Presidential campaigns in the United States are often full of drama and chaos – political theatre – but it is usually controlled chaos, which is carefully scripted by party officials.
This presidential campaign has been different, with Republican Party officials watching as Donald Trump, an unpredictable reality TV star and businessman, took over the party to a path paved by policies that defied typical conservative positions.
He has set the tone in this country. He says vitriol is ok, violence is ok.... Donald Trump is not the type of human being that can be in the White House, who can lead this country. He is a divider, not a unifier and we have to do everything in our power to prevent that from happening.
Trump has thrown the Republican Party into an internal war over what the party should stand for, with many Republicans still fighting to replace him as their party’s nominee.
Beyond Trump’s questionable conservative values, he has also raised concerns because of his often violent rhetoric, particularly towards immigrants and non-white communities.
“This message of economic anxiety, this message of ethnic scapegoating, those two things being this confluence that provides a real spark for potential violence in American society, I don’t think anybody can take that light,” says Jelani Cobb, a writer for The New Yorker.
As Americans prepare to elect a new president, Fault Lines explores the fractures Donald Trump’s nomination has exposed within the Republican Party and the US.
How did the billionaire businessman manage to rise from reality TV star to presidential nominee? How did he get so far? And what does his nomination mean for the GOP and the country?
We travel to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as Republicans and voters across the US come to terms with Trump’s nomination for president. We speak with party officials about Trump’s rise to power and ask how they feel about anointing a candidate who promotes himself through divisive rhetoric and fear.