Words cannot express how ashamed I am that someone like Donald Trump has managed to rise to the level of presidential frontrunner for one of our nation’s two largest political parties. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’m embarrassed of a good portion of this country right now. The sad thing is, those particular individuals just don’t seem to care.
One of the astonishing parts to all of this is that Donald Trump doesn’t even try to hide the fact that he knows his supporters are idiots. Just look at his slogan, “Make America Great Again!” It’s a phrase specifically tailored to appeal to simpletons.
And make no mistake about it, most of the people who support Trump are simpletons.
Though as Trump continues to build his campaign on hatred, racism and bigotry – especially toward Muslims – I feel I need to apologize to the Muslim world.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have my own issues with Islam. As a progressive, there’s far too much oppression toward women, homosexuals and non-Muslims in many parts of the Muslim world. And just like I frequently call out the oppressive nature of evangelical, fundamentalist Christians – I do the same with Islam.
That being said, I also understand that there’s a huge difference between cultural differences based on Islamic theocracies versus Western democracies and the radical terrorist groups that do use Islam as their foundation and justification for committing horrific acts of violence.
I also understand that the best way to combat terrorism is by finding ways to prevent its existence in the first place. This isn’t accomplished through war (though sometimes war is needed), but through education, dialogue and understanding. While it’s impossible to reason with those who are unreasonable – such as a group like ISIS – we can work on preventing future terrorism by breaking down some of the walls between the West and the Muslim world to create a better understanding of one another.
Those sorts of steps can never happen with the rhetoric that we’re currently seeing from the Republican party, because far too many people hear this ignorance and lump all Americans in with their bigotry. While many of us strive every day to maintain a nation that’s tolerant and accepting, we’re in a constant battle with the likes of those who are nothing more than racists and bigots whose ultimate goal is a whites-only United States, ruled by a Christian theocracy.
When a jackass like Trump declares that he wants to ban all Muslims from entering the country, all that does is help create even more terrorism. When rhetoric like that is used, and supported by millions, it’s completely counterintuitive from people who claim they want to weaken or end terrorism. It’s like saying you want to put an end to racial tension by hurling racist slurs at an entire minority group.
It doesn’t make any sense.
Then again, these are Republicans – a whole constituency of people who don’t make a whole lot of sense. These are folks who:
- Oppose “Obamacare” – yet nominated the creator of the exact same law, Mitt Romney, as their 2012 presidential nominee.
- Claim guns have nothing to do with gun violence.
- Oppose universal health care when every nation on Earth that leads the world in average life expectancy has some form of universal health care.
- Claim to be for small government, yet want the right to tell women what they can or cannot do with their own bodies.
- Say they’re against abortion – yet oppose sex education, easy access to birth control and Planned Parenthood – an organization that probably prevents more abortions than any group in the country.
- Talk a lot about “religious freedom” while trying to force their religion on others.
- Claimed President Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., therefore he was ineligible to be president – yet many of those same people now support a Canadian-born candidate.
- Say they’re the party of “Christian values” while vilifying the poor; supporting tax policies that benefit the rich; and currently have a leading presidential candidate who’s had at least one affair and is on his third marriage.
While I know Donald Trump’s hatred makes most of the headlines, I’m begging the Muslim world to ignore him. He’s not what the United States represents. In fact, he’s everything that true patriotic Americans in this country spend a good chunk of our lives fighting against.
Just like we shouldn’t judge all Muslims based on the actions of hateful ignorance and perversions of Islam by terrorists, please don’t judge us by the ignorance and perversions of what it means to be an American by the likes of Donald Trump, the Republican party and those who support them.
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