The world is in shambles. Violence is the new normal. Corruption at the highest levels is being swept under the rug. Welcome to the New America, one that is like the 1950s black and white Father Knows Best sitcom and more like a sequel to the popular violent Purge films about society running amok. No longer are we a nation of laws, but instead a nation at the brink of losing its soul. Whether the situation is cops shooting young black men around the country, black men shooting cops in Dallas, or a presidential candidate being “excessively careless” with sensitive documents and released in a Nixonian fashion, America is tired of feeling powerless. With all this chaos, I feel that Donald Trump’s propaganda message of “Make America Great, Again” is about to go into hyper-drive; and his pull with independents, Libertarians and the less political is about to skyrocket. 

In a world where people now fear walking the streets, the two remaining candidates will walk into their upcoming party conventions trying to sell themselves as the saving graces of America’s future. Donald Trump will go to bat first, July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio, to present himself as the anti-politician, pro-gun, pro-capitalism, America-first candidate in a very urban part of Kasich Country. Trump will spend his time there calling for law and order and screaming like a paranoid Paul Revere, “The Muslims are coming!” followed by “The Mexicans are coming!” in an attempt to rally those who see the world as a fearful and scary place. This message will resonate with those who see Hillary as a business-as-usual politician. Trump will stand next to Newt Gingrich or Chis Christie promising to make America safe again, all while angry white males cheer, guns in hand. 

Then on July 25-28 in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton will stand beside a young, upcoming, ethnically diverse VP candidate or Elizabeth Warren and cry for the world to come together under a quasi-socialist platform promising cheaper college and health care expansion, as well as gun law reforms and the message “Citizens of the world, unite!” She couldn’t be more of the anti-Trump. While he’s all emotion and pomp and circumstance, she’s cool and collected. She’ll say nothing that rattles the status quo. She’ll simply be who she has been the past 24 years, a political cookie cutout, changing with the times. She won’t gain one independent voter she hasn’t won already. The message is too on-point, too scripted and too boring. Philadelphia will be a snooze show with the most applause directed at Bernie Sanders.

The reason independents are so important to these candidates is because both will win their respective bases, no matter what. Trump will win the angry white males, Clinton will win women and minorities, and both have large sects of their political parties disgusted by both. For every conservative against Trump, there’s a disenfranchised college student wanting to #FeelTheBern. It’s about even on that playing field. While Clinton has seen a general 6-7 point lead over Trump in the general election, the independents will make a Trump shift soon, I predict. NBC News reported at the end of June that Trump has been tied and slightly ahead of Clinton, with each getting 36 percent support from independents. But that was before Clinton was pardoned. That was before the Dallas massacre. That was before the real rioting. Americans are looking to return to a bubble of the 1980s and 1990s. Trump is the only one promising to go backward, whereas Clinton keeps promoting President Obama’s philosophy of going forward. Independents are going to see Clinton as four more years of the last few years of Obama. The world has changed dramatically. Independents aren’t going to want to see any more change. Trump benefits so much from the Orlando shooting (“The Muslims are coming!”), the fear of gun rights being taken away, and Hillary’s server scandal getting brushed under the rug. He gets to play contrarian to her PC rhetoric. 

The fate of the country is in the hands of the unaffiliated. The Bernie supporters. The Libertarians. The people who feel lost. So while all votes matter, this election will really just be our Independent’s Day. F