He started off as the novelty contender for the American Republican Party. A businessman and media mogul, but not somebody with any true grounding in politics. In comparison with other more serious candidates such as Ted Cruz, it seemed unlikely he would go far. Even for those who identify as right wing and support the respective political parties in their countries, his views are considered as unspeakably extreme-right. However, he ended up winning the most primary votes in the history of the Republican Party, with almost 14 million votes. Yet as the months of his campaign have worn on, his notoriety and the controversy surrounding him has only increased.
Here we are, less than a month away from the election, and Donald Trump is still standing and still has an unprecedented amount of support. So what will it take to truly break him?
He has been surrounded by controversy long before his presidential campaign. In 2011, Trump raised questions about President Barack Obama’s citizenship, even claiming that he was possibly a Muslim. However, his most horrific moments have been those in which he has made derogatory comments about ethnic minorities.
In the first speech he delivered in his bid for the White House in which he focused on the topic of illegal immigration – in particular from Mexico. He spoke of a desire to build a wall covering the entire expanse of the American-Mexican border. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
His Islamaphobia has long been shown in his infeasible goal of temporarily banning all Muslims from the US. The fact that he could make such sweeping statements should have been a sign of the brutality of his campaign to come.
‘Make America Great Again’ was revealed as Trump’s official slogan not long afterwards. When this catchphrase was used by Ronald Reagan in 1980, its meaning was to improve the economy. Yet for Trump, it represents his wish to go back to a ‘nostalgic’ America – an America where political correctness doesn’t exist, where racial divides as well as superior and inferior races exist.
The obvious flaw is that this old America was not great for everyone. Rather, only for those who were elite, wealthy, privileged and Caucasian. Trump’s campaign has a firm basis in hatred, and yet still he has support.
More recently, his lewd and misogynistic comments about women (including members of his own family) have drawn media attention. Of his fellow Republican candidate Carly Fiorina, he said, “Could you imagine that, the face of our next president?” His remarks about his own daughter were on the opposite end of the spectrum; complimentary to the point of being incestuous: “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter perhaps I’d be dating her” and “She’s very voluptuous.”
The content of these unsettling comments (which focus on women as sexual objects) has been repeated in interviews in which Trump has said he would have “no problem” with “banging 24-year-old [women]” whom he sees as “pieces of a*s”. Perhaps most disturbing of all are the comments in the recently surfaced decade-old video of Trump in which he talks about “grabbing women by the p***y”, implying sexual assault. This is the man who could potentially lead the United States of America for the next four years, minimum.
Other Trump-isms include “when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families” and “the answer [for women who have abortions] is there must be some form of punishment.” All the comments, it must be noted, that Trump has made over the years have been aimed at groups that are minorities in some way: different races, different religions, disabled people, women. However, people who fall into this broad range of categories are numerous, but somehow Trump still has supporters. So what will it take to actually stop him?
The only people supposedly ‘safe’ from his wrathful views are those who aren’t in need of any support from the government anyway, such as those living in Trump’s elite social circle. However, Trump’s comments have made it obvious that those who are disadvantaged are not high on his agenda for support should he ascend to the White House. What more will this man have to do before even his most loyal supporters realise what a nasty and derogatory person he is?
He has already fulfilled almost every taboo possible, and offended almost every social and ethnic group – what will he do next? Your guess is as good as mine.
However, to give the majority of America a chance under the next president, the way forward is obvious: do not vote for Trump and question those who do.
Although Hillary Clinton too divides opinions, her campaign has not involved offending and belittling millions of people with such obscene comments and ideas for America’s future as Trump’s has. The only action now that could possibly stump Trump is by placing a tick in a box that doesn’t contain Donald Trump’s name. Make America Great Again: don’t vote for this homophobic, misogynistic, racist man as the next leader of one of the world’s greatest and most powerful countries.