It seems that Donald Trump’s derogatory video scandal has illustrated a breaking point for his peers and his party. In the wake of his lewd and inappropriate conduct, Republican Party officials are formally withdrawing support in huge numbers.
Many Republican Senators will not be taking Trump’s emails, nor will they be sending out any in support. Paul Ryan has said he will not meet with, or campaign for, Donald Trump due to his comments objectifying women.
“Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified.” These were Speaker of the House Ryan’s words via spokesman hours after the video was released. “I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”
For many Republican supporters, this seems earth-shattering. The Republican candidate, their nominee for president of the United States of America, is going largely unsupported, repudiated by the officials of his own party.
Will this affect Trump’s chances of winning the election? Certainly. Before the scandal, as stated by economist Robert Reich, there were many moments when he was virtually tied with Hillary in many polls, something voters might find surprising. Even more surprising still, there were even times when he was ahead.
This no longer seems to be the case. The dangerously close race we had seen prior to the video’s release is far behind, and Hillary now commands a decent to strong lead in most national polls.
Certainly, this largely has to do with his unsavory and distasteful remarks towards women, a key voting bloc that is necessary for any presidential victory. His support among women has been shaky from the start, and has now started to slide even more so, particularly when it comes to educated women in the GOP.
The backlash from party officials will also play a role. For die-hard Republican voters, those who are proud of the party and its achievements over the years, Trump looms as an ever more dangerous threat to these achievements. His comments about women were likely the tipping point for many individuals who have long supported the GOP and its candidates.
There is a strange phenomenon occurring, though. In spite of the scandal, in spite of the crude and grossly inappropriate remarks caught on video, many people are still voting for Donald Trump. Many of these voters are still women.
Now, when I say “many,” I am, of course, not referring to an amount significant enough to win him the election. However, anytime something is posted on the internet about the scandal, every time an article is published, women come in droves to defend the man.
When I read the political news articles from my conservative hometown of Weaverville, North Carolina, detailing the effects of Trump’s drastic and colossal misstep, I see, too, that the women in my community jump at the chance to fight those who speak ill of him.
This is what we need to be paying attention to. The danger of Donald Trump isn’t the man himself as much as it is in the electorate which he taps into.
The people voting for Donald Trump have been betrayed by Democrats and Democratic policy. They are largely poor, affected by job loss due to Bill Clinton’s North American Free Trade Agreement, which sent millions of jobs overseas.
Those who have not been financially affected are still fed up with the system. It clearly is not working, and not many people from either side of the political aisle would deny this.
They also understand Hillary Clinton to be more of the same damaging political system: more of the same bad policy and more of the same job loss through devastating trade agreements. These voting peoples can no longer afford that.
Obamacare, as hopeful as it might have started, has been a dud as well. When asked why she was supporting Donald Trump, an Ingles employee in my hometown, who asked to remain nameless, said that she could not afford her health insurance. She was struggling just to live.
People are desperate for change. They are afraid. Donald Trump voters are not brain dead fools motivated solely by hate. They are victims of an oppressive system which throws center-left politicians at them, claiming that they will bring greater change than their conservative predecessors.
For many at the bottom, the cruel reality remains the same, and they will continue to be so if Hillary Clinton is elected, leading to a far-right revival in her wake that will put Donald Trump to shame.
If the Democrats want their party to survive, they need to start putting forward candidates and policies that reflect the people’s needs. Until then, there will be too many who flock to those like Donald Trump.