How Have Politics in the United States Changed Since Trump’s Presidency?

Whether you support Donald Trump or not, you have to admit that politics in the United States have dramatically changed since his presidency began. Politics have been a part of life in the United States for as long as we can remember. But now most, if not all, Americans are more invested in politics than ever before. 

To begin, we know that the old meanings of what being a Democrat or a Republican are have changed. However, Trump completely changed the meaning of what a “Republican” is and even created a new political ideology, “Trumpism”. He essentially appealed to a new audience of people who didn’t identify as Republican before and heightened most or all of the traditional Republican views with the rhetoric he uses. One of the bigger elements of this change is the belief that everything is a conspiracy. Anything that doesn't work out in their favor can only be the result of something or someone conspiring against them. 

Trump did not invent partisan division, loyalty to one’s party, or conspiracies, but he definitely did increased their prevalence throughout the country. Like I stated before, anything that doesn’t work out in favor of the Trump administration was immediately the result of something the Democrats or “leftists” did. He tends to make the politics less about the change he wants to see for the country and more about what the Democrats want to change. He perpetuated this idea that Democrats were the enemy, though they are still Americans and still  neighbors. It has become less about the person who does the job best and more about having a person in power that has the same political views as you. Ultimately, this has led to many family fights and lost friendships. 

As we all know, Trump is also very involved on various social media platforms - particularly on Twitter. Every past president has used the latest technology to communicate directly to Americans in a way that benefits them, so using social media in today’s society makes sense. What’s different this time around has to do more with the design of the Twitter platform itself. The limited word count for tweets makes it difficult for clear and sophisticated messages to come through, which could lead to more uncertainty amongst the people. Twitter also makes it much easier to strike back at negative comments or engage in insulting behavior. As we all know, it is much easier to say something rude through social media than it is to do so in person. This is what makes political scientists question whether it is a good idea for Trump to use Twitter as his main communication device.

Believe it or not, several other major countries around the world do not support Trump or what he has done to American politics. As we hear often, Trump says that the US is the “greatest country in the world”. In key European countries, the percentage of people with a positive view of America is currently at its lowest since 2003. They view the Trump presidency more as a total threat to democracy, especially after Trump’s inability to commit to a peaceful transition of power. Trump’s presidency could potentially change the fact that countries look at the US for democratic government inspiration and could cause distrust. 

 

Sources to check out:

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54541907

https://theconversation.com/trump-has-changed-america-by-making-everything-about-politics-and-politics-all-about-himself-146839

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-trump-changed-america/

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/11/02/the-republican-identity-crisis-after-trump