President Donald Trump may leave the White House kicking and screaming in 2021.The reasons for his election in 2016 will not disappear. Trump tapped into deep resentment and anger among poor working class and rural voters. It is way too easy to dismiss these voters as uneducated rednecks or hillbillies. Even during a pandemic and his disastrous handling of the crisis, Trump’s supporters still voted for him in droves. They still believe that the election was stolen from him in 2020, despite no concrete evidence.
These are the people that Hillary Clinton did not and could not reach. Clinton is an Establishment politician who could not understand the anger of towns in Pennsylvania or Michigan that have been affected by globalisation. Towns that have been hollowed out once their manufacturing jobs went overseas. It is hard not to feel angry that the system does not work for you. It is hard to support a politician who is a cheerleader for Wall Street and globalisation.
The other factor that appeals to Trump voters is, of course, race. For some, the Civil War still carries on despite the Confederate defeat in 1865.Diversity? Multiculturalism? Those concepts are alien to many. The election of Barack Obama in 2008, was a historic milestone for the United States. For some, it was their worst nightmare. A black man and his family living in the White House? A black Commander in Chief? For the racists, the white supremacists or the die-hard Confederate lovers, this was too much. Is it any wonder that Trump first foray into politics was the Birther Conspiracy? This was a juicy apple that he knew that many would be happy to bite. He helped to spread the allegation that a black man could not president, he must be illegitimate. Of course, he is the least racist person he knows. Racists always say that in their defence.
All of the voters for Donald Trump saw him as their voice. Their champion. An anti- politician politician. Let’s not forget that they are not all White. Some are Hispanic, and some are Black. The Democratic Party has long taken the votes of various ethnic minorities for granted. In times of uncertainty, you do this at your peril. All it takes is political conman who knows how to play the media and knows what buttons to press.
Who cares if he has been married three times or has paid hush money to porn stars? Who cares if he cannot name his favourite book in The Bible?
The sentiments of resentment and fear will not go away on 20 January 2021. Joe Biden will struggle to unite his country as Donald Trump has fired up his base which is substantial. It will take a miracle to heal the wounds.