When Donald John Trump announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election at the Trump Tower to an audience of about a thousand supporters on a blustery New York morning on June 16, 2015, no one could’ve anticipated the impact that he would have on this election cycle. No one (aside from Ann Coulter) could’ve even envisioned Mr. Trump winning the GOP presidential nomination. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time – even Mr. Trump himself -, there was a leadership void within the Republican Party that was crying out to be filled.
The billionaire’s no-nonsense style, outsider status, business savvy and keen political instincts drew in the support of blocks of politically frustrated middle class conservatives, tea partiers and Ron Paul’s orphaned paleolibertarians, who were all looking for a champion to lead them and give their struggle a voice. In the following months, these disparate groups of voters organically coalesced into a powerful coalition which has propelled Mr. Trump’s candidacy from the fringes of the race to the summit of the Republican nomination leaderboard with surprising, albeit controversial, ease.
And to think, the teetotaler wasn’t even certain about running as late early 2015. There were real fears that similar to the general elections of 1988, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012, Mr. Trump would not make a bid for the nomination despite giving indications that he might.
His giddying ascension in the polls has been met with incredulous wonder by the media and more established candidates who have long fallen to the wayside. His combative performances in the debates left his opponents tongue-tied, much to the delight of his supporters. His controversial off-the-cuff deliveries and political incorrectness are viewed proudly by his legion of followers. His war cry, Make America Great Again, has galvanized even the elderly to attend his lively rallies.
Mr. Trump’s in-your-face style has drawn a lot of flak from all corners, but only a fool would doubt that there is a method behind his apparent madness. As the former reality TV star has demonstrated repeatedly throughout his career, his audacity is always accompanied by a ferocious intelligence.
There is simply no denying that Mr. Trump has changed the face of American politics forever. And the prospect of a businessman being elected to the White House has rekindled century-old memories of the Roaring Twenties when entrepreneurs such as Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover occupied the Oval Office.
Mr. Trump’s nationalist populist brand of politics captured the imagination of the nation, and powered his victory in the Republican primaries. However, will the charismatic real estate tycoon be able to use an identical approach in his White House run, or will he pivot to the center and reign in his explosive personality? Will he be able to unite the party’s fractured base and win over the agitated social conservatives? Will Miley Cyrus move out of the country if Mr. Trump is elected?
Brian Briggs currently resides in Hatley, Mississippi, but he was born and raised in the small town of Granville in upstate New York. He is a great lover of music, and was an avid musician throughout his high school and college days, even composing a piece that was performed by the student band. He also enjoys hunting, when he is able. The specifics of his higher education and his employment history are not known.
An Independent candidate, Briggs borrows from both sides of the political spectrum to form his platform. He is staunchly right-wing in his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, criticizing as harmful to the poor, many of whom he says make too much to qualify for subsidies while remaining unable to afford insurance on their own. He calls for the law's repeal, and says he has his own health care plan with which to replace it that would cover dental and optical care, general medical concerns, prescription drugs, and “college and death”. He opposes any additional gun control legislation, arguing that criminals will gain access to firearms whether they are legal or not and that increased enforcement action against gangs should be emphasized. On the other hand, he is a supporter of employee rights in labor, and he complains that existing federal laws provide insufficient protection for workers which in turn causes states to neglect them. He also rejects the notion of deporting illegal immigrants currently present within the nation, and favors granting them citizenship so that the work they already do can be taxed to public benefit. He does, however, support strengthening the border with Mexico in order to stop future unlawful crossings.
Briggs has harsh words for Donald Trump, attacking many of the Republican candidate's positions. He accuses Trump of being apathetic towards children because of his support for denying automatic US citizenship to the babies of illegal immigrants, and he criticizes Trump for a heated exchange he had with a journalist working for a Spanish-language news network. He also says that Trump is “out of his mind” for believing – as he indeed has previously proposed – that Mexico could be made to pay for the construction of a fence along the border.
No great fan either of Democrat Hillary Clinton, Briggs says it is time for her to “hang it up” as a result of her current e-mail scandal. He argues that her credibility has been tarnished, and he invites Clinton's supporters to join his campaign instead.
On the balance, Briggs' platform leans more to the right than to the left, with Republicans likely to be attracted by his support for gun rights and opposition to Obamacare. However, his emphasis on worker protections may alienate these same conservatives, and many on the right may find his position on immigration, while agreeable, to not go to sufficient lengths.