For months, billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump has been making headlines and leading the polls as the frontrunner for the Republican party’s presidential nomination. While many frown upon Trump’s ideals and beliefs on the basis of his lack of “political correctness,” or plain-and-simple offensiveness, his campaign is in fact what American democracy needs.
After two terms of President Obama’s administration, Americans need to be reminded that anyone can, in fact, run for president. Some might believe this isn’t a good idea, but Trump’s campaign is reminding people that the door is open to any citizen who wants to seek the highest office in the land. With that being said, obviously this does not mean that anyone who runs should actually be the president. Although many revile Trump for his insensitive and ignorant comments, he is not exactly a unique phenomenon in American political history.
America has been producing political, or quasi-political, figures like Donald Trump for centuries. Many compare him to Pat Buchanan, an “outsider” who sought the presidency in the 1990s. Like Buchanan, Trump has declared a “culture war” on foreigners, and this message resonates with many people in America, indicating that there are some people in the electorate who think like Trump, and hold similar ideals.
Whether others agree with these “outsider’s” ideals or not is far less important than recognizing what Trump’s candidacy represents. Many people who agree with Trump feel like they’re finally being heard, and believe that America would be a better place if certain things were to be changed.
But perhaps Trump has given a sense of hope to us, the people other than his bigoted followers. He’s helped the general population become more aware of a group of people in the American electorate with backward-looking values when it comes to race, gender, and economics, as well as the ways they make life difficult for others. Trump’s candidacy, and his supporters allow us to weed out the Facebook- and real life-friends to stay away from.