We've Got Issues: Donald Trump
Donald Trump, for years a symbol of capitalism gone mad, has recently made some controversial (albeit systematic) comments about President Barack Obama regarding his presidential eligibility. Last week, Trump utilized an appearance on The View to pledge loyalty to the "birther" movement. He said, "If you go back to my first grade, my kindergarten, people remember me. Nobody from those early years remember him [Obama]. " Trump went on to say, "There's something on that birth certificate he doesn't like."
Although this is most assuredly just a ploy with the ultimate goal of a Trump 2012 ticket, it is an irresponsible statement for someone with his stature and influence to make. And as cold and alienating as Mr. Trump is, he's going to need every vote he can get in 2012 if indeed he does run.
Trump is no stranger to ruffling feathers, however, as would suggest the bid he put in to try and thwart the efforts to build what some people call the "Ground Zero Mosque," (although Muslim community center is much more accurate)
In another moment of sheer arrogance Trump once said, "All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me - consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected."
Rush Limbaugh unsurprisingly commended Trump for his efforts to demand Obama show his birth certificate, saying, "Trump is performing a valuable service."
What Rush Limbaugh calls a "valuable service," I call horse crap. President Obama should not have to be explicit when it comes to his origin in the United States. It is implied that the President of the United States meets the criteria before assuming office, one of the criterion being that you must be a natural born citizen.
I'm not sure if Trump, Limbaugh, and the rest of the "birthers" think that Obama somehow managed to bypass this requirement, but the fact remains that people still don't trust him.
And they're not willing to trust him regardless, which brings us to the elephant in the room. Does this boil down to a matter of race? Trump has and will continue to vehemently deny that this has anything to do with race, but Whoopi Goldberg makes a legitimate point.
"I've never heard any white President asked to be shown the birth certificate," Whoopi retorted to Trump when he was on The View.
Whoopi is right, even though I'm certain every President has at some point had to present a birth certificate; whether or not they do has never entered the public discussion until an African-American took office. Surely that is not just a coincidence.
Whether Trump and the birthers are being deliberately xenophobic, or they're merely exposing a xenophobic law for what it is, their intentions are neither. Their intentions, rather, are to expose an honest man for what he is not, deprive him of what he achieved legitimately, and turn back the hands of progress.