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?
James D “JD” Criveau describes himself only as “a common ordinary middle class citizen”, offering no information on his educational background or employment history. As a result, his qualifications to be President are unknown, though he himself counts the fact that he is not a career politician as a positive factor in that otherwise murky equation.
Running under the banner of the “Constitutionist” party, Criveau's political focus is strong on adherence to the Constitution and the according structuring of the federal government. He is fond of speaking of and quoting the founding fathers and other American historical figures, who generally held an unflattering view of that institution. Consequently, he supports drastically reducing the federal government's size, minimizing its interference in the lives of private citizens, and empowering state governments. He also calls for a reworking of the tax code to ensure that everyone, with emphasis on citizens and non-citizens alike, pays their fair share.
Criveau has a guarded approach to US foreign policy, declaring that other nations have the right to exist just as does our own, and that it is entirely the business of the people of those nations to decide whether and when to change their government – not ours.
While he has high esteem for religion and credits Christianity with being the founding faith of the United States, Criveau supports traditional separation of church and state. He insists that no religious institution ever have power over elected officials in the United States – on the understanding that no elected officials, similarly, shall have power in or over established churches.
Criveau's goals to limit the size of the federal government and reform the existing tax code will be music to the ears of many conservatives, while his cautious attitude on foreign policy and strict adherence to separation of church and state may not be so pleasing to the same audience. Nevertheless, he is generally a right-wing candidate, with most of his support to be found on that side of the political spectrum.