Many people outside of the USA was shocked and surprised at the win of the newly elected president of the United States, Donald Trump. Many asked on social media forums “why did Donald Trump win the elections?,” or “how did Donald Trump achieve his win?”
Many people and many countries outside of the USA truly through that Hilary Clinton would make history by becoming the first woman elected president in the USA. Moreover, many South Africans and South African economists are concerned about the implications of having an unorthodox perceived president running state of affairs, especially in lieu of the latest sexual harassment allegations against him as well as his take on perhaps changing a 100 year trade agreement with Africa as a continent.
Although there might be concerns, Donald Trump, is in all respect now the new President of the United States of America. That, as Hilary Clinton pointed out, has to be respected. And although many women might not agree on how he conducts himself in his personal capacity, he has proven himself to be a successful business man. This is my take on why Donald Trump won the election campaigns from a social and psychological perspective:
- The American Dream
Americans are all set on the ideal of the American Dream. And who, more better, to represent the American dream than Donald Trump. For Americans, every person living in America who is a citizen of the USA, has the right for freedom, opportunity, prosperity and success. Donald Trump has showed numerous times that he is a successful business man. He can climb the corporate ladder, take bankrupt hotels and make them a successful Hotel chain, he could overcome the plummeting property markets in the 1980’s and yes even he, a normal American citizen can become the president of the United States of America. If he can do it, anyone can do it. He is the epitome and ideal of the ethos of the American Dream.
I think no one can disagree on the American’s sense of extreme patriotism. For them America is unique and uniquely American. Americans usually do not like people interfering with their ideals, what they stand for and what they believe in. Americans feel that their country, liberty and ideals have to be united and protected. However, the influx of immigrants also looking to live the American Dream has to a large extent threatened what they once felt was exclusively their country. Reading a thread and some comments from Americans on the win of Donal Trump this perspective has become quite clear.
If I had to, without any prejudice to any parties involved, draw a distinction between President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama this is the overarching perspective from most Americans:
- Donald Trump is a born American, Barack Obama is not (Although Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, which is a state of the USA) Since Barack Obama has a multi-racial and multi-cultural heritage with his father being a Kenyan national, many Americans felt that Barack Obama is in the true sense of the word, not an America.
- Donald Trump is not religiously connected to any group. Barack Obama is either directly or indirectly connected with the Muslim faith. This is a point of concern for many Americans, not only because of Muslim extremist groups but also because of the uncertainty of immigration regulations and the implications it may have on their sense of patriotism
- Barack Obama is too conservative, Donald Trump is not. Most of Donald Trump’s career has been highlighted by some controversy whether in business or his personal life. Most American feel that because of his radical and unorthodox business practices, his boldness in his statements and his grandeur character, that he will not be scared to “shake things up” in order to protect America and Americans from any national or international threat.
- The Country of Innovation
This point flows from the previous point mentioned above. Americans are to a great extent, innovators. Their society and culture is built on innovation. Think about Apple and Steve Jobs, think about PayPal and Eland Musk, think about Facebook and think about the Internet! They like making history and innovating historical changing concepts and ideas. Most of the youth do not like following the norm and it is by breaking the rules and going up against authority that brings change and good change.
Donald Trump embodies most American’s sense of innovation and change. He is a leader that is bold, charismatic and daring. He thinks “outside the box” and will not be scared to bring the perceived change they require and they need to their country. Donald Trump will be daring and different; a way forward from conventionality and conservatism.
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