I remember quite clearly the day that Donald Trump announced that he was running for President. I thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever, and I was sure that his campaign wouldn’t last at all. Surely no one could take this guy seriously, right? I remember going out to lunch with co-workers that day and everyone having a good laugh about it.
Time went on, and he started climbing in popularity. People began praising him for speaking his mind and saying what no one else will say. Then one day he was leading the Republican primary polls, and again, I thought that it couldn’t possibly last. This guy is racist, sexist, ableist, and apparently has either no concept of or a very skewed concept of what the President actually does. But here we are, the Iowa caucus is next week and Donald Trump is polling very well and is leading Iowa as of right now. Needless to say, I was so very wrong about the path of Trump’s campaign.
There are a lot of people saying that Trump doesn’t have what it takes to make it through the entire campaign season, especially since he has virtually no policies other than “let’s build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.” Which isn’t even really a policy, but whatever. Anyhow, I agree that he doesn’t have what it takes to make it to the end of the primary campaign, but the thing is, he doesn’t have what it takes to be running right now, and yet here he is, leading the GOP polls.
A Trump Presidency is terrifying; hopefully it won’t get that far. Sadly though, he has already caused a lot of damage that is going to take some time to undo; he’s reintroduced the normalization of racism, sexism, ableism, and just about any other “ism” you can think.
No, I’m not blaming The Donald for people being bigots and racists, but I am calling him out for normalizing the behavior. There have always been bigots and sadly there probably always will be bigots. However, we had finally reached an era where it was becoming less and less okay for people to discriminate, and to openly say bigoted things. Then along comes The Donald wanting to build a wall to keep Mexican people out of the United States, bragging about deporting people, not wanting to allow refugees into our country, making fun of people with disabilities, and all this under the guise of “Making America Great Again.” Instead of people wanting to distance themselves from Trump and his isms, instead he’s bringing all the bigots out of the woodwork, making it okay for them to say this kind of vile garbage as well.
This is why it is frustrating when people say to ignore him, or to not talk about him because it gives him more attention. The man is already getting attention, and loads of it. As of right now, he’s planning on not participating in the Republican debate tonight, the last one before the Iowa caucus, and he will still get loads of attention, and it probably won’t affect whether or not people vote for him. He knows that; he has bragged that he could shoot someone and he wouldn’t lose any voters. To not speak up against someone spreading such open hate is disingenuous. You can’t just ignore away your problems, or pretend they don’t exist. Americans need to stand up against this kind of bigotry, we need to not stand for a candidate running for an office that is supposed to represent the people of America, ALL the people, who openly discriminates against and spreads hate towards any Americans who aren’t white Christian males. We’ve come too far to elect a President with this kind of thinking, but we’ve also come too far to allow for one to be polling the way Donald Trump is. I’m looking at you, my Republican friends.