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.