Donald Trump was recently elected the President of America; however, his election has been crowded with anxiety and disbelief. There have been numerous speculations regarding the future economic path that the United States, and, to some extent, the rest of the world will take when Trump officially assumes the office, given the platforms of his campaigns. A notable anchor in Trump’s campaign was racism. Therefore, this assignment examines the possible effects of Donald Trump’s economic racism and stress that Donald Trump should not be blamed for the possible negative economic racism effects.
There have been some arguments that during the presidential campaigns, Trump’s messages seemed to have been appealing to working class voters, whose incomes have been stagnating, have seen manufacturing jobs vanish, and complained about skyrocketing inequality in recent decades. Therefore, Donald Trump has represented the only hope for white nationalist sentiment through his racist appeals. In fact, Guo claims that throughout the just concluded presidential election period, many viewed Trump as a reflection of white working class afflictions. Consequently, Trump became the mouthpiece that expressed the economic misfortunes that had befallen the poor whites in America. It was easier to align his campaign themes with the complaints about globalization that America had embraced. Therefore, it is not surprising, that he drew and thrilled crowds when he promised to banish immigrants, reclaim jobs lost to offshoring and trade.
Recent evidence appears to have complicated the economy versus anxiety argument. Even though many of Trump’s supporters are blue-collar workers, they are not particularly downtrodden financially. Therefore, while the belief was that majority of Trump’s supporters were rich people, it becomes surprising when Guo reports that many low income earners actually supported Trump as well. Undoubtedly, America has witnessed serious negative global impacts, such as immigration and loss of manufacturing jobs, which did not favor Trump in any way. The findings resulted in the argument that Trump was chiefly a phenomenon of white racial resentment. Consequently, economic anxiety was not a good predictor of Trump’s supporters, but instead racial antagonism was. Simply put, his rise was occasioned by differences over values, as well as cultures that various groups identify themselves with.
Undoubtedly, racial motivations that were attributed to specific clique of the Republican presidential candidate supporters made sense when they were viewed as pointblank racism and resentment. The use of racially provocative language by Trump led to white supremacists flocking his rallies. Supporters of Trump during the presidential campaigns, specifically the whites, felt that they were disadvantaged, as compared to the groups from other racial communities.
A notable connection existed between the supporters of Trump and racial attitudes. However, economic anxiety also predicted Trump’s success, and is compared with racist attitudes. The factors are more sensible, when taken together than when parceled out separately. First, it is worth noting that it is not right to consider income as the end all-indicator for economic distress. People do not need to be poor to worry about their finances. Therefore, supporters of the president-elect are likely to be fairly wealthy, but they are still concerned about the prospects of economic future. The notion is supported by the argument by certain supporters, who claimed that they have not found it easy to continue being afloat. The other aspect to the economic woe is that some of the supporters of Trump were likely to come from the areas that were characterized by insignificant intergenerational mobility. In fact, in such areas, children from poor backgrounds are unlikely to go up in the social and economic ladder. Many supporters also came from the places, where middle aged whites were dying faster. The implication that the members of these communities were suffering was implying that something had gone wrong. As a consequence, the fact that most of Trump’s supporters have high incomes does not mean that they cannot be feeling vulnerable. It is possible to have the legitimate economic and cultural anxiety among those who are believed to be petit conservative.
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Secondly, even if supporters of Trump are not personally struggling, they must have had some valid reasons to agree with the messages that he was putting across. From a narrow perspective of self-interest, the views of Trump’s supporters may look a bit irrational. For instance, some people may question why the supporters considered the protectionist messages attractive, while a majority of the supporters were neither affected with offshoring, nor were the factory refugees. Besides, most of the white supporters are found living in white areas that are shielded from America’s changing population groups, thus, immigration could have not been a major issue for them.
Supporters of the theory of cultural-anxiety that Trump propagated may talk about prejudice as the main cause. Apparently, the voting behavior seems to be normal. People usually think beyond their selfish needs when forming the political opinions. For instance, it is reported that over the years, the people that are not employed often prefer to support the policies that encourage redistribution of taxes; however, in the case of Trump, the white supporters who opposed affirmative action were unlikely to feel the effects of such policies. Generally, a connection has never been found between the finances that people have and the way they form opinions regarding economic or political policies. Therefore, it would be appropriate to argue that self-interest in ordinary circumstances does not affect ordinary citizens’ sociopolitical attitudes.
Another explanation could be that people do form their political views based on their thinking of a greater good, particularly the things that are likely to benefit their neighborhoods, ethnic groups, or nations. This could have been the reason that Trump’s promise of economic protectionism was able to find wide audience. It is possible that the voters could have connected Trump’s rhetoric on economic protectionism to their economic situations and believed that the existing trade agreements harmed a lot of people, as industries moved to other countries, and that the jobs that were lost in the process would never return.
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Thirdly, it has been shown that economic anxiety may result in racism by amplifying the resentments, as well as encouraging suspicion of outsiders and racial minorities. In the United States, for instance, white supremacy movements have indicated that hate groups have always taken place in areas that are considered to be economically marginalized. In the 1980s, there were declines in manufacturing and agricultural sectors of America’s economy, which provided an avenue for white supremacist organizations. The economic grievances of the white racist organizations have similar themes to those that were uttered in Trump’s campaign. Notably, in both cases, there was decline, skepticism about international trade, as well as suspicion of the elite and establishment figures.
Finally, the views of people on immigration are determined by the way they perceive economic circumstances. The history of America indicates that during the early 20th century, there was a significant immigration and recession was imminent, following the political scramble for the newcomers. In comparison, there has been the opinion that pessimism in the recent times, especially on the correlation between economy and xenophobic leanings. It means that economic hardships activate prejudices that which are covert, further fueling the views that existed before. Importantly, racial resentment has very little to do with the perceptions of genetic superiority. Instead, more was attributed by unfairness, the perspective that some people or groups are being given that which they do not qualify for.
Though Trump stirred a feeling of togetherness among the whites in America, there was racism to it, as a strategy to appeal to this group. Nonetheless, more often than not, the ideas connected deeper to economic concerns and prejudice that are prompted by economic anxiety remains prejudice. Trump understood that easing racial sentiments among the supporters required that their economic concerns should be addressed. Hence, racism should not have been blamed for Trump’s rise during the campaigns. Therefore, his economic racism rants during the campaign may not have significant effect after all.
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