Trump wins by breaking every rule of politics
Kumuda Simpson, lecturer in international relations, La Trobe University
Donald Trump’s win today is a deeply disturbing sign of just how divided America is. This election has at times brought out the very worst in American politics. Trump’s campaign fed on people’s fear and paranoia, and it is deeply troubling that this message resonated with so many. Yet it also highlights just how many people in America have lost faith in the political class. It’s clear that American democracy and political institutions are more vulnerable than we thought.
Trump defied all expectations, throughout the primaries and during the presidential campaign. He broke every rule of politics. He targeted minorities and railed against illegal immigrants. He weathered countless scandals, including bragging about sexually assaulting women. He brazenly lied too many times to count. He caused widespread disagreement and anger within the GOP.
And yet his win is evidence that the Republican Party has lost touch with the very people they claim to represent. Despite the high profile defection of various GOP establishment figures, his message of economic disenfranchisement and anger at globalisation must be taken seriously. The Republican and Democratic Parties can no longer ignore just how much their policies of the past two decades have hurt a significant number of Americans.
The implications of his win are worrying for many reasons. It is unclear whether Trump can unite the country behind him or whether his win presages a permanently more angry and partisan country. Hopefully we have seen the worst and America can repair some of the damage this campaign has done.
This text was taken from an article which first appeared in The Conversation.
Image: Carlo Allegri/Reuters