argument top image

Why did Americans vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election? Show more Show less
Back to question

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 they didn't like Hillary Clinton Show more Show less

Votes for Donald Trump were a protest against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
< (2 of 3) Next position >

Donald Trump represented a break from the political elite

Donald Trump was an outsider, Meanwhile, Hilary Clinton was seen as an established part of the US political elite many of the disenfranchised wanted to dismantle.

Context

In political theory, the elite are the richest, most powerful, best-educated, or best-trained group in society.[1]

The Argument

Americans believed that the problems politicians claim to have a solution for are problems created by the political elite. These include inequality, poverty, war, drugs, racism, and immigration. This kind of elitism is represented by politicians such as Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump represented the opposite of this group. Many of Trump's voters claimed they were actually voting "against Hillary", rather than for him specifically.[2] They did not believe Trump was a qualified candidate, however voted him due to his anti-establishment outlook.

Counter arguments

Trump is not a break from the political elite, but rather a member of the elite himself. The combined wealth of the Trump family and administration cabinet members is extremely high.[3] His "anti-establishment" cabinet actually owns more wealth than the annual GDP of 87 countries.[4]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/elite
  2. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2017/04/14/did-elites-get-the-2016-us-election-wrong/
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/19/opinion/letters/trump-elite.html
  4. https://www.indy100.com/article/donald-trump-cabinet-worth-more-than-gdp-countries-7497051
This page was last edited on Sunday, 4 Oct 2020 at 09:50 UTC

Explore related arguments