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Class Conflict Theory: Election 2016

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Class Conflict Theory: Election 2016

      Stephanie Nalley

      Liberty University

        The election of 2016 has become one of the most historical elections in the history of the United States. Personally, I am thankful that I had an opportunity to witness this election and be apart of something larger than past elections. Donald Trump won our 2016 election, and many people do not understand how this occurred. He lost the popular vote, but he could manage to win the Electoral College. He clearly was and has been one of the most controversial Republican president to take office. When Donald Trump won the election, many referred to his win as the “Trump Effect”. That label reminds me of so many things that we have covered in Sociology this semester. Donald Trump’s candidacy and ultimate winning the Presidency has changed America. Socialist often could not make sense about how Donald Trump won, but I believe there were some key components that created this successful victory. The demographics that impacted this race is what set the tone, and it social structures and social groups that each candidate could reach is what ultimately deciding the election.

        Demographics are key to every pollster that is trying to predict the verdict of an election. In the 2016, the election demographics showed us that gender, age, race, education, and wealth were all reasons behind the “Trump Effect”. There was a battle between genders during the campaign that it is not surprising that most women voted from Hilary Clinton, and the majority of men voted for Donald Trump (Cole, 2017). The race may have been nearly divided among genders, but it became a deciding factor for the election because if we look at gender plus race, then we saw that Donald Trump was able to win over not only males, but he won white males. Cole mentions that it the election revealed that white voters preferred Trump regardless of age, which surprised many pollsters ( 2017). This election showed that both candidates attempted to reach all races and age groups, but everyone had their preferences. Clinton was able to better related with Millennials as a whole, but the polls still showed that white Millennials still chose Trump over Clinton (Cole, 2017). And, Clinton may have scored more votes with women overall; women who earned college degrees were more apt to vote for Donald Trump. Personally, I believe that this election was critical to deciding how our country will go in the future. People needed to understand their importance to make an impact. Income levels was another area that was assessed. It does not surprise me with the results that Cole found in the election. The table in the article shows readers that those whose income is under $50,000 mostly voted with Hilary Clinton (Cole, 2017). This does not surprise me as she was always saying that Donald Trump was just going to hurt those who are on lower income. Hilary would continually talk about how Donald only cared about upper-class. Honestly, when I read this article, I am not sure how anyone could question how Donald Trump did not win the Presidency. The tables demonstrated the numbers in which each candidate received percentages of votes based on demographics. The outcome of the election it self was the voice of the people ultimately. Many believed that this was a social experiment, and many are still feeling that way. After reading our last several chapters, I, personally, feel more informed into how the candidates sought to win their faces through key components in sociology. The textbook has given me a greater understanding that our society is embedded with so many intricate details that support our social structure.

        Karl Marx argued that social conflict was at the core of society (Basirico, Cashion, Eshlemen, 2014). He believed that the struggles between social classes were what makes and breaks society. The demographics that were discussed within Cole’s article shows us that Marx theories are still prevalent, even to the 2016 election. In today’s world, I believe that there are still mysteries that surround his beliefs on our society. We saw in our most recent election the importance that both candidates placed on the economy and what each one would do to change it. Economic determinism is not an idea of that only applied to the past. Marx theories show us in current times that there is a distinction between wealth, education, and gender. Tension was created among social classes and groups in this past election. I think this election we clearly were able to see the means of production and those that labor. Conflict is an everyday struggle; it is something that is one time and corrected. This election showed us the importance of the divide between the rich and the poor, those that are white, and non-white; and, those that are educated and uneducated. These social problems have existed for eternity. I believe that the article demonstrates that we know and understand the divide between our society; it has always existed, but it played an even bigger role in this election. Each party sought to seek a certain demographic to win their races. The people who appeared to be more dominate, wealthier, and educated seemed to make those opposite less inferior. Ultimately, I believe that these factors are what influences the race and much of life. People who feel that they don’t have a voice oftentimes will shy away which makes them feel powerless. Donald Trump is a strong voice. A dominate, wealthy individual with great influence in business and education. He just may be a great example for Karl Marx theories to play out in our society. And, while I am a Donald Trump supporter, I believe that this race was won for all Americans. I believe that the idea that we can unite as a nation to bring America to its best regardless of its race, gender, wealth, and education.


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