Someone recently asked me how I would describe Donald Trump and the 2016 presidential election. While there are many things I could say about what we’ve witnessed over the past year, I would say the best way to describe what we’re seeing is what would happen if a comments section for a right-wing blog could run for president.
In all honestly, that’s all Trump has really been doing – pandering to the people who comment on right-wing blogs. People who don’t follow politics are often “shocked” by the things Trump says, but not me. All he’s doing is repeating the same nonsense I’ve seen spewed by Republican voters (especially tea party Republicans) for years.
That’s why I laugh when I see media pundits trying to “break down” how Trump has managed to be so successful despite all the stupid things he’s said and done. This isn’t rocket science. Much like those who comment on right-wing blogs, his words don’t operate within any realm of reality other than that which exists in their mind. The bulk of his entire campaign is based upon conspiracy theories and doing nothing more than telling his supporters what they want to hear. It does not matter if it’s factual or not, because to the people who support him, the only “facts” that exist are whatever they want to believe is “factual.”
To be honest, his campaign functions more like a cult than anything else.
That’s why I am not-at-all shocked to hear that Trump’s New York Campaign co-chair Carl Paladino went on an uhinged, conspiracy-driven rant where he bashed the Khan family and stated that President Obama is a Muslim.
“We’ve got an un-indicted felon as his opponent and you’re talking about Khan, about him making a remark about this man,” Paladino said during an interview with Imus in the Morning’s Connell McShane.
“All right, I don’t care if he’s a Gold Star parent,” he added. “He certainly doesn’t deserve that title, OK, if he’s as anti-American as he’s illustrated in his speeches and in his discussion. I mean, if he’s a member of the Muslim Brotherhood or supporting, you know, the ISIS-type of attitude against America, there’s no reason for Donald Trump to have to honor this man.”
For the record, that’s the campaign co-chair from Trump’s home state accusing the father of fallen American hero Captain Humayun Khan of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and having an “ISIS-type” attitude against Americans — based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever — while also saying that he “doesn’t deserve” to be called a Gold Star parent.
This is all so absurd that I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the reality that we have a Republican presidential campaign, and the candidate himself, publicly belittling not only veterans, but their families, as well — who is still being supported by millions of hypocrites who claim they respect veterans and our military.
Then McShane brought up a quote Paladino had made where he said there was “no doubt” that President Obama was a Muslim, telling Trump’s co-chair that rhetoric like that is ridiculous and there’s absolutely no proof to back up his claims. Of course, this didn’t go over well with Paladino.
‘Wait, wait wait,” he replied. ‘How do you know that’s not true?! That’s not fair, Connell! You’ve formed a conclusion about a man because he’s told you that.”
“This is a ridiculous talk,” McShane said.
It was obvious that McShane was trying to actually help Paladino sound less crazy, though Trump’s co-chair was having none of that. Toward the end the Imus host had clearly had enough of Paladino’s nonsense and was struggling to take him seriously.
This is a bit part of what’s so crazy about this particular election. A co-chair for a major political party’s presidential candidate can not only state that he doesn’t believe that a Gold Star family of a fallen American hero deserves to have that title, but the father might also be a terrorist sympathizer, and he thinks that President Obama is secretly a Muslim — and the vast majority of those supporting Trump not only won’t care, they’ll actually agree with what this buffoon said.
It is an absolute embarrassment to this country that there are millions of people who continue to support such a shameful and pathetic presidential campaign like the one Donald Trump is running. History is going to look back upon the 2016 election with shame that, as a country, we allowed this to happen.
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