Perhaps no candidate this election cycle has received more media attention than Donald Trump. Often the coverage has been negative, and rightly so.
This criticism usually takes one of two forms. First, there are his policies. His policies are a part of no coherent ideology and are often at odds with the facts. Second, there is his character. He is thin-skinned and lashes out at criticism with ad hominem attacks and meanness. Both make him unfit for office.
The first fully detailed policy plan that Trump’s campaign released involved immigration. Much of it is objectionable. For instance, he states that the Mexican government is essentially exporting people to the United States. Apparently it isn’t better job prospects or security that draw immigrants to make the journey themselves.
Either way, one of his solutions to illegal immigration is particularly absurd. He wants to build a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it. Regardless of whether or not a wall is desirable, the contention that the United States could force Mexico to do anything, let alone spend huge sums of money on a wall in another country, is laughable.
The methods he says he will use are basically all extortion. He says he’ll “impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages.” He provides no detail about how he’ll do so. However, such a policy would necessarily require a huge violation of civil liberties in order to determine the source of any money sent and to track where the money is being sent.
Another one of his proposed methods of extorting Mexico is the imposition of tariffs. Apparently NAFTA and free trade mean nothing to him.
Trump is no better on foreign policy. Recently, Putin has been getting involved directly in Syria. Supposedly, the reason is to fight ISIS. However, there have been reports of attacks against the main Syrian opposition.
Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has been friendly with Putin. Under Assad’s leadership, Syria would basically be a Russian puppet. During the Cold War, the United States managed to be the dominant power in the Middle East, leading to the exclusion of the Soviet Union. In Syria, that is changing.
What has been Trump’s response? For the most part, he’s been saying that it’s a good thing Putin is hitting ISIS. He doesn’t want America to be the world’s policeman. However, the issue here isn’t America being the world’s policeman. It isn’t even whether or not we should intervene.
While I think more intervention is necessary, I can understand why someone would be hesitant to get more involved. We can argue about what the best course of action in the Middle East is, but Trump is essentially saying he’s okay with Russia becoming the new dominant power in the region. He doesn’t say so because it’s the least bad option; he has been hesitant to describe it as a negative occurrence at all.
These are just two of his policies. This is to give no elaboration of his enthusiasm for using eminent domain to take the houses of poor people in order to give them to wealthy developers, of his declaration that he doesn’t know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah or of his belief that vaccines might be linked to autism. There simply isn’t enough space in The Collegian’s commentary section to elaborate much further on his reckless policies.
Policies aside, Trump has made numerous headlines on the personal attacks he regularly launches at those with whom he disagrees. As with his policies, his attacks are too numerous to make an exhaustive list here, but a few are particularly notable.
After John McCain criticized people who went to a Trump rally, Trump at first denied that McCain is a war hero and then said, “I like people who weren’t captured.” For those who might not be aware, John McCain was a POW for five and a half years during the Vietnam war.
During this time he was tortured. His captors offered him early release when his father became the commander in Vietnam, but McCain refused since prisoners captured before him wouldn’t be released.
After Fox News’s Megyn Kelly asked Trump a question about his sexist remarks towards women, he complained that she “had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” He later tried to say he was talking about her nose. That defense is not believable. The word “nose” is not hard to remember, and he has too much of a history of making sexist remarks.
He has tried to deny his sexism with repeated claims that he loves women. Also, whenever a women’s health issue comes up, he says we “have to take care of women.” How patronizing. Women are not wards of the state. They have every ability to take care of themselves.
Perhaps the government should do more with women’s health initiatives, but the proposition that the government needs to “take care of” an entire sex and more than half of the country is more than a little off-putting.
Just last Friday, Bloomberg released an interview in which Trump implied that George W. Bush’s supposed negligence is the reason for the September 11 terrorist attacks. He didn’t back down when the moderator challenged him.
I am of the opinion that character is the most important quality in a candidate. Others maintain that a politician can still do a good job even if he is personally reprehensible. With Trump, that debate is irrelevant. Both his policies and his character make him unfit for office.
Trump is anger and vulgarity personified. I understand that many people are angry with the politicians currently in office, but the solution is not to elect a man whose policies, if enacted, would damage the country and whose behavior would make Washington even more sensationalized, divided and dysfunctional. Support for Trump is a vote to destroy, not to restore.