Donald Trump, in the course of a speech yesterday in Grand Rapids, Michigan, called Hillary Clinton a “liar,” “crooked” and then said she got “schlonged” by Obama when she ran for president against him in 2008. Schlong is another word for penis.
The level of Trump’s discourse as he runs for the GOP nomination for president is astonishingly ugly and beneath the office which he seeks. It is time for the GOP to stand up or watch its own destruction. Will that happen? At this point, candidate after candidate, and other party bigwigs, have said they will support Trump if he wins the nomination. What does that say about what it means to be a Republican, if they truly will support him?
It used to mean something to be a Republican, a fiscal conservative, for small government and a strong defense were some of the ideals of the party as defined by Eisenhower, Reagan, Ford, and even Bush. This fear mongering, racist, sexist ugly name calling was certainly not the party that I knew growing up. This new GOP is unrecognizable. The pursuit of winning at all costs has made this a party that no longer has a basic level of decency. It has become a party where lies are told without shame; where women and minorities are demonized; where talk of killing innocent people is applauded; where religion is used as a weapon.
Trump is the oozing pus of this wounded party. This man panders to racists, sexists and fear-mongering xenophobes. He appeals to those who react rather than think. Even a moment of thought brought to any of his ideas, point out how dangerous they are. History tells us that when we create the “other,” the “Jew,” the “Japanese,” the “Mexican” or the “Muslim,” we create a society that is built on fear, a society that terrorizes the innocent, and one that eventually turns on itself. It becomes a place where no one is safer, and everyone is in more danger.
A great nation doesn’t cower in the face of adversity. It doesn’t succumb to irrational fear. It creates solutions that address the real issues and not the phobias that only make us weaker. France, which suffered two terrible terrorist attacks this past year, is currently accepting Syrian refugees. They have not succumbed to fear. Why should we forego our noted American compassion and humanity for an irrational fear? There is a strenuous process in place for anyone who seeks refuge here. But nothing’s perfect. We will never be 100% safe. Far more people die at the hands of white men with guns in this country every year, than terrorist attacks. If Americans support Trump, we do so at our own peril.
Fear and anger cannot lead us. Greatness comes from courage to face the truth and act with compassion as we forge a more perfect union. To do anything less is to destroy the premise and promise of this nation.
Jan Harrison is the Co-Founder and CEO of Garnet News.