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Why did Americans vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election? Show more Show less
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In 2016, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton to the American Presidency, winning the election with 48% of the national vote. His victory defied expert opinion and polling forecasts, leaving many to wonder what crucial elements they had missed when predicting its outcome. So, why did Americans vote for Donald Trump in the US election?

Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2016 because he spoke to their anxieties Show more Show less

Donald Trump mobilised the support of key demographics in the 2016 election by appealing to the values of the American Dream.
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Donald Trump exploited US fear over unregulated immigration

Building a border wall between the US and Mexico was a central campaign promise in Donald Trump's 2016 election manifesto. Many people voted for him because this appealed to their anxieties.
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The Argument

Trump argued that the illegal immigration of Mexicans into the United States increases crime and drug importation. He blamed the Mexican government for sending drug traffickers, criminals, ruffians, and rapists into America and suggested that the Mexican government should be forced to pay for a southern-border wall because of the problems their country "brings into" the United States. Based on this, he promised to "Build a wall" between the US-Mexico border during his 2016 presidential campaign[1]. The proposed physical barrier was designed to prevent people from illegally crossing over the border. Voters who agreed with the wall being built believed that the US was being overrun by illegal immigration. Many of them believe that people who come to live and work in the US without official documentation are exploiting the freedoms and privileges of America.

Counter arguments

Americans are not scared about unregulated immigration because it does not reduce job opportunities for native born Americans or leads to increased unemployment. Many immigrants are typically come relatively poor, and take on menial labour tasks that native American citizens are unwilling to do. This fills key gaps in the country's economy and their contributions would be difficult to replace if there was mass deportation.[2] In the long run, evidence suggests that immigration actually raises national income and output, and contributes to maintaining a dynamic and growing society.[3] Immigrants also increase America's national birth rate, helping to offset the ageing population. This reduces any decline in the labor force and counteracts slow economic growth.

Premises

[P1] Trump's campaign spoke to American fears about unregulated immigration. [P2] Americans voted for Trump.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Americans were not worried about unregulated immigration.

References

  1. https://www.politifact.com/article/2016/jul/15/donald-trumps-top-10-campaign-promises/
  2. https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/immigrants-contribute-greatly-to-us-economy-despite-administrations
  3. https://www.independent.org/news/article.asp?id=275

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 4 Oct 2020 at 09:30 UTC

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