Trump to run for president as rivals fall

Now that his main opponent has resigned, Donald Trump looks set to face Hillary Clinton in the election for US president. He is the first nominee since 1952 without any political experience.

What’s happening

In November this year, American citizens will vote for their next president — and after months of ferocious campaigning, it looks like the billionaire Donald Trump will be standing for the Republican party. It is a result that has shocked the country’s more traditional politicians.

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Donald Trump is unlike any presidential candidate in America’s recent history. His controversial policies include banning Muslims from entering the country and building a wall along its 2,000-mile border with Mexico. At his campaign events, he has encouraged violence among his supporters.

Traditional politicians and experts have been left scratching their heads. How can such an unusual and often unpleasant person be so popular?

One writer thinks he has the answer. The Greek philosopher Plato predicted this over 2,000 years ago. As democracies become more free, he said, the people begin to reject the traditional, elite politicians who used to lead them. This makes it easier for ‘tyrants’ like Trump to attract the support of an ‘obedient mob’.

Some say…

What snobbery! If people no longer agree with the old ways of doing things, they should not be dismissed or ignored. Traditional politicians have created a world which many people think is unfair and unequal. Trump’s supporters clearly feel very angry, and they deserve to be listened to. It is no use blaming democracy for results you do not like.

Others think…

Maybe Plato had a point. Trump’s policies will be almost impossible to implement, but his brash personality has made them seem attractive to a lot of people. Similar trends are being seen in Europe, where anti-immigration parties are getting more popular. It seems that the longer democracy sticks around, the more extreme candidates become.

You Decide

  1. Are you concerned about the rise of Donald Trump?

Activities

  1. Take it in turns to write down words you associate with Trump on the whiteboard. Discuss them as a class.

Some People Say...

“People do not always know what’s best for them.”

What do you think?

Word Watch

Billionaire
Donald Trump is worth around $4 billion.
Republican
One of the two main US political parties.
Controversial
Something there is much disagreement about.
Philosopher
A person who thinks and writes about problems of society, the mind, and reason.
Democracies
Societies where the people’s vote controls government.
Elite
Rich, influential and upper class.
Tyrants
Rulers with unlimited power who use it for themselves, hurting or oppressing the people they rule.

Subjects

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