In 2016, to almost everyone’s surprise, former Democrat, entrepreneur, and TV star Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton and became America’s 45th president.
Trump’s victory was built around a number of themes, focused most importantly on taking back America from a cosmopolitan political, economic, and media elite. Trump defeated Clinton by winning typically Republican states, and winning back working class states in the upper Midwest. In addition to winning Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, he did better among blacks and Hispanics than his predecessor, and won among white women by 10 percent.
The question still remains, however, whether Trump’s coalition will mark a new direction for the Republican party (as well as the Democratic one). His views on a number of issues from trade and entitlements, to the deficit are markedly different from those central to the Republican party in recent decades.
- What do you think explains the rise of Trump?
- What have the mainstream players in the two parties missed that he understood well enough to become president?
- Do you think Trump is the leader of a new movement? Or will Trumpism go away once he is no longer president?
- President Trump has been an even more polarizing figure than former President Obama. Do you think the country is choosing polarizing figures to become president? Is it inevitable? Or do you think the country will return to more moderate leaders in the future?
This reading is an excerpt from Certell’s Common Sense American History eBook. Certell offers curriculum materials and eBooks free of charge for students and teachers. Click Here to download the Common Sense American History materials.
27, April 2018 Trump Make American Great Again hat [Digital photograph]. Retrieved from <trumpstoreamerica.com>.