Opinions

Did we Unknowingly Elect a Third Party Candidate?: A look into President Trump’s cohesion to the Republican Party agenda.

The idea that Donald Trump does not embody the spirit of the traditional Republican Party is most certainly not an unpopular opinion. In fact, the idea that Trump has appropriated the GOP is one championed by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a leading voice among the progressive movement. In 2016, Trump secured the nomination of the Republican Party, but he did not secure the support of traditional Republicans. 

Traditional Republicans are often recognizable by their affinity for economic freedom, individual liberty, familial values and the conservation of tradition. The ideas that have been put forth by the Trump administration have conflicted with the aforementioned sentiments on numerous occasions. In fact, Lindsay Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, was outspoken in his distaste for the Trump campaign since its inception. 

Graham is not alone in his rejection of the Trump presidency. Many of the senator’s peers have also rejected the notion that Trump represents the ideology or interests of the Republican Party. 

It is widely held that the source of contention is Trump’s poor character, but many prominent Republicans dislike his policy far more than his lack of maturation. In fact, it has been agreeably stated that Trump “ignited” a voting base of previously politically uninvolved individuals. If this is true, then Trump used a historically significant organization to advance the ambiguous motivations and ideals of a potential third party. 

The fiscal policy of the Trump Presidency has been very revealing of the notion that he does not align himself with the ideals of economic freedom. He campaigned on the platform of retrieving American jobs and industry, but cleverly disguised his motivations behind the guise of American success. 

His hyper-nationalist and protectionist policy is completely incompatible with the platform of the Republican Party, but he has insightfully justified his positions with enough political talking points to sound reasonable. 

Even with Trump’s policy and character aside, his voting base is something unprecedented in previous years. 

Through his clever use of rhetoric, he was able to empower a citizenry that has felt politically disparaged due to the inability to understand heady political banter. Trump successfully capitalized on a group of “uncounted voters” due to his approachability with respect to political stance. 

A group of individuals that may have not been involved, or regrettably pledged their allegiance to a party that did not represent their beliefs, is representative of a third party. This same group of individuals also correctly denotes the chief reason for the success of the Trump campaign and presidency thus far. 

The notion of a third party has been dismissed by political scientists ever since the two party system became cemented in the foundation of American politics. The idea that a third party could emerge has been critiqued due to the amount of leverage that the current parties have, whether it be as a result of monetary or political support. 

If the criticism is that a third party cannot emerge independently, then perhaps the Trump administration approached the process by operating within politically acceptable means. The system that has been established is not conducive to an outside force respectively capturing the votes of either political party, but if one were to operate within the established parties, there is nothing to suggest a candidate cannot become elected. 

It is easy to understand that Trump does not represent the interests of the Republican Party, which can be seen from dissent from traditional Republicans. 

It is harder to understand how Trump successfully convinced the Republican Party to advance his policy that comes in direct contention with their own goals. But irrespective of the understanding of how Trump has achieved his position, he is the first example we can acknowledge as a successfully appointed third party candidate. 

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