It’s irrefutable that Donald Trump is unlike any presidential candidate the United States has seen. But while he is registered as a Republican, don’t get caught up in labels. He is far too radical to belong to any establishment party—even the Tea Party.
For starters, consider his absurd proposal that Mexico build and pay for a wall along its border. “You have people coming in, and I’m not just saying Mexicans, I’m talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists and they’re coming into this country,” Trump said in June, justly prompting racist and xenophobic accusations.
Plenty of evidence also exists that Trump is sexist, with many of his rants targeting influential, powerful women like Ariana Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, calling her “extremely unattractive.” Trump stirred more controversy in July when he went after former Republican contender Carly Fiorina in a Rolling Stone article: “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that? The face of our next president?”
Even if Trump fails to win the Republican nomination, and even if he fails to win against Clinton or Sanders, the fact that he has made it this far speaks volumes to the current state of American political consciousness.
Trump also hurled insults at Republican Senator and 2008 Presidential nominee John McCain, who was captured during the Vietnam War and imprisoned under horrid conditions for over five years. “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said.
More recently, Trump also proposed the “total and complete” shutdown of Muslims entering the United States. But even scarier, according to a Feb. 9 ABC News article, “some two-thirds of Republican voters in New Hampshire expressed support for a ban on Muslims entering the United States…” In the recent New Hampshire primary, Trump won by a huge margin with 35.3 percent of the vote.
It saddens me that Trump espouses such hateful speech. But it scares me that millions of Americans are fighting for him to assume the most powerful office in the country—and arguably the world. Even if Trump fails to win the Republican nomination, and even if he fails to win against Clinton or Sanders, the fact that he has made it this far speaks volumes to the current state of American political consciousness.
Still, I find it unfair to lay complete blame for Trump’s ascendency on the Republican party as a whole. Many party leaders and outspoken voices refuse to acknowledge the presidential hopeful as a genuine representation of Republican ideals.
Glenn Beck, among America’s leading conservative commentators, for example, told NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday that “Trump is not a true conservative,” and that he is merely a populist saying anything to get elected.
“It’s hard to say you espouse conservative principles and small government principles when you are saying that you think [the] Canadian health care system works and is wonderful,” says Beck, who has suspended coverage involving Trump’s campaign on TheBlaze, his far right news network.
Plenty others are equally baffled over how much the real estate mogul has distorted the face of the Republican party.
In a recent New York Time’s article, conservative commentator Peter Wehner writes, “there are many reasons to abstain from voting for Mr. Trump if he is nominated, starting with the fact that he would be the most unqualified president in American history.” According to Wehner, 44 preceding presidents have had either government or military experience. Trump has neither.
“For Republicans, there is an additional reason not to vote for Mr. Trump,” Wehner writes. “His nomination would pose a profound threat to the Republican Party and conservatism, in ways that Hillary Clinton never could. For while Mrs. Clinton could inflict a defeat on the Republican Party, she could not redefine it. But Mr. Trump, if he were the Republican nominee, would.”
Whether Trump is elected he has changed the Republican party with his radical ideas.
I have to give it to Trump, though. He is one of the leading Republican candidates and one of the most successful businessmen of our time. But is this zealot what our country deserves for its next president?