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Donald Trump: Love Him or Loathe Him?

In the run up to this year’s Republican Presidential candidate election, Donald Trump has hogged the media limelight with his weekly liners – all of them consistently politically incorrect and often archaically brutish. He is best described as a professional controversialist, intending to hike up his own publicity, especially since his policies appear to have failed to gain him support in the polls. Billionaire and celebrity personality, Trump appears to have labelled himself as both racist and sexist via his statements discussing Mexican immigrants and women. And yet, he appears to retain his hold on Republican voters.

During a Republican presidential debate, Megyn Kelly confronted Trump about previously alleged sexist remarks. Somewhat ironically, given the subject matter of the discussion, he later implied that Kelly’s remarks were delusional as she was clearly menstruating. “Blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever”. These were the words that he used to derogate Kelly’s feminist claims.

Despite huge press coverage and outraged cries for a public apology, Trump stubbornly refused to apologise for what he considers a misconception. Predictably, after commentaries about his growing unpopularity in the media, the Republican candidate backtracked and asserted profusely that he was referring to a nose bleed. Why should we believe any of Trump’s buffoonish ramblings?

“He’s best described as a professional controversialist, intending to hike up his own publicity, especially since his policies appear to have failed to gain him support in the polls”

Although Trump does not appear to have lost support in the polls, many have begun to question whether this is the beginning of the end of his campaign. Former Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina told CNN that “women understood that comment” and Roger Stone, campaign strategist, resigned over what he called the “food fight” with Megyn Kelly. Not only has Trump lost support from fellow politicians, he has also lost opportunity to promote his ideals: radio host Erick Erickson revoked an invitation to Trump to appear in Atlanta for a conservative conference. Many previous supporters, in reference to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’, now sport “haters gonna hate” t-shirts emblazoned with Trump’s face. It would appear that his campaign has begun to implode.

Trump has not only been caught on camera professing derogative claims about women, he has also exhibited some extremely xenophobic monologues. In an interview with NBC he unashamedly commanded that “illegal immigrants have got to go”, asserting that the United States is not a true country when hampered by ‘Mexican fugitives’. He also believes that Mexico is sending rapists into the US and questioned the heroism of tortured John McCain.

The Republican Party candidate has now marred his political profile to the point where the internet is full of parodic memes. Many mock his ability to make up facts and figures on the spot, his steamroller attitude toward fellow politicians and journalists and his arrogant approach to his campaign. However, there remains support in certain camps of the Republican Party for Trump. Perhaps Trump’s comedy factor is the reason for his unprecedented claim to fame. Or, could there be a more sinister reason for the candidate’s rising support?

“Perhaps the vain celebrity provides a smokescreen for the real political issues of the day, distracting voters from the dismal realities the US faces come next election.”

Trump’s misogynistic opinions are perhaps not atypical of the Republican Party. This could help explain Trump’s appeal: he is a more radical, but still traditionally Republican, voice. Although the Kelly fiasco led to the loss of support in some areas, it does not appear to have affected his ratings in the polls. There has been some discussion that these polls are inaccurate and only reflect right-wing activists’ votes. However, there must be a reason behind the mystery of Trump’s double figure leads. Perhaps Trump’s blunt impassioned declarations have rallied alienated voters previously disenchanted by centralist policies. Huffington Post Columnist Geoffrey Dunn asserts that “Trump and Palin have tapped into the deep anger and fear of a small but volatile slice of the American body politic”.

Whether Trump is good or bad, the real question that must be asked is why the campaign has focused on him. Perhaps the vain celebrity provides a smokescreen for the real political issues of the day, distracting voters from the dismal realities the US faces come next election. Despite Trump’s spotlight, opposing candidates have not been lost in the chorus, rather, they appear more politically viable in contrast to Donald’s sadistic alternative.

However, Trump has not refuted the possibility of running as an independent candidate if he fails to get a majority. Will this pose a threat to the US populist two party system that has reigned for centuries? Probably not. Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, Ralph Nader in 2008, and numerous others stood independently and their campaigns did not delegitimise the current system. This move may, however, cause real issues for the Republican Party and their opposition to Hillary Clinton’s bid for power as the next Democrat leader, splitting the vote between Trump and the Republicans.

“This could be the start of a shift towards more derogatory behaviour and right-wing, anti-immigration policies.”

Furthermore, it could be argued that the real threat lies in the Republican candidate’s impact upon other party members, who appear to have shifted rightwards on issues such as immigration and abortion. Other candidates for Republican leader, such as Bush, have followed Trump’s lead in some of his political speeches. Bush repeated Trump’s use of the disparaging term “anchor babies” to describe children born to immigrants living illegally in the country. This could be the start of a shift towards more derogatory behaviour and right-wing, anti-immigration policies. What could this mean for the future of US politics?

Love him or loathe him, perhaps Trump is, for now at least, no more than a pawn on the political chessboard, dragging the Republican Party through the mud and ensuring another Democrat victory. As asserted in the Observer, “the Republicans must offer up a credible candidate. That is not Donald Trump.”

Beth Webb-Strong

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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3 Comments on this post.
  • David Francis
    30 August 2015 at 20:01
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    THE TRUMP WALL AT THE BORDER & MANDATORY E-VERIFY.

    Confidently that if Mr. Trump gets to read this on the web or even on his website, but if he doesn’t already know that next to constructing a tall wall at the US/ Mexican border, he needs to extend that deterrent by enforcing the E-Verification system (E-VERIFY.) It’s already a helpful tool for employers who see it as essential and honest? But these are employers who use it, except it’s still optional and doesn’t have the important effect as a compulsory system?

    As according to NumbersUSA, http://www.numberusa.com as updated October 20, 2011, only 3 States have maximum enforcement of E-Verify without any exemption? Those states being Alabama which passed HB 56 (Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act) – Passed in 2011, HB 56 is observed by many as the nation’s toughest immigration enforcement law passed at the state level. HB 56 requires all businesses, public and private, to begin using E-Verify by April 2012.The penalty for businesses not complying with the E-Verify mandate is a suspension of its business license.

    In Arizona its HB 2779 (Arizona Fair and Legal Employment Act) – Passed in 2007, HB 2779 prohibits employers from knowingly hiring undocumented workers and requires all employers to use E-Verify, effective January 1, 2008. It was followed up in 2008 with HB 2745, which prohibits government contracts to any businesses not using E-Verify, effective May 1, 2008. And in Mississippi the assembly passed SB 2988 in 2008 as SB 2988 requires public and private employers to participate in E-Verify with full participation by July 2011.

    The rest of states have a tangle of laws, ordinances that make no sense at all. For instance in California it’s optional for employers to run ID on E-Verify. There should be no immunity for the rest of the 48 states. But even with suspension of business licenses have inadequate enforcement.

    Out of 50 states only these 2 have harsh laws, which help American workers find a decent job, as they are not competing with illegal aliens. But as the states are not governed by Federal law foreign nationals can use stolen Social Security numbers from new borne babes, military and even the deceased persons.

    E-Verify being MANDATORY and the law voted in by the Federal government is the only way to return jobs to all Americans. E- Verify (formerly Basic Pilot Program) is an Internet-based system operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify are presently free to employe

    By now you would think E-Verify would be an obligation for certain; however it has been watered down and really has no power? But when politicians have to rely on money from campaign contributions and running for any urban, state or federal election they are vulnerable to the demands of business and industrial communities, led by the US Chamber of Commerce, Giant corporations and even foreign countries. As Donald Trump interpreted to the American people in several of his debates that he has been approached by several lobbyists offering large sums of money towards his presidential run; saying he knows these people who offer incentives, but after a while they want something back?rs and are available in all 50 states. E-Verify make available an automated link to federal databases to help employers determine employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security numbers.

    It’s really the main message from Donald Trump to alter the dangerous, economic direction we are moving towards, bar his contempt for the hierarchy who run Congress with an iron hand. Unless you are the Koch Brothers, Warren Buffet types or the Sultan of Brunei you cannot buy Trump, whereas Bush, Clinton and a list of those already in Congressional seats have no influence over Trump objectives in the future?

    The American people have suddenly sat up and listened to Mr. Trump; to build the wall and he should be aware that on its own the proverbial wall must be enforced with FEDERAL MANDATED E-VERIFY. That all employers in all 50 states that you cannot pick and choose anymore. That if you are caught having in your business any illegal workers, then you are facing a heavy fine and 5 years in prison, no matter how many people without papers are in your employ.

    To run E-Verify for maximum enforcement:
    1. It must be Mandatory for all 50 states
    2. Every employer nationwide has no mitigating circumstances.
    3. Not just new employees, but every person who works in any business must be verified.
    4. Statutory prison sentences, heavy fines and suspension of business licenses.
    5. AT LEAST A THOUSAND MORE ICE AGENTS, TO RAID UNTRUSTWORTHY EMPLOYERS?

    Once the illegal alien invaders acknowledge jobs are no longer available, the majority will start to leave. In reality there is no need for any battle in the courts over Birthright citizenship, making attorney’s rich and taxpayers even poorer unless there are certain circumstances that make it winnable. However, if owners of businesses and the employers of industry are subject to prison and can no longer squeeze out of being convicted, they will follow the law.

    All we need is more man power to inspect the books, with maybe a little help from informants and whistle blowers and a sudden rush by ICE agents at the doors of every entity, and the days of pariah illegal workers is over. No need for any outcry from critics as if the individual worker at the epicenter is illegal labor, and they will take the wives and children with them from the United States and self deport themselves with no taxpayer funds involved? Instead of annually paying out a 100 Billion dollars plus, to financially support illegal aliens it could be spent on a maimed Vets and for the families left behind.

    The 2010 report Fairus http://www.fairus.org/Default.aspx?SiteSearchID=4207&PageID=12587959 calculated the total contributions (mainly taxes) generated by the illegal migrants, and then subtracted the cost of taxpayer aid to those unlawful migrants. The aid includes education, subsidized housing, food stamps, tax credits, medical expenses. Overall, the report found illegal migrants cost taxpayers a total of $113 billion a year. The report then “accounts for taxes paid by illegal aliens [which is] about $13 billion a year, resulting in a net cost to taxpayers of about $100 billion.”

  • Tony
    31 August 2015 at 07:09
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    A common, and probably intentional mistake – Trump made his remarks about ILLEGAL immigration. Not “immigration:”

  • Lyndsey
    31 August 2015 at 14:54
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    Insightful and interesting commentary on foot-in-mouth Trump – well written by Beth Webb-Strong

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