Now please, bear with me. I try very hard to keep politics out of my writing in fear of ostracizing some of my readers, offending people close to me, or even losing followers. Unfortunately, in a world where your success is often measured by how many people like your work, writers, artists, and politicians often censor themselves in order to appeal to a wider audience. However, I am beginning to realize that there is a very fine line between “censoring” and lying by omission. And in some cases, being a silent bystander can be nearly as damaging as being an outspoken bigot.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “But Jocelyn, I thought this was a mental health blog.” And you’re right, my darling inquisitive reader, it is. While I usually focus on my own personal mental health, today I will be approaching a much broader set of issues. There is an enormous, terroristic threat facing the mental health of America. That threat is chronic bad hair day sufferer and self-proclaimed multi-billionaire Donald Trump.
When I first heard that Trump was entering the presidential race in June of 2015, I thought it was a joke. After all, I knew him as a rude, fairly creepy, misogynistic businessman with a tendency to get himself into debt and tweet angrily. Thinking back on it, I now wish that that was all he was.
Trump quickly gained support and wide-spread media coverage through a blatant disregard for human decency. His campaign trail has been blazed largely by personal attacks on his opponents, political stances that differ greatly from his well-documented opinions prior to his campaign, and vague, unrealistic plans to “make America great again.” Trump is a master-manipulator whose seemingly thriving political career is based primarily on his ability to propose ideas that soothe his fragile supporters’ irrational fears, which include Muslims, Mexicans, and Obamacare. Trump appeals to the prejudices and insecurities that are rife within a republican party that is increasingly less and less logical. The combination of ignorance, fear, bigotry, and the desperate search for a scapegoat mirrors the perfect storm of traits that allowed Hitler’s rise to power in pre-Holocaust Germany.
Because Donald Trump’s mouth is an eternal volcano of filth, this post could quickly become my longest blog entry if I were to attempt to address every inconsistent, discriminatory, or hate-fueled comment he has made, so I’ll just cover a few.
Upon his campaign announcement, Trump said that he would build “a great, great wall” in between the United States and Mexico, later adding that the construction of the wall would be funded entirely by Mexico. His rationalization for this plan was revealed in a statement in which Trump claimed that the Mexican government is intentionally “forcing their most unwanted people into the United States,” continuing to say that illegal immigrants from Mexico are “in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” Now, I don’t think that anyone is pro-illegal immigration. It is, after all, illegal. That’s pretty much the only problem that I have with illegal immigration though. The difference between my views and Trump’s views on the issue lie there. Instead of focusing of the undocumented immigrants’ illegality and the issues surrounding that, Trump chooses instead to focus on the alleged immorality of the people who are entering the U.S. by way of the Mexican border, basing his claims on widely-disputed statistics and individual cases that he tailors to support his “great wall” plan.
Much like the average tween girl, Donald Trump is an avid Twitter user. With 6.6 million Twitter followers, he is certainly no Katy Perry, who has the most followers at over 83 million. However, he tweets incessantly, covering topics from Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s relationship to Obama being the “WORST EVER president”. Trump often takes to Twitter to bash people that he disagrees with. His most recent attempts at middle school-esque cyber-bullying have been directed at Mitt Romney, the former presidential candidate that recently spoke out against the business mogul, encouraging republicans to vote for anyone other than Trump. Despite having tens of millions less followers, Donald Trump has posted more than a whopping 31,000 tweets in his Twitter career, which is thousands more than Kylie Jenner and Barack Obama combined. If that isn’t an automatic red flag, I don’t know what is.
In a post-9/11 America, under-educated citizens are quick to point fingers at Islamic religion as a whole, villainizing all 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, which accounts for about 23% of the global population. Believing that all practicing Muslims are hateful terrorists because of the actions of extremist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS is exactly the same as labeling all Christians as hateful terrorists because of the actions of extremist groups like the Klu Klux Klan and individuals like Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber who grew up in the Catholic Church and received his last rites from a priest just before his execution). One of the primary goals of the KKK, as determined early on in the supremacist organization’s history, is to “reestablish Protestant Christian values in America by any means possible.” This objective eerily reflects the goal of ISIS, which was described as “filling the world with the truth and justice of Islam.”
During a visit to the largest Christian university in the U.S., Liberty University, Donald Trump promised that he was “going to protect Christians”, claiming that they are losing their power in America, a country that was originally invaded and colonized in pursuit of religious freedom. Trump describes himself as a Protestant; a Presbyterian much to the chagrin of my 83 year old grandmother, a life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church USA. In 2012, Trump said, “I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think that my religion is a wonderful religion.” The second sentence in that statement is key. His religion is a wonderful thing.
If there is one religion that the republican front-runner thinks is less than wonderful, it’s Islam. The irrefutably illogical generalization that all Muslims are dangerous is encouraged by various claims and plans that Trump may or may not stand by if elected to office. Shortly after the ISIS-led terrorist attacks occurred in Paris, Donald Trump declared that as president, he would implement a series of database systems in order to track Muslims in the United States as well as keep close surveillance on mosques. The proposed database system has been compared to the Nazi’s tracking of Jewish people and the requirement that Jews wear patches on their clothing. To up the ante from suggesting that America mimic prewar Germany, Trump also endorsed shooting Muslim terrorists with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood in order to deter them. And as if that wasn’t appalling enough, Trump has proposed a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants entering the country, calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
A Donald Trump presidency is, without a doubt, the most effective thing that Americans can do to ensure anti-Western extremist groups like ISIS a thriving place in the modern world. Ironically similar to the Trump campaign, ISIS relies on pure fear to motivate people to support their cause. This fear is driven by ISIS’s claims that the Western World, the United States in particular, does not welcome, respect, or protect Muslims. No one proves this point better than Trump and his followers. Hate crimes against Muslim individuals (or individuals perceived to be Muslim), mosques, and Muslim-run businesses have as much as tripled in recent months. These attacks include assaults, vandalism, arson, and murders. The spike in hate crimes as well as increasingly disparaging remarks from American politicians, especially Trump, only validate ISIS’s motives and the terror of Muslims internationally.
My main message is this:
On behalf of the worldwide community, if you find yourself in a voting booth about to cast a ballot for Donald Trump, please, turn around, go back to your log cabin in the woods without running water, organize your gun cabinet, turn on some Kid Rock, and make love to your 18 year old cousin because chances are, you are exactly what is wrong with America.