Blue-collar workers were hit especially hard by globalization in the past 30 years. This group of voters, who have a high school degree or less and are employed in industries that have been decimated by the rise of foreign cheap labor, are increasingly isolated from a political system that has done notably little to slow their economic decline. They are the only group of Americans that has seen their real wages decrease since 1980 due to factors beyond their control. This has left them justifiably angry.
Additionally, events in the world have shaken Americans’ sense of safety and security and made them question our military dominance. ISIS’s rise to power has been notable in its momentum and visibility, with large numbers of Muslims in Western countries joining the radical movement. Agents funded, trained or inspired by the group have committed terrorist attacks in Paris, Jakarta and California during the most recent election cycle. The United States’ intervention has had little effect on the group, leaving many Americans wondering if their country still holds the same level of global influence as in previous years. A military strategy can go wrong for any number of reasons, but many militaristic efforts throughout history have failed due to a leader who is unwilling to be bold and take risks. This seems to be President Barack Obama’s problem, and voters are quickly realizing that his strategy to address radical Islamism is not working.
As these major failings of the current administration come into view, the Republicans expect to win the 2016 election. So far, the primaries have been chaotic, full of bombast and distractions. But out of the chaos, a clear narrative is emerging that the Republicans will use to earn a victory.
This narrative is embodied by a new generation of young Republican leaders, most notably Paul Ryan. Ryan has proven incredibly successful at uniting the factions of his party with a clear, coherent message that is focused on progress and strong leadership. On Saturday, Ryan released a list of five topics that the House would aim to address in 2016. National security and poverty were both included. He also emphasized that every member of the House would be involved in the decision making process, which is notable since the unwillingness to include some House Republicans contributed to the decline of John Boehner’s speakership. Ryan’s recent summit on poverty, which every Republican candidate attended except Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, was an incredibly meaningful policy discussion in which the candidates recollected their experiences with poverty and found common ground on how the country could address this issue.
The united front of House Republicans, who are prioritizing the most pressing issues facing Americans, means that a Republican candidate who can also prioritize those issues will be able to bring immense positive change to our country. Marco Rubio is that candidate.
After the melee of this primary season has ended, Rubio will emerge as a presidential candidate in the vein of Ryan. Young, hopeful and energetic, Rubio has consistently shown his ability to unite his party and create meaningful change on the issues that Americans prioritize. Other establishment candidates have faded in a very non-traditional race, and once they disappear completely, the support of the entire establishment will coalesce around Rubio, guaranteeing his nomination. It is possible that Trump would be able to join the House Republicans to enact a shared agenda, but his personality makes it much less likely. His inability to gain this support will ultimately lead to his downfall as a primary candidate. Cruz can only work with himself, mostly because no one can stand working with Cruz. Trump or Cruz gaining the nomination would be a calamity for the Republican Party, and would likely lead to a crushing defeat in the general election or a split within the party.
That is why Republicans will never let Trump or Cruz be nominated. Rand Paul has already sworn to dedicate all of his time to stopping Trump. Trump currently stands at around 33 percent of the vote, which is first place, but not a majority, meaning that once the other established candidates drop out, Rubio will be able to win a narrow victory. A united Republican Party will easily be victorious over Hillary Clinton, a politician so disingenuous and out of touch with voters’ views that she can barely keep the support of her own party. This new generation of Republicans will unite and govern well, creating an era of cooperation and prosperity yet unseen in the 21st century.
Current Prediction for Victory: Rubio
Current Favorite Candidate: Rubio
Most Terrifying Candidate: Sanders
Duncan is a College junior from Seattle, Washington.