Since the beginning of his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump has dominated the polls and primaries thus far.
Trump has amassed quite the following, rallying thousands to “Make America Great Again.” However, Trump has also scared Republicans and Democrats alike into rallying against him because of certain elements of the rhetoric that he employs.
Trump talks about building walls, deporting millions, bringing back waterboarding, killing terrorists’ families and dismantling the libel laws that help to protect the freedom of speech and of the press. There have been a number of instances in which peaceful protesters have been escorted out of his rallies, without a real cause, and some of these instances escalated to physical violence. He has thrown out reporters at press conferences for asking simple questions. Trump constantly insults his fellow candidates on a child-like level and then acts surprised and victimized when the same is done to him. He has insulted people based on race, religion, gender and even their physical appearance.
And yet, he is still drawing thousands to his cause.
One has to wonder why and how a nation that has progressed so far in social issues such as gay rights and gender equality in the last several years can even take this sort of rhetoric seriously. How can Donald Trump say the things he says and do the things he does and people still vote for him?
The answer is simple. People are angry and scared.
They are angry at how this country has been run, at how ineffective the government seems to be. They are angry because they do not feel represented and feel that their voices have not been heard. They are scared of what the future may hold, whether it be financial ruin or foreign and domestic threats.
Maybe his supporters don’t agree with everything Trump says, but he’s loud, he’s bold, he’s brash and he shows the initiative to change things that they don’t like.
Even if Trump’s supporters don’t agree with everything he says, they agree with his main campaign platform. And that main platform is this: “I’m angry, and you’re angry, and we are going to change things and make America great again.”
It is important, however, not to abandon all logic and reason when considering your options, especially when we are considering the next potential leader of the free world. Is a guy who believes physical violence is the way to deal with someone who believes differently from himself the kind of person we want to represent America, a nation founded by immigrants of vastly different cultures and backgrounds to be the land of opportunity, liberty and justice for all? Is a guy who insults people solely based on their outward appearance really the kind of guy we want to lead our country?
Like it or not, our country is a global power, and the world is a lot smaller than it used to be. Our country cannot afford to isolate itself from the rest of the world, and we cannot condone rhetoric that says otherwise.
We can’t make America great again because America is already a great nation. It hasn’t stopped being a great nation.
But we do have the potential to make America better for all.