Trump Explained: Why He has So Many Supporters, and Why You Shouldn’t be One of Them

This article was originally published in Issue 9, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (February 18, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue.

“It’s not whether you win or lose, but whether you win!”

This Donald Trump quote appears on the cover of his 1989 book “Trump: The Game.” While many years have passed since this book was written, Trump’s attitude has remained the same toward winning and losing now that he’s a presidential candidate.

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” said Trump when rallying at the Sioux Center in Iowa on Jan. 23.

Donald Trump won the New Hampshire Republican Primary Feb. 9 after  nishing second in the Iowa Caucus Feb. 1. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr.
Donald Trump won the New Hampshire Republican Primary Feb. 9 after nishing second in the Iowa Caucus Feb. 1. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

While Trump did not shoot anyone, he did lose voters in Iowa, causing him to nish second among Republicans at the Feb. 1 Iowa Caucus, behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Trump regained his ego quickly at the New Hampshire Primary Feb. 9 by winning with 35.5 percent of Republican votes.

Considering Trump’s foul word choices and ridiculous statements, many Americans wonder how Trump is leading polls and winning primaries; however, many love his straightforward talk. Most Trump supporters are those who are fed up with the traditional candidates who run for office and who all seem essentially similar. Trump’s career has differentiated him from other politicians, and that may be what makes Trump speeches seem more authentic and promising to his supporters.

Trump is extremely pro-America, vowing to reform our immigration system, which he believes puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. He wants a wall, paid for by Mexico, to separate Mexicans from Americans at the southern border. The world learned that barriers aren’t the answer with the Berlin Wall, which fell in 1989, but it seems Trump is ignoring history.

He also says he’ll protect American workers with tariffs on foreign competitors, specifically taxing imports from China. Contradicting his ideas that will protect workers, Trump wants to lower corporate tax rates in America in order to strengthen negotiation power.

America isn’t lacking power. What America needs is a thriving middle class that isn’t disappearing and a lower class that isn’t on the verge of poverty. Corporate taxes, along with those in the top percentile, should be raised while taxes for the middle and lower classes should be reduced in order to lessen the growing inequality gap.

Lastly, but most importantly, Trump has fear on his side: fear of radical Muslims, or Islamophobia. People are afraid of the Muslims who are in America now and of those who want to enter. Trump’s supporters have said you can’t tell the difference between good Muslims and bad ones, so they agree with his policies on increasing American security, including not letting them into America and possibly shutting down mosques.

Since the November terrorist attacks in Paris, hate crimes against Muslim-Americans have been on the rise. What many Americans don’t realize, though, is according to the FBI, 94 percent of terrorist attacks in the U.S. between 1980 and 2005 were carried out by non-Muslims. Additionally, ISIS is not just targeting non-Islamic Americans, but anyone who opposes their goal for a radical Islamic state, which includes peaceful Muslims in the U.S., the Middle East and all over the world. Muslims are the number one victims of ISIS terror and have overwhelmingly negative views toward ISIS, but Americans are only focused on their own country’s safety.

Trump feeds into Islamophobia and suggests a law requiring Muslims to carry identification cards to display their faith. That’s strikingly similar to World War II, when the Nazis forced Jews to wear yellow Star of David badges. Also during this time, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt placed Japanese-Americans in internment camps.

Targeting Jews and Japanese-Americans was not the answer then, and targeting Muslims now will not be the answer either.

Ultimately, Trump will make America repeat mistakes and set back history by decades. Let’s make America great again by not supporting Trump.

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