Republican candidates have been trying desperately to outdo Donald Trump, and tearing each other apart in the process. As the party’s base shrinks and contracts further to the fringe, political rhetoric that is often indistinguishable from hate speech becomes more and more common, especially during primary season.
If you look back through American history, the current Republican platform sounds much like the Know-Nothing Party of the 1800s, which was a central part of the 2002 movie Gangs of New York. Their virulent anti-immigration rhetoric is very similar to what Donald Trump has been saying to gather supporters to his political campaign, with great success so far.
While Donald Trump is probably making these remarks as part of his “heel” wrestling persona that he has carried over to politics, some people are taking his rhetoric to heart. In South Boston early Wednesday, two brothers assaulted a homeless Hispanic man outside a Dorchester MBTA stop, and one of them claimed he was inspired to do it by Donald Trump’s statements on immigration.
Boston officials condemned the attacks, while Donald Trump seems to have stopped short of doing so claiming that they were just “very passionate” people who “love this country.”
Via The Boston Globe:
Mayor Martin J. Walsh said the brothers “should be ashamed of themselves.” Boston’s top prosecutor, Daniel F. Conley, called the case “sickening.”
Police Commissioner William B. Evans, a South Boston resident, said the brothers had given his neighborhood “a bad name.” He called it “a disgrace.”
Trump, told of the alleged assault, said “it would be a shame . . . I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
Trump, in his campaign kickoff speech in June, made disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants that advocates feared could cause a backlash against immigrants. (Source)
According to the Boston Globe, both brothers have extensive criminal histories. One was arrested and convicted of a hate crime after attacking a Dunking Donuts employee who was Moroccan after the 9/11 terror attacks, and these are the kind of people that the anti-immigrant hyperbole coming from conservative media and Republican candidates is aimed at.
Like TV wrestling, much of the rhetoric spewed by Donald Trump or Ben Carson is staged, and designed for the low-information voter who not only shares these views but also believes that the answer to losing American jobs is building a wall on the Mexican border or patrolling with armed drones as Ben Carson stated he was open to. These voters are often the ones who show up at the polls for Republican primary, motivated by fear instead of making a decision based on a rational consideration of a candidate’s proposals for the economy or social programs.
As I’ve said before, we’re currently faced with a political process that often resembles the movie “Idiocracy” and candidates like Donald Trump, and the people he inspires are proof of that.
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