Research Assessment #7

Date: November 17, 2016

Topic: Economics of the President Elect


Since Election Night, political pundits and reporters have been scattered across the nation. With many podcasts and news shows interviewing both President Elect Trump and Secretary Clinton supporters in swing states and counties, it is clear that political analysts were unsure of how Trump won the election. He drew huge support from a demographic that Democratic support used to champion: white blue-collar workers. Traditionally, the Democratic party was one of the average working man. However, throughout numerous election cycles, their technocratic evolution has alienated many low-income workers. President Elect Trump pounced on this alienation.

In his campaign rooted in rhetoric, Trump promised to bring manufacturing jobs back from China and restore American industries. Many analysts found it notable that to date, he has been unable to produce policy plans to accomplish this promise. Through my research regarding the economic engagement between America and China, as well as my research in public policy, I have come to believe that bringing manufacturing jobs back may sound like a good idea. However, it is also an unfeasible idea. As America’s economy shifts from the service sector to the knowledge sector, there is little room for economic reversal. With Silicon Valley trying to spread to the Midwest, I believe that there will be little room for manufacturing job growth and opportunities. With this reasoning, Trump’s campaign rhetoric seems to be more wishful thinking.

Furthermore, as I continued to research his campaign’s economic promises compared to the realistic possible actions and results, I was intrigued by his child-care plan. Traditionally speaking, child-care plans are written and passed to help low-income working families. Despite tradition, Trump’s proposed child-care plan has been suggested to benefit affluent families. His tax cuts for the wealthy imply that he is not proposing economic reform. Instead, he is structuring the economy to benefit him and his neighbors. The lack of policy substance in his proposed actions does leave room for change. This does give him and his administration room to alter his plans so that they benefit his voting base.

As I researched the predicted outcomes of Trump’s campaign promises, I found myself questioning how his proposals could obviously contradict his supporters. I have learned about working class Americans continuously voting for Republican candidates on the basis of social issues. However, Trump’s supporters mainly cited the current state of the economy as their reason for voting. Given that Trump proposed economic policies that continue to hurt working class Americans, I was unsure of what about his economics appealed to voters. As I continued to research while also reflecting on his campaign speeches, I have come to the conclusion that his rhetoric was a powerful tool. His rhetorical skills allowed him to propose a plan that harmed a given group, and then convince the demographic to vote for the proposal.

After analyzing the power of his speeches, I began to synthesize these new conclusions to my research from earlier this semester. I have learned a lot regarding how candidates and elected officials effectively reach out to voters. However, I started to assume that transparency in one’s speech was the only way to gain support and trust from voters. I believe that the discrepancies between his rhetoric and his proposals allowed him to attract a new voting demographic, while also continuing to appeal to traditional Republican voters.  After researching predictions regarding Trump’s economic plans, I have come to believe that for every candidate and elected official, there is a different strategy when approaching voters.

MLA Citation:

Casselman, Ben. “Trump’s Proposals Won’t Help the White Working Class — Or the Urban

Poor.” FiveThirtyEight. N.p., 17 Nov. 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.