I surrender. I give in. I am finally, like the rest of the world, speaking up about the presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump. I have intentionally withheld speaking up about Trump on social media because I have not wanted to add to the deafening cacophony that is already echoing through the walls of the United States. If you are reading this and you are one of those people who is an avid anti-Trump activist on Facebook, please take no offense to my previous comments. I also want to add that I have named this piece Up Like Trump not because it has any pertinent relevance to the writing, but because Up Like Trump is a name of a song by the rap group, Rae Sremmurd. But I am also not seeking to promote Rae Sremmurd because in the world of hip-hop, they really aren’t that special.
I am not here to trash Trump, especially not any more than he already has been. He’s a bad guy. His political and social theories are bogus. There is no surprise to that. What I am interested in though are the social phenomenon’s that are surrounding his presidential campaign.
The first social dynamic I would like to analyze is the relationship between non Trump voters and Trump voters. Recently I have seen comments going around Facebook talking about Trump voters calling them “ignorant, uneducated and intolerant.” Another individual said that these intolerant, uneducated voters have always been there and Trump is awakening them. In that same comment, the statement was made that “it is up to us” to get the good, educated people to come and vote. It is up to us to save our country from political catastrophe.
If I am going to be honest, these kind of comments against the Trump voters makes me just as upset as Trumps’ political rallies. These comments about the Trump voters are being made by middle/upper class, educated liberals from the north. These people have been given the educational opportunities to locate the hypocrisy and bigotry of Trump. The voters who they make these comments against, for the most part, are lower class whites. Many of the people voting for Trump haven’t necessarily had the exposure to a diverse environment, in which they are able to interact with people of color and LGBTQ+ people on a daily basis. Moreover, the education that some of these Trump voters received did not focus heavily on social awareness. It can be argued, then, that those who are making the mean comments about Trump voters are exercising a form of upper class privilege.
If my claims are true; if many of the people who are voting for Trump are lower class whites who were given a poor education and who also do not have much contact with difference, then doesn’t it make sense why they are voting for him? These individuals are victims themselves! They are victims of an atrocious capitalistic system that feeds off their impoverished state to give more power to other individuals. Trump is promising freedom to these people who consider themselves slaves. Trump is a wealthy man and according to their perception, he can make them equally as wealthy. Furthermore, he promises that if he becomes president, he will eradicate individuals who are threatening (according to their perception) their physical and financial safety.
I want to acknowledge my own privilege in writing this essay. For me to even claim that the people who are voting for Trump are lower class individuals with little education is a privileged statement. I did not come from that background and thus, I really don’t have the authority to say what I have said. I do it nonetheless because I think that what I said is important.
To read Pt. 2: Up Like Trump Pt. 2