As the 2016 United States presidential election draws near, the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton remains too close to call that both candidates are still tirelessly hitting battleground states to campaign and pundits are still uncertain of the outcome on the 8th of November.
For many, this fact is baffling – how could Donald Trump, who was seen as a novelty candidate even during the Republican primaries still be in the race?
If you think about it, what Trump has accomplished is spectacular. He was given virtually no chance in the primaries, where he went face-to-face with establishment Republicans backed by big-money Super PACs and who were actually seasoned politicians.
The fact that he smashed all his opponents in the primaries is a noteworthy feat in of itself.
Then came the national elections, where “The Donald” went head-to-head with perhaps the establishment’s greatest pawn – Hillary Clinton.
Trump may have name-recognition from his stint in reality T.V. and his well-publicized eccentricities, but Hillary Clinton is a former first lady of the United States, secretary of state and a senator from the state of New York.
How a reality star and a billionaire with a tranche of past controversies be so competitive with a very experienced politician in the political battleground confounds political observers.
However, if you pay attention to the Donald’s support base as well as the messaging of his campaign the gains he has been making is really not surprising.
According to most political pundits, Trump’s core group of supporters are white, working-class Americans. This demographic reside mostly in the rural towns and have little to no college education.
Before you think that characterization was an attempt to degrade Trump or his legion of voters, realize that this particular voting demographic exists and comprises the majority of America.
To help you visualize these people better, they are the “Mike Rowe/Dirty Jobs”-types who do not wear suits to work or who pay for cooking lessons or unwind with yoga classes.
No, these are the ones living in small towns most of urban American do not know exist and they look down on.
These are the people that a city-dweller in California would degrade as a hillbilly or a hick and who a political activist from New York would probably think of as a racist – even though they have never met.
And above all, this demographic has been ignored for so long – by the Obama presidency and even before that with the Bush presidency.
As with any group of people that gets neglected and left to suffer in dire poverty, these people are frustrated.
Their frustrations have left them apolitical for the past few years. Many have chosen to eschew politics and voting altogether because they don’t think doing so matters since the Obamas and Clintons of this world seem to only care about Black Americans rioting in Baltimore or the LGBT-movement fighting for “equal rights”.
As with any person who is frustrated, this very important and very numerous voting bloc is looking for payback – and they see that in Donald Trump.
Trump represents everything that those stuck-up and pretentious city-dwellers resent, an old, white man who is nagging on about mass immigration and the fact that America has changed so much culturally the past few decades.
Finally, a candidate that the rural American folks can vote for to really rile up the establishment politicians who have long forgotten them.
The prospect of revenge is what is firing up these voters, who have long been disenchanted with politics, to once again put signs up their front laws, attend rallies and most importantly, to vote once again.
This is where Trump gets his support, the disenfranchised voters who are once getting involved again. It is wrong then his detractors say that his support is mostly coming from the racist, KKK types – there simply isn’t that many of them to justify the spike in support.
What Trump (or his campaign team) saw, was that America’s voting turnout is abysmal – the number of tradition Democrat or Republican voters pale in comparison to the number of voters who sit-out elections.
When Trump’s critics say that the people voting for him are angry, they are partly true. They are angry – not at minorities or illegal immigrants who “steal their jobs”, although part of his support does come from this demographic.
But most notably, the anger of these Trump supporters derive from their frustrations at big-city, establishment career politicians who refuse to bat an eye about what happens in these places.
This is the Republican nominee’s true “trump” card – frustration. We saw this with Brexit and we’re seeing this in other political contests all over the world, people are voting with their frustrations and their resentment of the status quo and are reinvigorated by unconventional, loud-mouth candidates – just like Trump – to hit the voting booths and make their voices heard once more.
Just like Brexit, a Trump victory will leave the so-called political experts, in their fancy suits and their condescending rhetoric, absolutely baffled.
They will ask themselves, “why?” – because for them it simply makes no sense.
Therein lies the point. Decades of status quo politics have left a divide among those who are loudest every election campaign and those who are forgotten – those two groups simply do not understand each other.
Where Trump succeeded is in picking which half would deliver a victory on the 8th of November, and by the looks of it – he bet on the right horse.