By Adeena Woodard
“Make America Great Again,” rallies Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He embroiders his hats with this slogan and decorates his campaign signs with these words. America? Great? Again? Trump obviously means to say that America was once great, but now is less so, but what time period could Trump possibly be alluding to?
Donald Trump couldn’t be referring to the 1800s, when Africans were ripped from their native land, separated from their families and forced into slavery, could he? He couldn’t possibly be referring to the early 1900s, when Americans fought and died defending their country in WWI and WWII, and when the stock market crashed and our nation entered the Great Depression, right?
He could not be referring to the 1960s, when lunch counter sit-ins and race riots plagued our nation during the height of the civil rights movement, correct? Certainly he could not be referring to Vietnam wartime, when, again, countless war heroes paid the ultimate price, could he?
Trump was not referring to the early 2000s, when the World Trade Center was bombed and our troops entered Iraq shortly thereafter, could he? What time period is Trump referring to when he says, “again?”
He’s not referring to a defined time period; he’s referring to an idea. During “less progressive” times, the uneducated white male reigned as superior no matter the situation or circumstance. His race and sex alone made him superior. This is what Trump is referring too.
Now, educated racial minorities who no longer fit the profile, and strong, independent women are beginning to surpass the uneducated white male. What’s ironic is that undereducated white men are one of Donald Trump’s steadiest support groups in this historical election.
Why is Trump polling so well with white, uneducated males? Simply put, he exploits and appeals to their fears and worries. They, irrationally, believe that racial minorities and women are stealing jobs and/or opportunities right out from under their nose, and Donald Trump isn’t helping him sort through these absurd, unfounded thoughts.
Instead, he’s jumbling them around, creating a sticky, discombobulated mess.
Trump appeals to fears by providing him with a scapegoat. He points his finger in the direction of Muslims, Mexicans and #BlackLivesMatter supporters, to name only a few examples.
No matter how you look at the situation, one thing is clear: Donald Trump is a prejudiced, xenophobic, misogynistic narcissist who plays upon the fears of those easily fooled. This election will be historical. As Republican Ted Cruz once said, “Vote your conscious.”