When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.” (Presidential announcement speech, 2015)
“I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist. I think that would be, maybe, going too far.” (Interview with Piers Morgan, 2018)
“Arianna Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man — he made a good decision.” (Twitter, 2012)
“Our great African-American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore.” (Twitter, 2015)
At first glance, none of the above statements seem like something a president, the highest representative of the United States, would declare. However, some people are willing to overlook these sexist, racist and simply offensive quotes from Donald Trump because they support his ideas of building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico — whenever that will be accomplished — and creating jobs by bringing overseas corporations back to America. Granted, many are sick of high taxes, losing jobs to cheap labor in developing countries and feeling as though minorities are advancing beyond them economically. This cannot be an excuse to be “a la carte” with political beliefs. You can not say, “Yes, that is offensive, but I have other wants that he can provide for me.”
Religion can be used as a comparison to political beliefs. I would consider myself a Catholic. My support of that church lies in their desires to give to the poor, go on mission and service trips, and to keep people constantly in our prayers in order to develop empathy and sympathy. I do not, though, believe in some of the bases of some Christian sectors, like fighting women’s use of contraception or being pro-choice and the disapproval of LGBTQ people. It is not something I vote for once and let control my life. I may choose to pray one day, but not practice Catholicism the next. My beliefs are not immediately or entirely turning into actions. Another example is Islam. Most Muslims base their religion off of peace, worship and respecting the other religions under their God. They voluntarily choose to respect women and not display hate toward others, something some radicals may choose to do. Both of these approaches to practicing are valid, because religion is a voluntary set of beliefs and values.
By voting for a party or candidate that has personal rhetoric that is almost unanimously controversial, you are putting that mindset into power. I’m sure a lot of people that voted for Donald Trump had no idea that he would ever wish to ban transgenders from the military or encourage the reversal of Roe v. Wade, but with the push from those that support his abominable oratory and his desire to appeal to them, he put these actions into consideration.
Unfortunately, in the current political climate it is nearly impossible to find a candidate to vote for that is socially liberal and financially conservative or another combination of economic and social beliefs. Not only does it hurt the nation when you put someone into power with such a harsh rhetoric, it is also embarrassing for international relations. Other leaders throughout the world can easily hold their composure and remain polite when addressing their fellow nations.
This leader is not Donald Trump alone. In the future, it could be the candidate we least expect. So long as we are weary of this example and its offensive patterns, we can prevent putting sexist, racist and ignorant people in power.