Trump: the super villain that America never saw coming
Point/Counter-Point: To see the other side of this argument, read “Trump isn't the hero we deserve, but the one we have right now”, here.
“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” – Benito Mussolini (tweeted by Donald Trump at 3:31 a.m. on Feb. 28)
When I turn on CNN now, I prepare myself to cringe. Since the summer of 2016, the media has been addicted to one word that permeates every program and fuels every argument. Bright statistics splay out across your television screen on days news sources abandon their newsreel in favor of over-covering primary elections. They are addicted to the hottest, most talked about word that has taken the media by storm: Trump.
With every surreal thing Trump has said and done since announcing his candidacy, many wonder if any of his antics are even serious or genuine. Keep in mind, Trump attended an Ivy League school, inherited a real estate empire from his father which he expanded to the point of being a household name, hosted a widely successful reality TV show and has amounted a net worth of $4 billion. Success and stupidity don’t coincide very well. There has to be something more to Trump — something calculated and shrewd. Somewhere out there, Trump is smiling and rubbing his hands together while staring out over America in a penthouse, thinking about his master plan.
Trump’s unexpected rise as the front runner of the Republican nomination is an inescapable reality for the world in 2016, leaving us to contemplate who these people are that support him, and how he found himself in this position anyway.
According to a poll and analysis by Civis Analytics, the classic demographic for a Trump supporter is middle-aged, working class, Christian white men, who either didn’t graduate high school or haven't gone further than high school. The most important quality this group holds is that they feel politically marginalized.
This group was hit hard by the Great Recession and struggle to reconcile their anger with the government. Throughout Obama’s presidency, they have directed their anger at his administration and its policies because they felt their livelihoods were being affected by policies such as Obamacare and immigration amnesty. They feel marooned and alone because of the liberal goals of the current administration and from what has been fed to them by right wing media outlets ranting on about corruption. Trump has recognized this yearning feeling of marginalization and seized upon that vulnerability by nitpicking the things that have caused his supporters to feel this anger in the first place.
But if you look closely, Trumps strengths reveal themselves to be major flaws.
Trump’s economic promises of eliminating income tax for certain income brackets, reforming trade deals with China, and creating a business friendly economy in the U.S. are appealing to any voter. However, considering Trump's skill for fiery, confusing rhetoric, all of these promises should be taken with a generous portion of salt.
Because Trump is self-funding his campaign, the only person who really knows the kinds of policies Trump will try to enact is Trump himself. His wealth gives him the ability to set his own political agenda — and that is an intimidating thought. No one can be sure who he would pick for his cabinet and the impacts they would leave on the country.
He often plays up his ability to "make deals." Let's not forget that to be a good negotiator, you have to be a good manipulator, and the greatest way to manipulate people is to divide them. But with every outlandish, offensive, and controversial statement Trump has made, the final line in the moral sand that we as responsible citizens need to draw is violence. Sadly, that line has been crossed as, these days, Trump rallies consistently explode with violence.
When the video surfaced of a Trump supporter throwing an elbow at a black protester in North Carolina, people were outraged. Two days later in St. Louis, a protester was assaulted by a Trump supporter and then arrested; his bloodied face was featured on the cover of the New York Daily News the next morning with the headline “BLOOD ON DON’S HANDS.” The next day in Chicago, more violence broke out as protesters entered the venue Trump rented for his rally and the violence that followed led to Trump canceling the event. Last weekend in Tucson, AZ, more clashes erupted as protesters blocked traffic on a highway leading to a Trump event for two hours and a man was violently assaulted by a Trump supporter while being escorted out of the event by police.
All the while, Trump sits back with his hands on the marionette strings, refusing to condemn the violence, instead blaming it solely on the protesters who he describes as “Bernie Sanders supporters.” But as things heat up, things are getting more real — or surreal depending on your point of view. Even though "The Donald" is not out there himself slugging it out with protesters, despite how badly he says he wishes to, his haphazard condonation of this violence is vindicating it in the minds of his supporters.
A president needs to extol compassion, reason, leadership and a vision of peace. The wool has been pulled from our eyes and we are recognizing how divided we are in America. Unity is the only thing that can mend America's misery right now. Trump is the absolute antithesis to this by being as divisive, mean and fear-mongering as it takes to rile enough people up to stand behind him for a nomination. Trump doesn't want to make America great again, he wants to make himself even greater.
No matter your policies, if your presence, opinions and charisma are enough to incite violence, then you should not be qualified to become president of a nation that is built upon principals of unity, reason and democracy. We as Americans have felt the pain of a dividing nation, and uniting behind someone who is the pinnacle of demagoguery would only further open that wound. Trump is so rich and powerful that the only thing left to accomplish for him is attaining the most powerful job in the world. He's a super villain with the goal of world domination — he’s Lex Luthor with a real estate empire and horrible hair without the robot suit. We as Americans need to refuse to fulfill Donald Trump’s ego.