Malaysiakini News

GE14: Take heed of the silent majority

Darshini Kandasamy  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | In early 2016, when crowds of supporters gathered at Donald Trump rallies just months after he announced his presidential bid, they held up signs which read, "The silent majority stands with Trump."

Many critics scoffed, declaring there was no such thing.

In the months that followed, a vast majority of pundits, pollsters, analysts and academicians seemed to agree that the so-called "silent majority" was indeed a big silent nothing. It was, they said, classic Trump – one big marketing campaign.

Yet, by year-end, in one of the most unpredictable, incredible election outcomes in the history of the modern world, the reality television star and real estate mogul triumphed over former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

His trump card, if you will? Yes, that silent majority. The Silent had made their voices heard the loudest in the ballot box.

It was a pre-Watergate president Richard Nixon that initially used the term when justifying his plan to end the Vietnam war, following nationwide demonstrations involving millions of Americans.

In his famous 1969 speech, Nixon called on "the great silent majority" for support, while dismissing the demonstrators as nothing more than a "vocal minority." And the former answered.

Large turnouts a confidence boost

Perhaps Malaysia should take heed of US presidential election...

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