“Make America Great Again”
This phrase was coined by Ronald Reagan in 1980, and later trademarked by Donald J Trump just after the 2012 election. In 1980, it meant going back to a time when the world respected the United States for our powerful military. Today, we see it on signs in people’s yards and on those signature red caps. Now it is the slogan for the Trump Brand. It is a symbol of the revolution of our government and the end of the perpetual joke that is America.
This begs the question, when was America Great?
Donald Trump says America reached its peak at the turn of the 20th century “If you look back, it really was. There was a period of time when we were developing at the turn of the century which was a pretty wild time for this country… that machine was really based on entrepreneurship” Compared to the rest of the world, America was truly the superpower. But what about when you compare that to today?
In 1901, innovation was peaking and everyone worked: men, women and even children. Unfortunately, women did not have the right to own property. Women worked, but could not claim their earnings. Women did not get the right to vote until 1920, they had no say in the government.
Of course, this is not part of Trump’s plan to make America great again, but it does represent his audience and the people that deem him as a worthy presidential candidate.
Today women still wish to be valued in the workplace and in government. After a video was released of Trump saying sexually aggressive comments about women in 2005, a poll came out that showed that he would win the election, if only men voted.
Sadly, #RepealThe19th trended on twitter among Trump supporters upon seeing these polls. Trump’s team did not have any part in this trend, but does it reflect the Trump Brand? His response to the video stated “Anyone who knows me, knows these words do not reflect who I am.” However, his followers represent his brand and his idea of United States freedom.
The Donald Trump Brand started as an alternative to the classic American politician. He condemns anything politically correct and hopes to turn our system on its head. The beginning of his campaign was completely unscripted; he said what he wanted and didn’t care who he offended. The Trump Brand is selling the best America: America with the best policies, the best plans, and the best weapons. Does he believe women can play a role in the ‘best’ America?
He has been judging the physical appearances of women throughout his career, but it did not stop in his pursuit of the presidency. While criticizing his male opponents based on career history, policy, and their wives, Trump judged only female opponents on appearance. “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” This statement was made about Carly Fiorina, a major candidate for 2016 Republican primary.
He also discredited Hillary Clinton for her appearance: “Well, I just don’t think she has a presidential look, and you need a presidential look.” He has not ever said the reason they don’t have “Presidential Look” is because they are women, but he has never said that about a man. In the first presidential debate, Trump was asked what he meant by “presidential look” and his response was “She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina. I said she doesn’t have the stamina. And I don’t believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina.” Though ironically in the second presidential debate he commended her for her for just that. “I will say this about Hillary. She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that. I tell it like it is. She’s a fighter.”
The oval office isn’t the only office the Trumps don’t think women fit in. Donald Trump Jr. spoke on a radio show in 2013 about harassment in the workplace. “If you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, then you don’t belong in the workforce. Like, you should go maybe teach kindergarten. I think it’s a respectable position. You can’t be negotiating billion-dollar deals if you can’t handle, like, you know.”
Donald Trump himself has had a history of discriminating against women in the workplace. In the second debate, just a few days after the leak of his tape, Trump said, “I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” but Trump has not shown much compassion for pregnant women in business, for example, in 2004 he called pregnancy an inconvenience to a business. He has tried to make his brand appeal to women, saying no one will protect women like Trump.
He has since come out with a plan to start paid maternity leave legislation as president. Trump’s plan is to give women who give birth 6 weeks paid from unemployment insurance, which is the money she would receive if she were to be laid off. This does not include fathers or parents who adopt. Since this plan does not apply to men, businesses would be incentivized to hire more men so they will not have to pay more in unemployment insurance.
Trump did not start #RepealThe19th, but it still has a negative effect on his typology. His followers represent his brand so the actions of his audience need to line up with his brand. To say that he didn’t make it up is true, but he does appeal to the group of supporters that started this message. In order to reinstate confidence in his women-loving values, it is necessary that he make it clear to his followers that they must stop supporting these archaic values.