Trump: The Anti-Hero
Finally the U.S. elections have got a winner. But the process is not over yet. They have given way to a world-wide discussion: What does Trump’s victory mean after all?
It means the collapse of everything called “mainstream”: Mainstream media and mainstream politics.
The American media has substantially excluded Donald Trump during his electoral campaign. Almost 90 percent of the mainstream media has taken a stand against Trump. Maybe in response to this, the Republican candidate used social media to the full extent. Trump was so active that he even brawled with the Pope over his Twitter account. This has once again demonstrated the fact that mainstream media is swiftly losing power vis-a-vis social and digital media.
It is also the mainstream politics, i.e. the “center” which has collapsed. In the West, politicians occupying the center have not been able to provide a cure for the challenges of the masses. The refugee crisis, the integration of the “other,” terrorism and financial problems are just a few of the issues.
Thus voters who can’t find the answer within the existing system, have been driven to the extremes since the radicals have addressed their needs. Now U.S. has also joined this trend. Yet this time the radical in question, i.e. Trump, comes from the Republican Party which represents the establishment.
Therefore Americans have overwhelmingly not voted for Hillary Clinton who has been engaged with politics for more than 30 years. Clinton’s familiarity and representation of the status quo has even disaggregated her gender identity. On the other hand, most of the voters have trailed behind a real estate magnate who has no political experience at all and who has entered the presidential campaign out of the blue.
Hence this has been mainly a challenge to the establishment rather than a mere election. It has been a rebel in the person of Trump who has littered around the weaknesses, deficiencies and inadequacies of the existing system. It has been the rejection of the status quo as if Clinton’s victory would mean the approval of it.
This election also functioned as a referendum for President Obama. Since Clinton served as Secretary of State during his administration, her victory would mean the continuation of Obama’s policies.
The recent polls also show that this election was at the same time a vote for Obama’s policies. According to the Edison Research published in New York Times, 83 percent of the Democrats think that the condition of the nation’s economy is “excellent” whereas 79 percent of the Republicans define it as “poor”.
Feelings also played a big role. Obama had won the elections in 2008 saying “Yes, we can”, in other words giving hope to the people. This time Trump has won this election based on “fear”.
White Americans who are afraid that refugees will take away the job opportunities, of Islam and of all the sorts of the “other”, are the winners of this election. The changing demography of the U.S. has played a part to this end. In 2008 when Obama was elected, 54 percent of the American population was white. Yet nowadays this number has dropped to 43 percent. In other words, they have become the minority which has –in turn- triggered the fears.
Thus it is the immigrants, Latinos and African-Americans who have lost this election whereas the aging white Americans are the winners.
Numbers also verify this analysis. According to the same survey published in New York Times, 58 percent of Trump’s voters are white and 65 percent of them are over 65. On the other hand, only 37 percent of Clinton’s voters are white whereas 88 of African-Americans and 65 percent of Latinos have voted for her.
Another survey confirming this result is the American Values Research. Accordingly, half of the Americans think that “the American culture and lifestyle is getting worse since 1950’s”, meaning that they feel under threat. Moreover 70 percent of them are Republicans.
The same survey reveals that the most remarkable difference between the voters of the two parties is grounded on fear. 86 percent of the Republicans support Trump’s electoral promise that he would build a wall along the border with Mexico whereas this number is only 10 percent among the Democrats.
In short, of course it is Trump who has won this election. Yet it is not only Clinton who has lost. Actually it is the establishment. Hence Trump who represents the collapse of the existing system, is not the hero in this story. He has won as the anti-hero.