One Canadian’s Perspective on Donald Trump

Those who know me well will appreciate that it was just a matter of time until I wrote this blog.  My feelings surrounding Donald Trump’s candidacy are strong to say the least.  And given that Trump is continuing to make gains in the polls, and with the Iowa caucuses just two weeks away, I couldn’t keep quiet any longer.

I am a rational person.  I understand, in theory, that there are two sides to every argument.  However, I draw the line on certain subjects – gay marriage (frankly, I reject discrimination or prejudice of any sort), gun control, habitual tardiness…  I have a very hard time engaging in conversation on these topics because it is almost beyond my comprehension that there is another side to these issues. To be clear, I am pro-gay marriage, pro-gun control and am a “5 minutes early” kind of person.  I am also, decidedly, anti-Donald Trump.  Furthermore, it is unfathomable to me that, with the facts in hand, anyone could support Trump.

Let me provide a bit of background information as foundation for my position.  The following is a sampling of direct quotes from Donald Trump since announcing his candidacy in June, 2015:

On Mexican immigrants:

  • “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…  They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us.  They’re bringing drugs.  They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

On his proposed wall with Mexico:

  • “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”
  • “…thirty-two meters of impenetrable concrete lined with electrified razor wire and protected at the base by an eighteen meter deep moat filled with iron spikes.”

On Muslims:

  • “They’re not coming to this country if I’m president.”
  • “Total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
  • “There is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.”

On African Americans:

  • “There’s no such thing as racism anymore.  We’ve had a Black president so it’s not a question anymore. Are they saying Black lives should matter more than White lives or Asian lives?  If Black lives matter, then go back to Africa.  We’ll see how much they matter there.”

All of this fascist and racist rhetoric from a potential leader of a country whose national ethos is the “American Dream” – a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.  In a speech last year, Donald Trump declared that the American dream is dead.   I reject that notion.  But I believe with every fibre of my being that the dream will die if Trump is elected!

I would like to point out that with German ancestry from his father (Trump’s paternal grandmother and grandfather were German immigrants) and Scottish ancestry from his mother (his mother was a Scottish immigrant), Donald Trump epitomizes the American immigrant experience.  Furthermore, his first wife, Ivana, was born in Czechoslovakia and his current wife, Melania, was born in Slovenia.  Trump asserts that he would allow the “really good people” into the country.  Presumably, we are expected to believe that his family members all fall into this category.

I have asked myself many times how it is possible for someone running for the most powerful office in the world to say such blatantly hateful things.  Perhaps more surprising though, is the fact that he often backs up these claims with false evidence – e.g. “I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down” (referring to Muslims celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center).  Or worse yet, the fact that when challenged, he refers to his poll numbers as evidence of his worthiness.

I want to make it clear that I love the United States.  In my years as a management consultant and an executive recruiter, I worked extensively in the US with my American colleagues.  My husband and I also have a house in Florida – a home I fondly call my “happy place”.  It is truly staggering to me that one of my childhood friends (who happens to be Muslim) could be prevented from joining me and my girlfriends on our annual girls trip to Florida if Trump were to be elected president.

I choose to believe that Trump’s popularity in the polls is due to the fact that he repeatedly says outrageous things that garner media attention.  Surely his supporters aren’t paying attention to the actual words coming out of Trump’s mouth, but have instead been dazzled by his fame.  Because if we really live in a world where people support these outlandish claims, then I am very, very fearful for our future.

It might surprise you to learn that, as a Canadian, I lose sleep over the idea of Trump as president.  I can’t help but think of the impact on my children’s lives.  I firmly believe that Donald Trump will spawn decades of hatred in the world.  His remarks are careless and callous – and certainly do not exemplify what we should expect from an intelligent and informed world leader.

Consider for a moment, Trump’s treatment of his fellow GOP candidates.  He has been quoted as saying the following:

On Ben Carson:

  • “It’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper.  That’s a big problem because there’s no cure for that.  You don’t cure these people.  You don’t cure a child molester.  There’s no cure for it.  Pathological, there’s no cure for that.”

On Carly Fiorina:

  • “Look at that face!  Would anyone vote for that?  Can you imagine that, the face of our next president.  I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on.  Are we serious?”

On Jeb Bush:

  • “Jeb Bush has to like Mexican illegals because of his wife.”

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a bully looks and sounds like.  I shudder to think how Trump would respond to other world leaders challenging him.  Is this really a man that we want in any kind of proximity to the nuclear football?

I believe that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  As a Canadian, my ability to impact the politics of the United States is pretty minimal.  Having said that, I felt that it was important to share my views.  Perhaps this blog will influence one person, or cause another to dig a little deeper into Trump’s campaign platform.  So let me be as clear as I can:  Donald Trump is a fear-mongering, racist narcissist who will cause irreparable damage to the American ideals (liberty, equality, democracy, individualism, unity and diversity!) and to the world at large.

And with that, I have said my peace!

 

 

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