03 helmikuuta 2020

What’s Behind Donald Trump’s Success?

In The US it is again election year. As an European woman I have it difficult to understand the reasons why Donald Trump was elected in 2016. I am reading right now a book by a Finnish journalist Maria Annala who lived in the US, in Boston 2015-2019.  The book is titled Trump’s Folks and it describes in detail how the procedure went on by states, hullaballoos and scandals.

As characters she has three ordinary Virginians who worked in Trump’s campaign: Alice Butler-Short, Christianné Allen & Brian Landrum. You may have heard of them.

In the book it becomes clear that the nation is divided in two opposite camps as never before. As arguments for Trump’s favour are listed strict immigration policy towards Mexicans & muslims, support of Christians and the right-wing media / fakenews (Fox & Breitbart), abortion, support of coal miners & home industry vs climate change, prosperous economy in the recent years, multiple precidential decrees, appointing authoritarian judges and so on, and so on. She also states that the nation was not ready for a female president last time.

It is an exceptionally interesting book, but I am as confused as before. So I thought to ask my US blog friends to explain the situation from inside the country. I would like to understand how this year’s election looks like.

I am not a political person, but the president of The United States is such a visible and important figure and I would really appreciate your thoughts, commenting here my post or sending an e-mail to riittacita@gmail.com

17 kommenttia:

  1. Riitta,

    My brother and wonderful sister-in-law live in the Netherlands. My brother and I are exact opposites politically. It has always been that way and I am not sure why. We grew up together! When Trump won in 2016 they were shocked. I was not. I was surprised anyone thought he would lose. So, you could say we each lived in our own bubble of reality. I do not understand how that can happen. But it did.

    I have another sister-in-law, on my husband's side, who is a lifelong Democrat. She just could not bring herself to vote for Hillary Clinton. Why? Hillary has a lot of baggage. She is seen by many, not just conservatives, as dishonest. I think her problems were a big part of this. Trump won over people who voted for Obama twice. Hillary's loss was not because she is a woman. His supporters are not actually racist or anti-women. This is the truth, but the media here in the US doesn't accept it. They make fun of us like we are TV hillbillies. But we are just normal people. I think Trump will win again in 2020.

    There are problems at our southern border. It is a huge gateway for drugs and human trafficking. Trump's wall is a way to slow that down. If everyone has to enter through one or two small areas we will know who and what is coming in. This is not a bad thing. It is wise. No one is for keeping out true refugees. ***Many of the children coming in are not with their parents. Those are traffickers.***

    So I think it is all in how you see it. Like my brother and me, we look at something and we see different things.

    Thanks for asking. It's good to talk. Even if people have different outlooks, it is good to talk.


    1. Thank you Sandi for your long reply. For me The US is far away and I cannot understand the reality of ordinary people there. But I try sincerely to understand, because the US president and your presidential election has a big interest here too.

      What you say about Hillary Clinton must be true, a lot of baggage. I understand very well the problem of illegal Mexican immigrants. But Trump's statements are many times, how would I say, rough & harsh? Well, he is a media personality and has for sure succeeded economically these past years.

      I am reading now this book and shall translate a summary of my review soon. There shall be some my own thoughts too, but the most part shall be from the book and its author.

      Thank you Sandi <3

    2. Thank you, Riitta.

  2. Indeed there are difficult times. In America, in Europe too. The President of the United States is not good but many other politicians are although bad.

    Happy MosaicMonday

    1. The world is a complex place Erica! The book in question states thet the people in The US are strictly & deepley divided: democrats vs republicans, like never before. It is always a bad thing with strong opinions against and for in a nation...
      Difficult things. I am not so keen on politics, my husband is ;))

  3. Liebe Riita,

    es ist genau das, was in dem Buch geschrieben wird, die Einwanderungspolitik der Mexikaner,
    die rechten Medien usw.
    Ich hätte auch für Clinton gestimmt.
    Man wird sehen, schlimmstenfalls wird er nochmals gewählt.
    Diese Wahl bestätigt mein Urteil über die Amerikaner.

    Der Rechtsruck ist leider überall sichtbar, die Menschen sind so dumm.
    Lieben Gruß Eva

    1. Also Eva! Es ist äußerst schwierig, Trumps rohe Tweets und Hassreden zu verstehen. Seine Anhänger sind Wertkonservative. Das Buch hebt interessanterweise die rechte Medienblase hervor, die zu Trumps Herrschaft beigetragen hat.

      Vor ein paar Jahren las ich ein Buch von Timothy Snyder mit dem Titel Vom Tyrannei, in dem er vor Trump und Despotismus warnt und zum Beispiel vergleicht, wie schnell die Nazis an die Macht kamen.

      Ich werde eine kurze Zusammenfassung schreiben, solange ich das Buch gelesen habe. Danke für deinen Kommentar Eva!

  4. ...ignorant people!

    1. Perhaps. The politics heats up the feelings...

  5. Part of the problem is our voting structure. If it was a pure democracy instead of a Republic, Hillary Clinton would have won. In the popular vote, she won the election by 3 million votes. But we have the electoral college. Each stated is given a certain number of electors based on the population of the state. Then whoever wins the popular vote within each state is assigned all the electors from that state. Unfortunately, the number of electors is not truly proportional. One of our most populous states, California, has 55 electors. Each elector represents 719,273 people. Wyoming is one of our least populated states. It has 3 electors. Each of this 3 electors represents only192,579 people. This gives Wyoming’s electors more weight. If the number of electors in California was adjusted so that each elector represented 192,579 people instead of 719,273, California would have 205 electors instead of just 55. Unfortunately, this gives an unequal advantage to small states. The culture of lower population states tends to be more conservative. The people tend to be religious, may reject science, can be xenophobic, and don’t tend to have as much education. Their societies tend to be white with little contact with people of different cultures. Situations like this can create a scenario where a president wins the electoral college, but loses the popular vote. This is what happened with Donald Trump.

    And one other factor that made 2016 the perfect storm for Donald Trump, is because a lot of Democrats disliked Hillary, they stayed home and didn’t vote. Of eligible voters 60.5 million voted for Hillary; 60 million voted for Donald Trump, and 100 million didn’t vote. The structure of the electoral college makes many people feel like their vote doesn’t count, and so they don’t vote. But it can have a significant outcome on the election when people don’t vote.

    Lastly, there was shenanigans within the Democratic Party that gave advantages to Hillary, against Bernie Sanders (whose party platform is Democratic Socialist and wants to make America more like the Scandinavian countries with free healthcare, education, etc. Greedy corporations which have been buying elections hate that idea.) A lot of Democratic voters who supported Bernie accused the Democratic Party of cheating so that Hillary would get the nomination. This angered many Democrats. So they stayed home instead of voting.

    I hope this makes sense. We have a crazy system.


    1. Hi Michelle!
      Yes, your voting system is very complex, in Finland the president is elected directly by the people. I knew that Clinton got 3 million votes more, but did not realize really what importance it was how they were divided by states. Sounds unfair to me.

      The book states also that democrats were widely disappointed with Obama, who wanted more of a Scandinavian = SOCIALIST - state :) Calling someone a socialist seems to be a popular insult in the US, there our societies and cultures are very different. Here the Scandinavian welfare system & healthcare wants to take care of the poor and marginalized people, too.

      I have to say that your politics is very nasty and dirty compared to ours. Of course we have scandals that media spread. but not at all to the same extent.

      Thank you so much Michelle ❤︎

    2. I would agree wholeheartedly that our politics are very dirty and mean. We need to get rid of the Electoral college. It was originally put in place to protect the states that had slave ownership (because they were rural with low populations) when our country was first being formed. The whole concept sickens me.

      Unfortunately, a lot of people remember the former USSR when they think of socialism. Or the current predicament in Venezuela.

      Obama proved to be more conservative than the super liberal people like myself wanted. But I thought he was a good president. He inherited a broken economy, which made it difficult for him to move forward on more liberal policies. He was smart, had a lovely family, and no personal scandals. I admire him.

    3. Thank you Michelle, you are very kind ❤︎

  6. As well as you, I cannot understand how Trump could be elected...but on the other hand I cannot understand how in Italy Berlusconi was elected.

    1. Hah, you are so right! I remember some nasty comments of Berlusconi on Finnish food! Maybe I have to stay away of politics, but cannot help wondering!

  7. Michelle is correct. Hillary won the popular vote. Also, I am willing to bet that those key states that decided the electoral vote had some cheating going on. I suspect there was chicanery helped out by a foreign power.

    Still, there are many people who like Trump. These are people who believe the past was better than it really was, and want to go back to this make-believe time. Plus Fox News has been spreading lies and fear.

    1. Thank you Linda for your comment ❤︎

      The book I read showed clearly the 'media war' between mainstream media and the right-wing media bubble, Fox & Breitbart. I did not know this before.

      This is a difficult topic. Each side has its supporters - the same in the Finnish politics.


Kiitos kommentistasi - Thank you for your comment ♥ All comments containing an advertising link shall be removed.

Kommentoimalla HYVÄKSYT, että Google kerää sinusta määrättyjä tietoja. Mitä ne ovat, löytyy sivulta Yksityisyydensuoja sekä Googlen sivulta.