My Issues With Trump…

(This post started out as a comment in response to Donald Trump: America’s Scapegoat at K. S. Bowers Blog, but got too long and tangential, so I moved it here.)

The biggest problem I have with Donald Trump is that he is like looking into a fun house mirror. He is a distorted version of ourselves where we might listen to something he says and think, “Hmm, maybe there’s a point there.” Then he’ll keep talking and you’re like, “Woh! Woh! Woh! Woh! Woh!”. Thus, throwing out any seed of a good idea for the Left and forcing the Right to scamper through their “double-speak” dictionary so they may reiterate his words in a more palatable manner.

Naturally, this leads me to realize the next biggest problem with Trump. Not only is he a crackpot who takes everything three steps too far, it’s that there aren’t enough Americans who are self-critical enough to reach the, “Woh! Woh! Woh! Woh! Woh!” conclusion.

Why is this a problem I have with Trump? Well, honestly, it’s a problem I have with all politicians. It seems like they’re taking advantage of people who cannot think for themselves or are politically apathetic. Rather than leading them like horses to water so they can drink, politicians spray them with a fire hose in order to chase them off or distort their vision until the fun house mirror seems clear and insightful.

I have never registered as a democrat or republican because I don’t believe the rhetoric of either side. A good idea, should be a good idea and ought to be the result of sensible discourse and compromise. Slowly, over the past few decades we’ve traded the idea of compromise for the fun house mirror. Our politics (life) has begun to imitate reality TV (art); to the absurdity where both sides have adopted a default position of, “Why should I be the one to compromise?”

Why, indeed?

Making these difficult compromises is why we elect politicians. Our citizens revel in our pluralistic society and the “Great American Melting Pot”, until they’re asked to accept it.

 

I could go on and on about Trump, but I’ll finish with this last observation: He is very proud of paying for his own campaign, but one of the primary reasons he is able to get away with this as cheaply as he has thus far is through his abuse of the fun house mirror.

Because our modern media laps up Trump’s words faster than a starving abandoned kitten does milk, they perpetuate the problem and Trump is taking advantage. Rather than reporting the news with a sensible eye, the media sensationalizes it for more eyes.

After this opening salvo of reporting, people are then forced to listen to “experts” muckrake how ridiculously polarizing and distorted Trump’s views are, (as if this were actually news!) until Trump comes out with his next daily quote.

Trump has been the best thing to happen to political news sources since the internet. And they are the best thing for his campaign as he is in the news 24/7 for free.

While the two dance this macabre parasitic Macarena, it is unfortunate the fun house mirror makes it look like a Viennese Waltz.

When Does 2+2=4, Mr. Trump?

I never thought Donald Trump was a serious Presidential candidate. In fact, I think he first got into the fray because all of the other republican candidates were nose bleeds looking to get pinched off by a serious contender. He probably saw the weak field and figured for a few million or a few tens of millions of dollars (which is nothing to him) he could rant and rave like the star of a reality TV show and get his narcissistic mug on TV for more than his allotted 15 minutes.

The rest of the field has turned out to be so pathetic, I seemingly I gave them too much credit as nose bleeds. After twelve weeks of Trump’s racist commentaries, he is still the last best hope for the GOP. Personally, I am still hopeful the Republicans can find a serious candidate. Until then, Trump will continue to ride the cycle of “Doing well in the polls because he’s getting press, and getting press because he’s doing well in the polls.”

I’m going to focus on his racist comments from here on out. Mind you, these comments started in his announcement speech. (Full text can be found here.) Trump asserted that, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best [sic]. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

Trump math seems to go something like this:

Anecdotes + Confirmation Bias = Obvious Fact

As simple as 2 + 2 = 4.

Unfortunately, Trump’s trumpeting is beginning to go on too long. The fact that no one has rolled up a newspaper and slapped it across the bridge of his nose, while firmly stating, “No!” Is beginning to lend his words credence. At this point, most cranks get relegated to the tabloids, but Trump is still front page news, because the news regulators keep putting him on the front page. Continually giving this jerk airtime, simply means that his racist message gets more airtime. And once people are exposed to an idea long enough, no matter how bad, they may begin to think there’s an actual debate going on.

Drum up enough hate without any (positive?) way to release it and you get people reacting in explosive ways. Since Trump is so fond of anecdotes, here’s a good one: Brian Zaragoza, 14, was shot in a drive-by on his way home from the grocery store by someone shouting an anti-mexcian slur. Mind you, Brian is a U. S. citizen and if you watch the video his English is as flawless as mine. Brian is also from Indiana. A state that is closer to Canada than Mexico.

Let’s see how my Trump Math adds up:

Brian shot by anti-mexican bigot + Trump filling people’s heads with racist anti-mexican ideas the past 12 weeks = Trump is a co-conspirator to an attempted murder due to his inciting of the masses.

I’ll let you decide if the math holds up. A more correct version of this type of “math” could be stated:

Rational Thinking + Statistics = Nuanced Answer

I know. It’s not sexy. Nor does it offer the quick and easy instant gratification that we all prefer. For instance, my rational brain tells me that Hate Crimes go on every day and probably in every state in this country. It’s likely basic randomness that I happened to read about this shooting while thinking about Donald Trump’s racism. So it’s more likely that Trump’s potty mouth has nothing to do with the above shooting, but that doesn’t make for an interesting narrative and certainly isn’t going to deceive people into thinking like me.

The Washington Post has an excellent article illustrating the tough math, debunking Trump’s claims regarding illegal immigrants and their nefarious activities. As one would suspect, illegal immigrants statistically keep their heads down and try to go unnoticed. Yet the success of dozens to go unnoticed is negated by the occasional evil human being whose actions have nothing to do with the brownness of his skin.

Still, there is a narrative here. Am I really that far off when I say keeping Trump in the forefront of the news lends his racism credibility? If we go back to all his statements about “Mexicans” and change the word to “Negroes”, “Blacks”, or even “African-Americans” (pick your level of poison). Under which of those three scenarios does he not get booed off stage? Or cease to be covered by main stream news? Or not taken seriously on any level and relegated to the tabloids as suggested above? (Though I doubt the tabloids would even touch him. Racism is insufficiently “Juicey”.)

I suspect any one of the three options would have ended Trump’s presidential campaign, so why is it okay for him to be saying this about Hispanics?

Hint: It’s not okay.