The reason Donald Trump is winning is not because he is not politically correct, he always speaks his mind, or because he is an anti-establishment political outsider who never held elected office. The reason is: he talks about the economy.
From the beginning, Trump has been harping on anti-trade measures that would bring jobs to the U.S. and on stronger borders and enforcement mechanisms to combat illegal immigration. While anti-trade and anti-immigration may not be the answers for solving the economic malaise, Trump is the only candidate who has consistently brought up the economy as the U.S.’s number one problem. Ted Cruz went an entire two-hour debate without once even mentioning the economy.
Bernie Sanders also has hit a chord with voters because his campaign theme centers on the economic troubles of the middle class brought on by income inequality. Sanders shares with Trump the distinction as the only other candidate who has correctly diagnosed the number one problem in the U.S., the underperforming economy that has led to a lack of jobs and stagnant wages among America’s middle class.
Although stricter trade agreements and tariffs are not conservative solutions, there is hope that Trump will come around to a more conservative approach. As the media has pointed out on many occasions, Trump has flip-flopped on Obamacare, taxes, and abortion as he has learned more and more.
Trump’s detractors say he flip-flopped for political expediency, but his current policy positions could be genuine. When Trump began talking anti-trade and anti-immigrant at the beginning of the race, no consultant in America thought that was a winning political strategy. For what reason would Trump speak about anti-trade measures, believed to be political suicide by all political consultants, unless he had deep personal convictions about the issue? Because he was willing to champion what was thought unpopular, I am more likely to take him on his word on his position changes.
Who knows, maybe Trump will flip-flop on his solutions to the economy. Either way, at least someone will be in the Oval Office who wants to fix the economy.
Nick Bell is an avid political junkie.