Donald Trump isn’t a joke

Its all fun and games til he gets elected President

Recently, the Donald has pulled off what was considered impossible at the beginning of this cycle: he has won the Republican nomination by literally being the last person standing. Literally.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out after his Indiana victory, and Trump is now the presumptive GOP nominee (barring some weird rule change or other random event). Politicians and people are scratching their heads, wondering why this happened.

Here’s my take on this: the Republican field was ridiculously overcrowded and the Republican base was very divided between people like Kasich, Bush, Rubio, and Fiorina. This allowed Trump to focus on one segment of the GOP base – white, not very religious, working-class voters – and proceed to dominate this block. This enabled him to become the frontrunner and dominate the primaries. Although Ted Cruz put up a fight, he was unable to attract enough supporters of the other dropped out candidates to secure a win. And now it looks like Trump will be the nominee.

Another reason is Trump’s protectionist policy ideas. His appeal to white working-class voters is simple. He wants to place tariffs on imports from China and other low-cost countries. This will bring back manufacturing jobs to America, especially the Rust Belt area where a lot of his supporters reside. This is a key part of his slogan “Make America Great Again!” and is one of his key selling points (aside from the xenophobia and aggressive foreign policy stances). Its probably the biggest reason why his supporters vote for him.

Donald Trump, in other circles, is regarded as a buffoon and blowhard at best – a neofascist, egotistical dictator-in-the-making at worst. And not to mention the countless memes that have been inspired by his recent electoral success (“Can’t Stump the Trump”). He simply can’t keep a low profile, at least.

The main issue with Trump, something that one can definitely back up, is that no one knows what he’s planning on doing once he’s in office aside from enacting protectionist policies and reversing the moves toward free-trade that have occurred in the past three decades. Such deals could risk leading to trade wars, which could significantly cripple the already stagnant global economy and lead us to another crisis like we had in 2008.

What might bring back manufacturing jobs to the US in the short-term will just lead to long-term problems that will reverse whatever beneficial effects they have. Not to mention it would damage our global standing throughout the world. Aside from that, Donald Trump’s positions have been enigmatic for years. That’s because he’s been on both sides of the fence. He was a Democrat from 2001 to 2009 and generally has straddled the middle of the spectrum. He’s expressed both pro-life and pro-choice positions, he even supported universal health-care back in 2000.

He’s waffled between supporting and opposing raising the minimum wage (he supported raising it last week!). He claims to have opposed the Iraq War from the beginning (there’s no evidence if he did that). And he’s inconsistent on his views on drugs (he supported legalizing drugs in 1990). In other words, he flip-flops on issues in a New York minute. And people complain about Hillary flip-flopping too much on issues…

Not to mention that Trump is vague on what he plans to do. It’s not that he plans on ripping up the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, it’s that he doesn’t offer much in the way of concrete plans besides building a wall and restricting Muslim entry into the US. His speeches consist of short, simple sentences that pretty much just denounce current politicians and policies and saying how awesome he is. And stating how he’ll change things… but just not what he really wants to get accomplished.

In fact, according to one analysis, his speech comes out at a fourth grade reading level. He talks differently from other candidates, and it has been very endearing to his audience, who really feel like he has something to offer. And that’s the real scary part about his candidacy – not of what he might do, but whether he actually knows what he’s talking about.

Georgia Tech