I promised myself that I would not write another blog post on Donald Trump, mostly because he drives me crazy. I think he is not only idiotic, but very dangerous, and I get discouraged about the state of this country when I see how many people are interested in him and voting for him. The thought that he might actually be the Republican nominee for president makes me nauseous. I just don't understand what people are thinking. I keep assuming at some point, people are going to wake up and realize he's arrogant, sexist, racist, and profoundly xenophobic, and lose interest in his bombast. As South Carolina proves, it's not happening.
But I find I just can't keep quiet after his latest diatribe, where he actually retold a terrible lie as if it were true, as an example of the kind of thing he would do if he were president. Maybe you heard the story. [You can find it here: Story of General who dipped bullets in pigs' blood] The tale goes that 100 years ago, when General John Pershing [pictured above] was in the Philippines, he lined up 50 Muslims and shot 49 of them with bullets he had dipped in pigs blood. He then sent the 50th back to tell his community what it happened. The point of the story? They didn't have any trouble with Muslims for the next 25 years. Never mind the the story has no basis in fact; never mind that the story "crossed the line from spreading hatred to inciting violence" [according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations]--Trump doesn't care about any of that. He just wants votes, he wants power, he wants attention--and he'll sacrifice anyone to get it; in particular, anyone who doesn't look like him, or act like him.
The fact is, Muslims have become one of Trump's favorite targets, even though he apparently knows nothing about Islam at all, and apparently assumes ISIS represents all Muslims. He even referred to ISIS when he was arguing with the pope, who had the apparent audacity to suggest someone who seeks to build walls to keep other people out, who consistently talks about other human beings with venom and contempt might not be a good reflection of the Christian faith. Just wait until ISIS attacks the Vatican, Trump said--then you'll wish you had me in your corner. Yeah--obviously, he doesn't know anything about Pope Francis, either.
So, what to say in response to all this? Well, a couple things come to mind. First, Trump is a liar. That story isn't true, and to repeat it like it's true makes him complicit in intentionally trying to incite violence against others and sway people with misinformation. He's not to be trusted. Second, Trump is prejudiced in almost every kind of way: he doesn't like women, he doesn't like immigrants, he doesn't like Muslims. So, basically he discriminates on the basis of nationality, religion, and gender. So, for those white men who support him, I say: "Be careful." He may well come for you next, on the basis of your job, on the basis of your income, or maybe he just won't like the way you dress. And third, Trump represents the worst of human behavior. He's deceitful, arrogant, disrespectful, snide, cruel, and entirely self-absorbed. Does anyone really think we want a person like that with any governmental power, let alone as our next president? I'm with Pope Francis: Trump may say he's a Christian, but every action, every word belies the faith in which he supposedly believes.
Trump may say he wants to "make America great again," but his vision of greatness is one I don't recognize or embrace. The greatness to which our nation should aspire is that of inclusion, compassion, justice and diversity--celebrating the gifts of all, and working together for the good of all. For me, this includes the particularly Christian value of those with the most working the hardest for those with the least. Trump doesn't believe in any of that, and it's time to hold him accountable for the poisonous vision of this country he is selling.