For this blog post I wanted to take the time to discuss a bit the current political climate that we are in. In advance I apologize if I say or claim something that is incorrect, please call me out on it as I’m not the most well-versed on these issues and am trying to learn more. I recently did a presentation in my economics class about what we called the geography of Trumpism, which namely look at who is currently supporting Trump and what they have in common both geographically and socially. Through our readings and research we found that the people who support Trump are people who are primarily white, work in “old economy” jobs, and report themselves as “American” on the census to name a few. By no means is this indicative of all the people who vote for Trump, but it does represent a large portion of them. Many of the people who are voting for Trump feel that American life has largely passed them by, as they have seen their primarily manufacturing jobs dry up in favor of the service favored economy we are now largely in. In addition, with the large increase in the outsourcing of jobs in the past decade voters supporting Trump, much to their frustration, have also seen their jobs move abroad.
I don’t want to say that any of the variables I listed above perfectly correlate with support for Trump, but they do have some significance in mapping his support. As the chapter Changing the World In The Network Society discussed, “Throughout history, social movements have been, and continue to be, the levels of social change. They usually stem from a crisis of living conditions that makes everyday life unbearable for most people.” Trump has garnered support for the people that feel like their everyday life is becoming unbearable due to the current political and economic conditions. For this upcoming election we have seen the emergence of candidates like Trump and Sanders who are receiving support from these people who are looking towards these new social movements as a way of changing their situations. Some voters are looking to Trump to bring back jobs and help improve their overall economic situation as they feel he has the corporate experience to do so.
Overall in the past few elections there has been an emergence of people who have become tired with the current political process. These people have looked towards candidates such as Trump or Sanders to help change the political environment, as they have become disillusioned and disassociated from it. One of the biggest challenges of the political system though is the reliance on money. Candidates are funded by capitalists who influence them through large donations, which fundamentally weaken the change that they can create. This is another large issue that Trump and Sanders are trying to tackle, with Trump himself funding most of his own campaign. Each candidate has their own strengths and weaknesses and it will be interesting to see what will happen in the future. Once again I apologize if I have accidentally misspoken at any point in this post, please feel free to correct me.