The United States of America, is the greatest country in the world. It has been since 1492, in spite of its growing pains over the centuries, and has continued to grow and progress to this day. Our political system of multiple parties has attached untold value to free speech and individual freedom. When free speech becomes a platform for lies, innuendo, and character assassination, it should be repudiated and condemned.
Candidates for political office typically originate as seasoned politicians or experienced military personnel and especially those vying for the presidency of the United States. Additionally, these candidates are usually civil and respectful rivals.
Over the years there have been many famous and hotly contested presidential campaigns but none like the current primary and soon to be general election.
In 2000, Ralph Nader labeled George W. Bush and Al Gore “Tweedledee and Tweedledum” as in they’re both the same. Nader campaigned for finance reform and many of the normal campaign issues but never character assassination.
The election of 1964 is considered by many to be the most racially polarized presidential contest in modern American history. After 1964, Democrats could take the Black vote for granted as the GOP became the party through which Whites expressed their unease over Black progress. The contest between Johnson and Goldwater shaped American racial politics for years to come. However, the contest was relegated to issues not personalities.
The 1960 presidential election was the closest election since 1916. Kennedy benefited from the economic recession of 1957-58, which hurt the standing of the incumbent Republican Party, and he had the advantage of 17 million more registered Democrats than Republicans. Furthermore, Kennedy’s campaigning skills decisively outmatched Nixon’s. The issues mattered in this election, not personalities.
One hundred years earlier in 1860, the United States was divided on questions surrounding the expansion of slavery and the rights of slave owners. These issues broke the Democratic Party into Northern and Southern factions. In the face of a divided opposition, the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a majority of the electoral votes, putting Abraham Lincoln in the White House with almost no support from the South. Thus the “Emancipation Proclamation.” This election was decided on the issues, not on personality assassinations.
These were memorable elections contested by some of the greatest presidents the country has known in its 524 years of existence.
What we are seeing in the U.S. today is a reminder of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in 1933.
Adolf Hitler rose to a place of prominence in the early years of the Nazi party. Being one of the best speakers of the party, he told the other party members to either make him leader of the party or he would quit and never return. He was aided in part by his willingness to use violence in advancing his political objectives and to recruit party members who were willing to do the same. The release of his book Mein Kampf (translated as My Struggle) introduced Hitler to a wider audience. The party engaged in electoral battles in which Hitler participated as a speaker and organizer, as well as in street battles and violence between the Rotfrontkämpferbund and the Nazi’s Sturmabteilung (SA). Through the early 1930s, the Nazis gathered enough electoral support to become the largest political party in the Reichstag, and Hitler’s blend of political acuity, deceptiveness and cunning converted the party’s non-majority but plurality status into effective governing power in the ailing Weimar Republic of 1933. Once in power, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis created a mythology surrounding the rise to power, and they described the period as the time of struggle.
Today’s Republican’s presumptive nominee for the President of the United States seems to be following the same path as Adolf Hitler. As it was with Hitler, Trump had a best seller, “The Art of the Deal.”
He began his primary campaign by insulting women, Mexicans, Blacks (Undermining the efforts of “Black Lives Mater), Muslims and character assassination of his primary opponents. Jebb Bush, a member of a U.S. political dynasty whose family had served the country honorably and continuously for decades was bullied and ridiculed out of the race. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Paul Rand, and John Kasich became objects of Trump’s vicious rhetoric. Meanwhile, he had nothing of substance to promote his candidacy except to make the greatest country the world has ever known, “Great Again.”
His racism, lying, and fear mongering resonated among 40 percent of the Republican Party which gave him a decided edge over the remaining candidates. However, there were approximately 127 million votes cast in the presidential election of 2012. Sixty-six million for democrats and sixty-one million for republicans. Donald Trump’s rhetoric and fear mongering earned him 40 percent of the Republican voters, roughly 24 million supporters. That’s a long way from a winning level of 66 million.
Trump’s uncontrolled rhetoric always manages to get it wrong. He refused to name Omar Mateen, the killer in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando. Trump said that he was born “an Afghan, of Afghan parents, who immigrated to the United States.” But Omar Mateen was born in Queens, New York–to parents from Afghanistan–not far from where Donald Trump was born. The real estate magnate also appeared to equate all Muslims who seek to come to the United States with the perpetrators of recent terror attacks—another claim that seems to fly in the face of the evidence about a community that has been present in the U.S. for decades. “We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer,” Trump said.
Today he uses that perceived electoral strength to insinuate that our sitting president is in some way involved with ISIS.
Trump is a known believer in a number of conspiracy theories, having said in the past that Obama was born in Kenya, that the Chinese invented the idea of global warming as a hoax, that thousands of Muslims openly celebrated 9/11 in New Jersey, and that Indiana-born Judge Gonzalo Curiel is making adverse rulings against him in a Trump University fraud case because of Curiel’s lingering loyalty to the government of Mexico. He also insinuated that Ted Cruz’s father was somehow mixed up in the Kennedy assassination.
It’s time for the Republican Party to reconsider whom they are nominating to represent them to the American people and the world.
Donald Trump clearly lies, insinuates, demeans, and bullies his way through each and every critical situation. The world is watching the developments in this presidential contest and are most likely concerned about the outcome.
In spite of Trump’s rhetoric, the world looks to the U.S. for leadership and maintenance of peace and stability.
If Donald Trump wins this election, the U.S. will lose its position as the leader of the free world and will be subject to the dictates of the new World Leader.
Voters, beware of Donald Trump!