Published: March 10, 2016
What event can you think of that is talked about every day over eight months in advance?
Even Christmas does not typically start until after Thanksgiving. However, the presidential election hovers over us at all times. The most polarizing figure in the 2016 election cycle is Donald Trump. Everyone has an opinion on him, good or bad. He is controversial, and that could be why some Americans cannot get enough.
Recently, Trump was engaged in a fray the media outlets reported as ‘Trump vs. Pope Francis’ even though the pope did not even directly mention Trump. Pope Francis, when asked about Trump’s wall on the U.S. Mexican Border, was using the very Jesuit ideal of presupposition, or assuming good intentions. Teresa Grettano, Ph.D., writing professor at The University, believes this confrontation will have no effect at the polls, and so far she has been correct. Despite his unpopularity and bad press, Trump has weathered it all, bringing to mind the old expression ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity.’
Grettano credits sensationalism as a possible reason for part of Trump’s success. He uses recurring slogans as rallying points for his supporters, and the one mentioned regarding Pope Francis is the wall that would be built between the U.S. and Mexico’s border, built and paid for by the Mexican government. He mentions how the U.S. is losing at trade, another buzzword for Trump, with Mexico by a huge deficit, meaning we import more than we export. The U.S. is losing out on trade in terms of the deficit, which is over $50 billion, and this is so with other countries, including China. Such a large sum sounds intimidating, and strengthens Trump’s argument that we are getting hammered in trade.
However, you can hardly blame current administration. When you compare this amount to the total amount of exports, the deficit is 23.7 percent of that number. In 1985, the U.S. had only a $5.5 billion trade deficit, but this accounted for 40.3 percent of total exports, meaning the volume of exports and imports has risen, while the percentage at which the deficit is increasing is on a downtrend.
While Trump’s statements sound convincing, Grettano pointed out that much of what is said this election season, when researched, ends up being false. She also noted that the reason for Trump’s popularity might not be because he is a smart businessman, but because he is not a politician, something that America has grown tired of. However, a majority is still a majority, and bad headlines and sensationalist mantras may be just be his winning ticket.
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