By: Chandler Robertson- Content Manager
Donald Trump’s campaign is no longer funny. Many observers of American politics looked upon it with bemusement in its infancy and into its adolescence. But Trump’s campaign has reached maturity, its behavior is no longer humorous or to be brushed off; it is dangerous.
Trump’s lack of tact has reached the limits of being simply laughable. His sexist comments and his disdain for reporters, while unsettling, should be laughed off as the babblings of a narcissistic chauvinist. But in the wake of the terrorist attacks launched in Paris and other parts of the world, his xenophobia has again reared its ugly head. We had seen it before in his comments on Latino immigrants, that they are “bringing drugs,” “bringing crime,” and are “rapists,” but those claims were largely ignored by all but the most conservative. Now, he is disseminating inaccurate thoughts and attitudes about both the Muslim-American and international Muslim communities that carry the stench of Hitler’s Germany, engaging in dangerous, age-old fear mongering tactics. His public remarks, even from the perspective of a white, male, Anglo-Saxon Christian, have been exasperating to read and hear. For Arab and Islamic communities, these comments, and the public support that has come with them, has done far more damage. Trump’s views confirm the messages used in propaganda that is spread by extremist groups like ISIS: that America is an inherently evil and hateful country.
Trump’s lack of tact puts America in danger. It is not, as his supporters may believe, just a disregard for ‘political correctness.’ His rhetoric could not only provoke violence and hate crimes, but also calls into question the very civil liberties that Trump claims to want to protect. Freedom of religion ceases to exist when a list of all practitioners of a faith is compiled, a concept that Trump has espoused as “good management.” These ideas must be removed from the mainstream discourse and put back into the margins with neo-Nazis and the KKK where it belongs.
Trump’s actions are an ultimatum for the Republican Party. I truly believe that, however differently they approach the goal and however caught up they are in the political gamesmanship of Washington, both parties have the best interests of America at heart. If the Republican Party seeks to confirm this belief, they need to unite behind one candidate; they must kill their Hydra. Republicans need a singular candidate who can receive all of the Party’s attention and resources. The Republican Party cannot let Trump become the face of conservatism. Whether or not one agrees with the GOP’s policies and party platform, to allow this man to masquerade as its banner-man is unacceptable.
Republicans must choose a candidate now, a decision usually saved for primary season. Unfortunately, this luxury has been taken away from them as Trump’s campaign has pushed itself to center stage. The party must decide now. This is a pragmatic approach; Donald Trump will not win the presidential election. The Republican Party will lose moderate voters and minority communities, and, if Trump somehow becomes the GOP candidate, they will become a political laughingstock.
It is time for the Republican Party to step up. They have a chance to resign Donald Trump’s campaign to a mere footnote in American history. If they fail to produce a unified front, we stare down the barrel at a possibility of an America that may never be great again.