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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 they preferred his campaign promises Show more Show less

Donald Trump built his billions with a sophisticated understanding of the US economy. The electorate therefore trusted him with the nation.
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Donald Trump was considered the best choice for foreign policy

Many admired Donald Trump's break from traditional diplomacy and upfront negotiation style, which they felt would serve their interests well in the international arena.

Context

Foreign policy involves the strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests. US foreign policy is its interactions with foreign nations and how it sets standards of interaction for its organisations, corporations and citizens.

The Argument

Donald Trump's America First approach to foreign policy was more transactional. He framed alliances in business terms, vowing to get better value from them or pull back from historic commitments he claims the US can no longer afford.[1] Trump argued that the illegal immigration of Mexicans into the United States increases crime rates 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 all the problems their country brings into the United States. Trump's proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the United States claimed it impossible to tell whether immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries are Islamic radicals, or whether their children will become radicals. Americans believed that Trump would be the best hope for the country in the face of terrorism, a feat that previous administrations had failed to achieve.

Counter arguments

Unlike most of his predecessors, Trump was a presidential candidate with no prior political or military experience. His strong affiliation with the world of money, business, and media means that his world-view is transactional and largely business-oriented.[2] An America First policy will alienate allies and embolden rivals. In the process, it will damage United States commercial interests, undermining the institutions created post-World War II. Trump's spontaneity, unpredictability and informality adds to the ambiguity of his approach to foreign policy and could have profound geopolitical implications. Trump’s habit of issuing contradictory statements on the campaign trail make it tough to predict what he would do as President of the United States.[3] A Trump presidency could make the United States, its citizens and its assets the single most attractive target for terrorist groups such as ISIS due to his anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37830496
  2. https://www.e-ir.info/2020/06/29/trumps-foreign-policy-doctrine-of-uncertainty/
  3. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/2016-donald-trump-international-foreign-policy-global-risk-security-guide-213936
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 6 Oct 2020 at 20:08 UTC

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