It was only a matter of time.
It was only a matter of time before a rightwing extremist rose to prominence in the American political arena. There is only so long bigoted and authoritarian musings can be entertained on far right media like Fox News or Rush Limbaugh Live before a candidate casts aside any facade of decency and appeals to the basest, most vile instincts of human beings.
Donald Trump was the candidate extremists were waiting for.
Trump recently called for the U.S. to block all Muslims from entering, turning stereotyping into national policy, widening our dangerous problem of racial profiling to a massive, never before seen scale. He used American detention of German, Italian, and Japanese immigrants during World War II as justification, turning draconian sins generally looked back upon with embarrassment as shining examples of sensible security measures.
Neo-nazis called him a “glorious leader” and “ultimate savior” for this, adding, “Heil Donald Trump” for good measure. In 1990, Trump’s ex-wife said Trump sometimes read a book of Hitler’s speeches, My New Order, which covers propaganda and speaking style, a blueprint for fear-mongering and race-baiting. Trump first confirmed this, then denied it.
Trump also called for the surveillance of American mosques, a database of Muslim Americans, and/or special religion identification cards for Islamists. In essence, the eradication of Constitutional religious freedom protections and the establishment of authoritarian anti-privacy and discriminatory policies that echo the Third Reich.
One man at a town hall meeting told Trump that President Obama is a Muslim, “not even an American,” that “we have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims,” and asked, “When can we get rid of them?” While it was unclear if the man meant all American Muslims or just Islamic extremists, Trump didn’t question any of it, instead saying, “You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We’re going to be looking at that and many other things.”
Despite being unable to provide a shred of evidence, Trump insists he saw American Muslims cheering as the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11, fomenting anti-Muslim hatred.
Activists believe Trump’s rhetoric is contributing to the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes that began even before the deadly ISIS attacks in Paris and the San Bernardino shooting.
Trump vilified undocumented Mexican immigrants, generalizing them as criminals, drug dealers, rapists, and killers. He stokes nativist fears about Hispanics stealing jobs, spreading unemployment, lowering wages, “destroying the Middle Class.” He wants to build a “gorgeous wall” akin to the Great Wall of China, while rounding up 11 million people (many of whom were born in the U.S. and are thus American citizens by law), and trucking them out of the country. This despite the fact that amnesty is the least expensive, most effective, and most humane way to end the problems associated with illegal immigration.
Invoking Trump’s name and his deportation plan, two white men beat a homeless Hispanic man in Boston with a pipe and then urinated on him. Trump heard about this and explained that his followers are “passionate” people who “love their country,” only later writing he would “never condone violence.” Other Trump supporters beat an Hispanic protester at a rally, chanting “USA! USA!”
Trump believes the government should censor the Internet to curb access to radical Islamic literature and websites. He said, “Somebody will say, ‘Oh, freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ Those are foolish people.” This despite the extensive erosion of civil liberties and massive increase of domestic spying since George W. Bush.
He heartlessly mocked both the voice and physical motions of a disabled reporter, mocked Asian business partners using broken English, and ridiculed political rival Carly Fiorina, saying, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” He may or may not have suggested Megyn Kelly was asking “ridiculous” questions of him during a debate because she was menstruating.
He’s called one woman a “big, fat pig,” “disgusting,” a “slob” and an “animal”; another he called a “dog”; another he wrote had an “ugly face and body.” On the other hand, he’s often joked about his daughter’s body and that he would date her if he wasn’t her father. He likes having “a young and beautiful piece of ass” on his arm, and sometimes insinuates women are successful only if beautiful.
He joked Hillary Clinton would not be an ineffective president because she couldn’t “satisfy her husband.”
Trump thinks the U.S. war against terror is ineffective because it’s a “politically correct war.” To fight ISIS, Trump says, the U.S. must “take out their families” and bring back torture techniques like waterboarding, saying, “If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway for what they’re doing to us.” This despite the fact that 90% of drone victims are already innocent bystanders, and the fact it is just such actions that radicalize people and breed more terror attacks.
He wanted U.S. forces to stay in Iraq and “keep the oil.” He insulted former prisoner of war Senator John McCain, saying, “He’s not a war hero… I like people who weren’t captured.” He also believes his time in the New York Military Academy gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” He said an army deserter should be executed.
His foreign policy positions usually amount to aggressive intimidation. He promises to “beat China” in trade deals. “I beat China all the time. All the time.” To keep oil prices low, he would simply tell OPEC, “…you’re not going to raise that fucking price.” As for ISIS: “I would bomb the shit out of them… There would be nothing left.”
He believes he can sign an executive order that will overrule all state laws, decreeing that anyone who kills a police officer will be executed. He also wants police forces nationwide to maintain the use of military-grade weapons and vehicles.
He constantly talks about his wealth and power, mercilessly showcasing his narcissism. “Women find his power almost as much a turn-on as his money,” Trump said of himself. “I’m really rich,” he often brags. He was insulted and outraged when Forbes valued his net worth at only $4.5 billion, writing, “I don’t look good, to be honest. I mean, I look better if I’m worth $10 billion than if I’m worth $4 billion.” He also boasts of a high I.Q.
Yet he has not the wit to check the validity of his sources. He tweeted a graphic falsely claiming that the vast majority of white Americans were killed by blacks in 2015, a graphic that may have originated with a neo-Nazi. Trump refused to apologize for or take down the lies.
According to one source, Trump once said, “Laziness is a trait in blacks” and that he didn’t want black men counting his money; he once took out full-page ads in New York papers calling for the death penalty for black teens who allegedly raped a white woman (they were later declared innocent); and he was once sued for not renting to African Americans. He was a leader of the “birther” movement that sought to prove Obama was not a U.S. citizen.
After a Black Lives Matter protester interrupted one of Trump’s speeches, supporters physically assaulted the man, as Trump yelled, “Get him the hell out of here!” While a spokesperson later said Trump’s campaign does not condone violence, Trump himself said, “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.” Elsewhere, Trump has threatened to attack Black Lives Matter protesters personally.
There is evidence Trump’s father was a Klansman. Even after all this, Trump insists he will get the African American vote, and claims his Muslim friends think banning Muslim immigration is a good idea.