The 2016 presidency has been one of the most interesting campaigns of this era. From both parties, two frontrunners are aligned on opposite sides of the political spectrum. The Democratic party brings extreme liberal Bernie Sanders to the table (a subject for another article), while the Republican party offers extreme conservative Donald Trump.
Today, the spotlight features Trump. You’ve probably heard his name before, perhaps in association with his multi-million dollar company or his hosting career on The Apprentice. Most likely, you recognize his well-known, yet controversial presidential candidacy. In recent Republican National Conferences, he frequently steals the show and tops the polls (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/republican-presidential-debates-donald-trump-leads-in-polls-but-will-his-rivals-risk-attacking-the-10441360.html). Why? His business association isn’t the only explanation for his popularity – his brute, blunt honesty can appeal to some and inflate his reputation.
That being said, truthfulness is not necessarily parallel to being a good person or an adept president. Mr. Trump has gone on record to say nearly whatever is on his mind, showing little regard for many marginalized groups and potential voters. Who has the time to look up how he said “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”, or his disrespectful imitation of a physically disabled person?
Fortunately, I can save you the trouble of researching every absurd remark of his by compiling a succinct, yet explanatory list of his instances of racism and sexism.
His defamation of Mexicans as rapists and criminals (+ his immigration policies)
After Trump announced his presidential candidacy, he initiated a crusade of controversy by making inflammatory remarks about Mexicans.
“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems… When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…. They’re sending us not the right people.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/06/16/full-text-donald-trump-announces-a-presidential-bid/) Shortly after his statement about Mexico, he expanded his target and described how the issue came from “all over South and Latin America” and “probably from the Middle East” (his Islamophobia will be mentioned later). His comments, which he has repeatedly defended, have sparked outrage in the Latino community and dissociations from some of Trump’s corporate partners.
Crimes relating to drugs and sexual assault are difficult to connect to illegal immigration, because no solid data exists. In fact, a study done by The Center for Immigration Studies show that first-generation immigrants are less likely to commit crime than native-born Americans (http://cis.org/ImmigrantCrime), and the Congressional Research Service found that the overwhelming majority of undocumented immigrants do not fit with Trump’s archetype of violent, murderous felons, with non-citizens making up a smaller prison population in comparison to their percentage of the total US population.
Not only is Donald Trump adamant about his glaring stereotype being true, he is also determined to separate Latin America entirely. His website (www.donaldjtrump.com) lists the campaign’s primary goals – including a wall across the southern border. Who will pay for it? Mexico, because, again, they have been dumping their ‘criminals’ on us.
Professionals and engineers alike have voiced their criticism. First, Trump claims that he is “a builder” who has worked on “more complicated” projects such as 95 story buildings. (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/08/25/trump_vs_jorge_ramos_on_birthright_citizenship_wall_building_a_building_thats_95_stories_tall_more_difficult.html) In reality, he is a developer who pays others to build for him. Building skyscrapers is no easy task, but people have done it before. His response both greatly exaggerates his construction experience and downplays the massive undertaking the wall would have. Second, the last time humans constructed a thousand-mile long frontier was in ancient China, only possible through a century-long campaign that forced labor upon millions of Chinese peasants. Creating a wall would be an expensive, lengthy, and unrealistic process. Mexican and Latin-Americans, unfortunately, are not the only targets of his prejudice.
His extensive history of sexism
Donald Trump spares no punches when he insults and belittles women. For one, he makes it very clear how he believes women are valuable for primarily looks and sex. In his book Trump 101: The Way to Success, Trump writes: “Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art, is not just superficial or something pretty to see.” Unbeknownst to the business mogul, women are not, in fact, objects for looking pretty.
On The Apprentice, he has been quoted for saying that the success of women on the show involves the amount of sex appeal they have. He similarly told a female reporter that “the look doesn’t matter, but the look obviously matters. Like you wouldn’t have your job if you weren’t beautiful.”, implying that a woman could only get her job due to her attractiveness. Even Republican candidate Carly Fiorina was mocked for her appearance.
“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” Trump said, this time questioning a woman’s qualifications due to not being ‘pretty enough’. “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/trump-seriously-20150909#ixzz3w89MVTvV)
Most notable is his conflict with Megyn Kelly and Rosie O’Donnell. Alluding to his history of sexist remarks, Fox News host Kelly noted how he called women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals”. She was immediately interrupted by the tycoon, who rebutted, “Only Rosie O’Donnell”. Later, Trump berated her inquiries and insulted her on an interview, describing how “there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her… wherever.” (http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/08/politics/donald-trump-cnn-megyn-kelly-comment/) After the implied jab at women during menstruation sparked outrage, Trump attempted to clarify his words by tweeting, ” “there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” (NOSE). Just got on w/thought”; however, he has yet to apologize.
On the other hand, Donald ‘All of the women on The Apprentice [subconsciously] flirted with me’ Trump’s animosity with comedian and TV presenter Rosie O’Donnell, who has actively spoken out against the magnate, dates back several years. Back in 2006, she questioned Trump’s choice not to fire controversial Miss USA Tara Conner over drug abuse, calling him “a snake-oil salesman.”
“[He] left the first wife—had an affair. [He] had kids both times, but he’s the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America. Donald, sit and spin, my friend.”
In response, he said this:
“If I were running The View, I’d fire Rosie. I mean, I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’ We’re all a little chubby, but Rosie’s just worse than most of us.” In the same rant, he said that O’Donnell’s “very lucky to have her girlfriend”, but she should be “careful” or Trump will send one of his friends over to “pick up her girlfriend”, asking why she would “stay with Rosie if she had another choice”
(http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/rosie-odonnell-had-this-to-say-about-donald-trumps-sexist-debate-comments–ZkgXBhBZQ4g) In fact, Donald Trump’s twitter alone features a collection of outrageous lines. In 2013, he once tweeted: “26,000 unreported sexual [assaults] in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”, blaming not the military justice system, but rather the lack of gender segregation.
His disturbing plans for Muslims
In a troubled time when ISIS terrorizes the Middle East and terrorist attacks are prevalent, the topic of immigration often comes into play. When interviewed by Yahoo News, Donald Trump described his considerations for Muslim-Americans to register on a government database and carry special identification cards that denote their religion. Since his ideas resemble laws Nazis had enforced on Jews, which required them to wear a Star of David on their clothes, social media and politicians alike have criticized the candidate. After Trump confirmed his database plan, an NBC reporter asked candidly, “Is there a difference between requiring Muslims to register and Jews in Nazi Germany?” Trump initially refused to respond, but then replied, “You tell me,” and walked away.
But Trump was not finished with the nightmare he plans to put Muslims through if he becomes president. The mogul has repeatedly called for increased surveillance of mosques (including warrantless searches) after the terror attacks in Paris.
“You’re going to have to watch and study the mosques, because a lot of talk is going on in the mosques,” he said on MSNBC. “And from what I heard, in the old days — meaning a while ago — we had a great surveillance going on in and around the mosques of New York City,” Additionally, Trump said that the U.S. would have “absolutely no choice” but to shut down mosques when “some bad things happen”. (http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/260727-trump-wont-rule-out-database-special-id-for-muslims) He even praised controversial past NYPD policies that spied on the New York City Muslim community, despite it yielding no results.
Most insulting of all is Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslim immigrants entirely. In a written statement released last December, the Republican frontrunner wanted a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”, extending beyond immigrants to Muslim-Americans living overseas. He cited a questionable six-month old survey from the right-wing Center for Security Policy finding that 25% of Muslims believed that violence against Americans was justified as a part of global jihad. (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/donald-trumps-call-to-ban-muslim-immigrants/419298/)
Immediate disapproval erupted, especially from the Republican Party. On Twitter, Jeb Bushed tweeted that Trump was “unhinged” and Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican rival, tweeted that Trump had “gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric.” Not only has the White House described his call to ban Muslims from entering “disqualifying” from the presidential candidacy, (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/white-house-donald-trump-disqualified_566720a3e4b08e945ff123cc?utm_hp_ref=politics&utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_804387&ncid=txtlnkusaolp00001376), but ISIS has also utilized Trump’s agenda for their own means, hoping that Western Muslims would become more alienated and empowered to join their cause.
The survey that Donald Trump cited was repudiated by a group at Georgetown University.
“This survey should not be taken seriously.” The organization wrote. “It comes from an organization with a history of producing dubious claims and “studies” about the threat of shariah, and was administered using an unreliable methodology. Its proponents seize upon its shoddy findings, exaggerating and misrepresenting them to American audiences, and falsely claim that the survey data represents the views of Muslims nationwide.”(http://bridge.georgetown.edu/new-poll-on-american-muslims-is-grounded-in-bias-riddled-with-flaws/) Ultimately, the survey is not the problem. The main issue deals with strategy.
Trump has demonstrated in his campaign that he is more than happy to manipulate the hatred and fear of minorities in his pursuit for power. Blaming the Latino community for crime, even pointing fingers at the Chinese for global warming is just another tactic to sway the GOP. Admittedly, Donald Trump is not the first person to suggest outlandish and offensive ideas, but his legion of supporters, success in polls, and powerful political influence make him more than just a hateful bigot. Let’s make America great again. Don’t vote for Trump.
Other notable quotes from the candidate:
“Because president Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won’t see another black president for generations.”
“I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to ISIS.”
“I’m more honest [than the other candidates] and my women are more beautiful.”
“I have a great relationship with the blacks.”
“The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yamakas every day.”
More information on:
Immigration and Crime – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-gfalse-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/
Building a Wall Between the United States and Mexico – https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-on-the-us-mexico-border-building-a-wall-is-easy/2015/07/16/9a619668-2b0c-11e5-bd33-395c05608059_story.html
Trump’s Plans with Muslims – http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/20/opinions/obeidallah-trump-anti-muslim/