Donald Trump has been the most controversial presidential candidate in the 2016 electoral campaign after he said "We should not let Muslims enter the US." What does Trump really represent? First and foremost, he is a charismatic businessman. In a time when politics have turned into a fear generating machine, Trump capitalizes on this fear tactic. He knows well how to influence people. He takes it a step further than other politician. His demands and promises are not too different from his successors and competitors, but they are more radical. Although his excessive and shocking rhetoric on Muslims seems aggressive, this is exactly what the Republican Party supports. What's important is not what Trump is saying, but how reckless his words are. The terrorist attack in San Bernardino was simply a pretext for this rhetoric, but the real reason lies in the structure.
A Rasmussen poll finds more than 2/3rds of Republicans think Trump will be their 2016 nominee: https://t.co/ED3UDNndHu— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 12, 2015
In each election campaign, Republican candidates find themselves in a patriotic race. It is also necessary to create a heroic image of a 'strong leader'. The need for self-advertising is a problematic dimension of democracy. The reason why the level of political discourse during the election period hits rock bottom is because of the need to reach the widest audience.
Before Trump made his debut, Ben Carson was using the same tactics. Once the the target group is identified, the ploy of fear is used to manipulate the concerns of voters, abusing the issue which is in focus. But those who play with fire get burned. Sometimes candidates go too far trying to win more supporters, and while trying to kill two birds with one stone they lose out.
Ben Carson cancelled his Kenya visit due to security concerns. Tell him I've been in Kenya on a visit for the past one week without issues.— Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKKenyatta) December 18, 2015
The object of fear has typically been foreign-sourced. But now it has become an internal issue of security, containing within itself issues of borders, migrants and terror. Capitalizing on the real threat, presidential front runners spread fear amongst their target groups in order to gain more voters. Masses tend to follow the leaders who proclaim radical things and promise security. Chaos and instability are especially important in order to create a savior image of the future president. The result is that the public votes for the politician who fights for the sake of the people of the nation.
Given the typical tactics, does Trump represent the US? No, this man represents the facets of a system which are everywhere in the world. The US is a country which has been opened to Muslims and other immigrants since the very beginning. The US is a country which theoretically could be governed by a Muslim one day. From this aspect, all this is reminiscent of Benjamin Disraeli's famous expression: “The East is a career.” Today being opposed to Muslims on a political arena, which puts national security issues almost at the top of the ballot, is a bypass of real politics. In other words, presenting Muslims as a threat is a tactic to get oneself extra credit as a presidential candidate.
If it wasn't Donald Trump, somebody else would step in his place and proclaim the same. Anyway, it is thought that Trump will be marginalized soon. It should also be noted that as Muslims become an inseparable part of the nation, such short-termed aggression will lead to Muslims and migrants from Islamic world being accepted even more. That's just how the USA works.