Hillary Clinton is similarly a Washington insider turns voters off. Under George W Bush the American deficit was skyrocketing, 45 million Americans were without health insurance and America was brought into a war that had no public support. Likewise, under Obama there has been the squeezing of the middle class, cities like Detroit have been completely transformed for the worse and “Obamacare” has proved to be a disaster. Understandably working class Americans, utterly disadvantaged by 16 years of shoddy government by Washington insiders are sure to be feeling pretty apathetic. Just look at the facts: the poverty rate in 2002 was 11.3%, by 2015 it had risen to 13.5% – Americans are getting poorer.

So, life’s terrible and it can’t get much worse, right? But then a man comes along. A very wealthy man who says he is going to put things right. He is not politically correct, he does not answer to big business and he cannot be bought by anyone because of his vast wealth. It is pretty clear that this man is not one of the political elite so you are more inclined, as a poor apathetic working class American, to trust him. Trump is claiming the cause of your poverty is Mexicans leaching off the system and he says that he’ll make your country great again. If you are someone who lives in Detroit and has seen eight years of Democrat government demolish your city, then you can see why this promise of greatness is so very appealing. With mass, uncontrolled, illegal immigration transforming communities for the worse, Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric sounds inviting, even revolutionary. Quite simply, this is why Trump is gaining ground. The core issues have not been tackled. The political elites, predominantly privately educated, have never seen these issues first hand. They are out of touch with working class Americans.

What is the way forward to tackle the extreme right? Listen to the concerns of the poorest. If the Obama administration had tackled mass immigration instead of ignoring it then the hate for career politicians would not have grown. If previous presidents had not implemented tax regimes that destroyed the middle class then people would, perhaps, trust their politicians. Trump has become an outlet of frustration for the American people because of consecutive failed Democrat and Republican rule. Can you blame individuals for voting Trump, given the dire situation that they find themselves in? Somehow, the Democratic nominee has not woken up to this fact just days before “D-Day”. Clinton has continued to belittle the Trump supporters who are, in the main, the poorest in society and this will only backfire. Perhaps it is easy for us, in Britain, to call supporters of Trump stupid, naïve and uneducated but until we look deeper, we cannot begin to understand their struggle.

Only when both the major US political parties wake up and realise that they should have listened to the concerns of the people before big businesses and political correctness will the “Trump effect” be treated. The condition, in America, is curable, but has arguably produced the nastiest Presidential race in American history.