I recently wrote a blog entitled “Oh, Canada.” It started like this:
Despite the title, this is not a blog about moving to Canada should Donald Trump, Xenophobic Racist Sexist Asshole become Donald Trump, POTUS. That’s a blog for another, seemingly inevitable day.
Somehow, it’s already that day. As Trump continues to rack up primary wins, I continue to wonder, simply, why? How?
I understand how, statistically, he wins. It’s simple math. And though this may be an unpopular opinion, I understand the draw to a loud, smart candidate whose name has always been synonymous with power and wealth.
And while I personally believe Republicans are stuck picking their poison between Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio this year, I’m not convinced he’d be the worst selection of the three, in terms of the overall health and prosperity of the United States (What does that say about the other two? My goodness.). I even get that certain Trump supporters believe in him for his economic policies and the general anti-establishment stance (even if I don’t think he’s actually explained any of his mysterious policies with any amount of substance).
What I simply cannot fathom, is how any of that can — apologies in advance — trump the simple evidence of him being a genuinely horrible person? I’m not talking about a schoolyard bully who taunts you out of lunch money (though his constant “we’re going to win” and “I’m the best at _____” nonsense is quite bully-like).
I’m talking about a grown adult who allows and oftentimes even encourages racism, sexism, violence and xenophobia. Who creates and accelerates an atmosphere of hate with every crowd he speaks in front of. Who offers to pay for the hypothetical bail of his supporters who physically abuse protesters at rallies.
Forget the fact that he’s built the Trump brand on an initial inheritance, despite numerous failed ventures and throughout an embarrassingly addicting set of reality shows. Forget his questionable-at-best foreign policy stance and utterly ludicrous ideas about immigration.
Let’s just talk about Trump, the human being. It’s true that most politicians come off just as power-hungry, selfish and corrupt as Trump. It’s also true that the person at the podium may not align with his or her deepest intentions, and by all accounts Trump is an engaging, interesting person to those who befriend him out of the public eye.
But unless Trump is literally trolling us all and will ride this wave into a potential presidency before reversing many of his previous statements, he is a horrible person unfit to lead the United States of America (or anyone, for that matter).
How, you ask? Let me count the ways:
- Repeatedly threatening journalists and protestors. Requesting the removal of any he finds at events who he believes may be anti-Trump, and then mocking them on the way out, using the crowd’s inevitable roar as fuel.
- Condoning violence – by not condemning it – among supporters against women and people of color. Simply search “Trump rally racist” on Google and tell me I’m wrong. He wouldn’t even immediately condemn fomer KKK leader David Duke, for heaven’s sake.
- Threatening to build a wall to keep out Mexicans (who he says are “all rapists”) and holding any Muslim terrorist suspect’s families equally responsible for crimes (if he’d even allow said family to be in this country in the first place).
You know who Trump is? He’s that guy we’ve all had the displeasure of meeting in high school: a shameless braggart who is “the best at everything” and never at fault when he loses; he blames the wind when he misses the basket and proclaims his superiority hypothetically for any number of asinine reasons. He’s the biggest and loudest and most confident in himself, and because of it he goes ignored and unchallenged.
All that, and he just so happens to discriminate against black people, brown people, people with boobs, people with boobs who also prefer boobs and any people who aren’t part of the “American people” (let’s not forget American people are a massive hybrid of the people who aren’t part of Trump’s idea of the “American people”).
It’s baffling. And that sentiment extends abroad. When I was on my trip last year, these candidates were just starting to make their rounds. In any discussion with people from other countries that touched on politics, the hilarity of Trump entering the race was covered. It went a little something like this:
- Other Traveler: “And I see you have Donald Trump! How funny! *laughs*”
- Me: “*awkward chuckle* Yeah, it’s pretty embarrassing…but he’s also leading the polls right now…”
- Other Traveler: “*awkward silence* What? Really? Why?”
Good question. I don’t know. I’ll never understand. And I’m not under the impression that my endorsement (or lack thereof, in this instance) of a presidential candidate will hold much weight, but really, why? Don’t take my word for it, though. How about Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York:
I’ll tell you one thing I do know for sure – even allowing Trump to get this far in the process has made our country look really, really, really stupid. The richest, most powerful country in the world is going to let one spot on the ballot be taken up by a man who represents hate, ignorance and hypocrisy?
This is a man who is probably most famous for emphatically “firing” celebrities on TV. A man who has no problem deporting an entire group of people for simply believing in Allah. A man who finds it acceptable to rip up the First Amendment, but will staunchly defend the Second, as long as it benefits him.
A man who seems willing to send the United States into wars against anyone – ally or enemy – at the first disagreeable comment uttered in his direction. A man who will proclaim America’s greatness and then boast about building a wall to keep out those less fortunate than him, contradicting the very values America and its greatness has always stood for.
Our country isn’t in a great place. I understand. People want change and they don’t believe in the current government. But good character does matter, even in politics. Trump does not possess good character, nor good intentions, nor good ideas.
Please, for the sake of the entire country (Isn’t that what voters should consider? What’s best for the entire country overall?), take a deep look into Trump before checking that box. Decide if that vote is really worth setting America back decades in terms of equality. If it’s worth having a trigger happy, selfish, ill-prepared reality TV star in charge of our military, government and courts.
A vote for Donald Trump is a not a vote for making America great again; it is a vote for initiating the self-destruct sequence.