This article was published in MidWeek, December 9, 2015
Months ago I went on a little tirade against Donald Trump. That was back when most people thought he’d be a flash in the pan. Back when people assumed he’d simply run out of steam and disappear. That Americans would grow tired of his bombast and turn their attention to more viable candidates.
Hardly anyone thinks any of those things anymore. Trump appears well on his way to securing the Republican nomination.
For President of the United States.
Think about that for a second.
I don’t consider Donald Trump a typical politician. According to the pundits that’s exactly why so many people like him. He’s NOT typical. He’s a businessman, they say. He “tells it like it is.” He “knows how to get things done.”
So why do so many establishment Republicans loathe and fear him?
I think I understand. If he gets the nomination it means their hopes to win the presidency are squashed.
It’s because Trump represents the worst of us, the ugliest and meanest parts of humanity and the opposite of our American ideals. You don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican to see that.
I’m saying this as a citizen who has watched in increasing horror as Trump has:
- Said most Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers.
- Tweeted that: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
- Said that people on the U.S. terrorism watch list are prohibited from buying guns. (They’re not)
- Has claimed that the unemployment rate is 40%. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the number at 5.3 percent)
- Tweeted a fake set of statistics claiming that 81% of white murder victims were killed by blacks. (The FBI says its data shows that in 2014, the last year it has a full set of data, 82% of whites were killed by other whites. Only 15% were killed by blacks)
- Tweeted that vaccines cause autism. (They don’t)
- Claimed the Obama administration wants to admit 250,000 Syrian refugees. (The number is actually 10,000)
- Called for the mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants.
- Said he would “absolutely” require Muslims to register in a database.
- Said there’s no evidence Barack Obama was born in the United States. Trump is the Daddy of Birtherism.
- Ridiculed and crudely imitated a New York Times reporter’s physical disability.
- Insisted—and doubled and tripled down on the claim despite denials by, well, everybody who is credible– that on 9/11 he personally saw video of “thousands of Muslims in Jersey City cheering” as the twin towers came down.
- And the kicker– as if all of the above weren’t enough– Trump wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. Yes, indeed, the same United States built on the bedrock principles of freedom of religion and equality and justice for all.
And he continues to lead in the polls.
Many Republicans are worried, and I don’t blame them. Because if Donald Trump gets the nomination the Grand Old Party ceases to grand and, in fact, may cease to be relevant at all.