A passionate crowd of over 31,000 people at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, California suddenly appeared on my television screen one afternoon. Was Ariana Grande in town? Was Led Zeppelin having another reunion tour? Did John Lennon resurrect from the dead? I asked myself all these questions until I saw a 6’2” man in a tailored suit with perfectly coiffed blonde hair take the stage — then it all made sense.
Republican delegate leader Donald Trump was the most talked about candidate from July to mid-October, hogging 40 to 50 percent of the coverage of all 16 Republican primary candidates at the time, according to the Internet Archive’s Closed Caption Database.
Trump mainly garnered the extensive media attention for his speeches — outlined with eccentric, ambitious plans and shameless jeers repeatedly shoved into simplistic phrases.
Starting with immigration, Trump notoriously vows to shut off the borders from all illegal immigrants by having Mexico pay for a wall separating the two countries and cracking down on deportation of undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
Despite his stance on immigration, Trump hides that his crown jewel, the Trump Tower, was built off the backs of about 200 undocumented Polish workers who worked 12-hour shifts seven days a week for $4 to $5 an hour and with no overtime, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website Politifact.
But his supporters ignore that fact as they gladly accept his words as pretty little packages of understanding as claimed to a cheering crowd in Dayton, Ohio that, “our jobs are being sucked away, our military can’t beat ISIS… our borders are like Swiss cheese.”
Trump fuels his supporters with the fire of their nativist sentiments who believe that undocumented immigrants “steal their jobs” and they are the ones who suffer for “working honestly.”
But the paranoia is not limited to immigration. Trump issued a hard stance on gun control in relation to mass shootings by stating that “it’s not a gun problem, it’s a mental illness problem.”
Fewer than five percent of the 120,000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Trump’s supporters, however, could not care less as they eat up everything they want to hear from the palm of the Republican primary candidate’s hand. Supporters believe our nation is too “politically correct.” American politics has been marred with false promises, empty speeches and, since Trump is seen as a “political outsider,” he has embodied himself as the absolute deviation from the stereotypical American politician.
Trump is also self-financing approximately 71 percent of his campaign — revealing that he does not need to cater to any special interest groups for funds. This does not matter as much in retrospect, as Democratic primary candidate Hillary Clinton has raised around $155 million more than Trump.
However, over the course of his campaign, Trump has earned close to $2 billion worth of media attention — about twice the net price of the most expensive presidential campaigns in history, according to The New York Times.
The truth is there are very few people who have an ambivalent position on Donald Trump or Clinton as the undecided vote currently against the two sums up to a measly 8.4 percent, according to HuffPost Pollster.
The general election has a clear view of a divided country — possibly redefining our national identity as a whole.
Trump has nothing to lose in a country that can lose it all.