Good vs. Evil. That’s what our elections have become. Every single one of them. Republicans believe Democrats are the devil. Democrats feel the same about Republicans. And every new election becomes a new end of world scenario. More important than the last. Quite possibly the last. VOTE OR DIE…(oh, wait…that was an actual get out the vote movement, wasn’t it…)
This rhetoric, obviously, has a danger of alienating voters who just don’t necessarily see either side as being all that great. I mean, when the bad guys are telling you the other guys are the bad guys…how do you even respond to that?
Another big issue is that when one of the evil people get elected, all those who find him/her to be evil, freak the hell out.
As is quite apparent this year with the election of Donald Trump.
I mean, the emotional response to this election’s results are overwhelming. They’re beginning to fade slightly as more and more people have made it through the five stages of grief attached to party politics, but the uproar is still loud. And should Ms. Clinton have won, I guarantee you we’d still be having this precise conversation.
So, perhaps the next best thing to look at in this regard is whether or not it is warranted. Obviously in a campaign season as filled with slander as this one was, there are certain expectations that many of the things said were said to win the game with very little fact behind them.
So the real question here is: Is President-Elect Trump really as bad as we have been led to believe?
Now, when you’re dealing with someone who has been in the public eye for as long as Mr. Trump, you’re bound to have broken a few eggs. When you are a business man who likes to make a scene, who likes to rile people up to get a response, that’s even more the case. So, a lot of his issues may be easy for his supporters to brush off as simply the showmanship of a reality TV star/real estate mogul. I want to talk about this as well, but for now, let’s simply focus on whether or not this man is evil.
And in the case of Donald J Trump, probably the most evil allegation behind him is the r word.
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Obviously I’m talking about the rape allegations against him. Simply put, America cannot stand to put a rapist into office. (Well, first, yes, I realize that some of the uproar following his election is that there are many who appear to support him as a rapist, at least based on the recent brash of assaults brought on in the name of Mr. Trump. And, I also realize that we have most definitely had rapists in the Oval Office in the past.)
From what I can find on the topic, which is difficult to cut through all the fake news to get to the truth, Trump only currently has one rape charge levied against him. Well, and technically, he’s not even facing rape charges at the moment, due to, according to the victim, threats against her life. Now, there are a whole lot of issues with this particular lawsuit, which Snopes has laid out quite well, but the allegation has not been dropped, even if there are a ton of fishy pieces to the puzzle right down to who the actual person behind the allegation is.
Honestly, this charge gets a little muddy, simply because the issues with the lawsuit itself could either derive from a witch hunt attempting to protect itself from being caught for outright lies, or because of a scared victim attempting to come forward while knowing that she could be in danger for her life. And considering the charges aren’t just for rape, but for raping a 13 year old, this is a pretty serious allegation.
Is he a rapist? Well, he’s not a convicted rapist, but this isn’t the first time he’s been charged as such. His ex-wife Ivana at one point claimed to have been raped by him, only later amending that she didn’t find it to be in the criminal sense.
In other words, although the word has been attached to him, he has not been convicted. And although we do live in a world where rape allegations are taken seriously from the moment they are laid down (and should be), there is still a certain amount of care we have to take in assigning guilt, considering America’s standard “guilty until proven innocent” is an important part of our democracy which has already suffered greatly at the hands of those in power in recent years.
But, allegations are something which might be easy to brush off, and I can definitely understand how, in an election season as heated as this one was, much of this could be taken as purely political warfare. So, I happened upon this list from the Telegraph which labels itself the “Donald Trump Sexism Tracker“.
Now, even I’ll admit that many of these items appear quite tame (taking out the allegations and simply looking at items that are proven to be things he has said or done) when you think of how Trump is the owner of the world’s largest beauty pageant. That he’s a reality TV star who is known for making a scene, because he wants to stay in the public eye. Honestly, if you just thought about them as things being said by an old angry white businessman, you might not like them, but you’d also be likely to simply shrug and say, yep, sounds like something that asshole would say. Or maybe you’d agree, even. I mean, some of these are attacks on women who attacked him first. It could be perceived as understandable to lash out in response.
If you’re Donald Trump.
But if you’re the President-elect of the US?
So, rapist? Maybe not.
Sexist? The deck is stacked well against him.
Presidential material? I just can’t see it.
Next up: Bigot. The word is intended to refer to someone who is intolerant of people who hold different opinions.
Sorry, the rhetoric and the full-on hate that has come out this election season across the party lines makes this term a little too easy to attach to anyone. We, as a nation, have become so intolerant of what other people believe, think, or hold dear, that it’s one of the main reasons this election became what it was.
So maybe we have filter down a bit. How about those who are intolerant of someone for things beyond that person’s control. I’m including items such as religion and sexual status here, whether or not you believe them to be something someone can control. I’m also going to (for the time being) exclude statements which could, in theory, fall in the line of ignorance/insensitivity. Someone who says something unintentionally offensive or purely insensitive on a regular basis really isn’t someone we should have running this country, but the real danger is when someone is intentionally attacking someone because they are different.
So, things like the wall between us and Mexico: Obviously used as a primary example of xenophobia. But you know what, I’m giving this one to him. Trump’s policies regarding illegal immigration actually fall quite close to the Obama administration policies…with the addition of a wall. However, just like current policy, the focus is on removing the criminals first. There is one additional piece of defunding sanctuary cities, which, although somewhat heartless, does make some sense. If the federal government has set down rules regarding immigration, there is a conflict when that government subsidizes something which appears to break those rules.
I’m not saying I’m in complete agreement with his policies here. Just saying that I’m not sure we can directly label this as xenophobic or racist or hateful.
Honestly, the same thing can be said (to some degree) about the suspension of immigration from “terror-prone” countries. It’s pretty common in wartime scenarios to close your borders entirely to the people you’re at war with.
Again, I may not entirely agree with the policy, but I get the basic reasoning behind it, and I don’t believe it can truly be labeled as strictly xenophobic or racist or hateful.
So, his actual policies, while perhaps insensitive to those in need from other countries, may not be outright racist or xenophobic, but the question still remains, is the man himself? Considering, again, how this man has a long history of making enemies, as well as how much crap has been thrown into the mix this election season, I think it’s important to focus on things we can know he said through video or audio capture.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. 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. And some, I assume, are good people. ”
Which, on the surface definitely doesn’t send a solid message, but I can’t help but see that no matter how bad the wording might have been, he really just seems to be focusing on a very real issue that there is a criminal element crossing the border into our country. It could have been worded much better, but I don’t see that this is him saying (as has been proposed) that all Mexicans are criminals. Or even that Mexicans have a predisposition to perform illegal acts. Just that he believes the country of Mexico is sending bad guys our way…which…really just seems like an interesting (conspiratorial) take on the government of Mexico’s involvement in our illegal immigration situation.
On the other hand, there are a lot of statements about Muslims being dangerous, which definitely falls along the xenophobic lines, but, unfortunately, has more to do with America’s understanding of the nation of Islam in general. I’ll give points to xenophobia here, but only because of how rampant they are in his discussions. Here’s a direct quote from him just to keep me honest:
“Bill O’Reilly asked me is there a Muslim problem? And I said absolutely, yes. In fact I went a step further. I said I didn’t see Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center.”
Here he is stereotyping an entire group of people (23% of the global population belong to this, the second largest religion in the world), based on the actions of a few. I’m not sure I can label it the hate-speak that is often attributed to him. Things like shutting down the allowance of Muslims entering our country until the country can figure out what’s going on definitely walk that line, but this really reeks much more of complete ignorance of what those people stand for. Is it hate speak? Maybe… It’s not a call to attack, but a fearful defensive response based on a lack of understanding of what’s actually happening.
It’s definitely not good and comments like that definitely make him xenophobic, but they fall more in line with an issue so many Americans seem to have today. Not being able to separate the terrorists from the many people who belong to the nation of Islam. A belief that the Qur’an itself calls for such activity.
Based on how often I’ve heard similar ideology from people of many different walks of life, this does put him in line with the voice of the American people, but the question is, is this the voice we want as our President?
Here’s the true issue with Trump, the real fear we can be certain to have. Ignoring the allegations and the disputed statements, allowing for misspeak and alternative perspectives, taking away the people he allows himself to be seen consorting with, Trump is a man who appears incapable of showing respect to people who are different than him. Statements like “I love the Hispanics” or “I have many black friends” are showing he’s not against using people to achieve his own means.
Is he an evil man? You could probably make a case for it, but it’s not strictly black and white.
Whether or not he is a rapist, this is a man who has showcased his sexist attitude toward women time and again. Half of our country had to come to the realization last week that there is now a man in power who does not respect them.
Whether or not he is a hate-filled racist, he is definitely a man who refuses to understand the background of people who are different than him and chooses, instead, to incriminate them entirely based on the acts of a few.
How will Prime Minister Netanyahu find his (alleged) comments about how he wishes his accountants wore yarmulkes instead of being blacks?
Or think of Chancellor Merkel finding a tweet sent at 3am referencing her time of the month.
But here’s the thing. The actual things he has said and done, the items that can be proven, they aren’t things uncommon to the dialogue of America.
Which means that the real issue with Trump is an issue with America. Recent years have brought back a resurgence of the concept of political correctness, something which many have used in opposition of the rhetoric levied against Trump, that we, as a country, have become too sensitive. And, to be completely fair, I actually tend to agree that we have.
But that sensitivity comes from a wound that still hasn’t healed for many in this country, a wound that was caused by people like Donald Trump who didn’t/don’t care to know about the people they trample on to get to where they are.
The issue that we should be having with Donald Trump is not that he might be a rapist (although I’m not in any way supporting such things), or even that he might be a racist. It’s that he is another indicator that America still hasn’t resolved its issues with prejudice.
But…I’m well past my word count for today…I’ve got the best words for you tomorrow though. I promise!