Donald Trump and The Jerry Springer Era of PoliticsBy A.D. Schildkret
Out of a ton of respectable, conservative candidates running in the republican primary, the majority of you voted for Donald Trump, a loud-mouthed, classless populist who spent most of his life as a Democrat, proving that money does not equate to class.
Don’t get me wrong my conservative friends – I realize you had little choice by the time we reached the general election.
I voted for Trump as well in the end. It was either vote for a man who understands business, economics and the threat of terrorism or support Hillary Clinton who has a legacy of corruption, downplays the severity of Islamic terrorism, lacks economic understanding and takes the nation’s security as a joke.
Welcome to the Jerry Springer Era
But what does the election of Trump tell you about society? In 1960 as more televisions were being purchased in homes, Americans watched the first televised presidential debate between a young John Kennedy and a young Richard Nixon.
Both discussed ideas, but the criticisms that both voiced of their opponent seriously paled in comparison to the Jerry Springer debate style that Trump engaged in to become president.
That’s right, even Nixon – one of the most aggressive presidents in history – debated with more class than Trump.
America would not see another debate until 1976, Carter vs. Ford. Again, both candidates debated ideas. Neither candidate personally insulted the other.
In 1980 we saw possibly the classiest debate. Ronald Reagan debated George H.W. Bush during the republican primary. These were two men of class, intellect who possessed a great knowledge and experience of government.
Both debated ideas and neither candidate engaged in personal insults. Both discussed a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Today we have Donald Trump : a reality television star who brought the trash that reality television provides to the presidential debates, calling his opponents names like, “little Marco (Rubio)” and “lying Ted (Cruz).” He also commented about Carly Fiorina’s appearance and made fun of Rand Paul’s appearance.
And let’s not forget that Trump assured the public there was nothing wrong with his penis despite his small hands, “I guarantee there’s no problem,” he proclaimed.
They might as well have been yelling, “Jerry! Jerry!” in the debate audience.
The Myth That Conservatives Have Class
While conservatives tout that they belong to a higher class of party (as I once believed), they chose Donald Trump to represent the free world. That’s right, the man who specialized in insulting people and using Twitter as a viral method to spread his negativity.
Many Trump voters will explain his win with comments such as, “He was the non-establishment candidate” as if Trump is the first person to run for president never having served office.
Others will say, “We wanted a successful business man to run our country”.
So why didn’t Ross Perot appeal to republicans when he ran considering he has even more wealth than Trump?
What about Allan Keyes, Herman Cain or Steve Forbes? They have successful business records. Why didn’t they win? What distinguished Trump from these candidates?
Trump’s strength lies in his understanding of what people want. He is a genius in understanding this. He knew that eight years of a well-spoken, poorly performing president was not what the country wanted. He also understood that Latinos would be the common enemy among his supporters. He needed a villain. Terrorists weren’t enough, so he chose to attack Latinos.
Trump’s Hate of Latinos Taps into America’s Racism
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people” said Trump.
So according to Trump, the only undocumented people are from Mexico and most are drug dealers or criminals with only some being “good people.”
Trump’s main platform centered around America’s hatred of Latinos, Mexicans in particular. His repetitive message against undocumented immigrants tapped into America’s prejudice and helped him distinguish himself above other more qualified candidates.
Racism against Mexicans or other Latinos is more widely accepted and, in my opinion, they have replaced black people as the demographic that’s treated the most unfairly without repercussions.
The Welfare Myth
A big part of the racism that Latinos receive is based on the false myth that most undocumented Latinos collect welfare. While some do, most conservatives won’t tell you that the biggest collectors of welfare are white and black people who account for 38 percent each of welfare recipients, while Latinos (documented and undocumented) account for only 15 percent.
That’s right, the white or black guy who speaks English is abusing our country’s welfare system while undocumented Latinos, many of whom do not speak English, are working for a living.
How could Trump have been elected based on racism? Obama was elected. We are in a post-racial society, right? This is often the line of thinking that conservatives engage in.
We had a black president so racism must have died all of a sudden. The long history of slavery, lynching, disrespect, and the mass incarceration of African American men apparently ended the day President Obama took office.
Obama only obtained 43 percent of the white vote in 2008. By 2012 it dropped down to only 39 percent of whites voted for Obama.
Trump was also hesitant to call out white supremacist groups as he knew they were part of his base. White supremacists felt emboldened to act out as they believed Trump was their guy. His reluctance to disavow David Duke was a quiet nod to the white extremists who loved him.
Central Park Five
In 1989, a group of teenagers consisting of black and Latino males were accused of raping a white woman in Central Park, New York. None of the accused had any prior crimes. Mr. Trump spent $85,000 in full page ads calling for the death penalty for suspects who were later found not guilty.
When Trump was going through a lawsuit regarding his failed Trump University, Trump opined during an interview with CNN that the judge involved was biased because, “He’s a Mexican,” referring to Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
“We’re building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings — rulings that people can’t even believe.” Never mind that the Judge is an American of Mexican heritage.
During a campaign rally in Alabama, a black American man entered shouting, “Black lives matter” and was beaten by Trump supporters.
Instead of taking a stance against violence, Trump commented, “Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up. It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
When two brothers in Boston beat up a homeless Latino man, they cited Trump’s anti-immigrant message as motivation.
Instead of distancing himself, Trump said, “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
While speaking to an audience of Jewish people, Trump played into Jewish stereotypes saying, “I’m a negotiator, like you folks… Is there anyone who doesn’t renegotiate deals in this room?”
He also told the audience, “Perhaps you’re not going to support me, because I don’t want your money. You want to control your own politician.”
Stop Lying to Yourself
Fellow conservatives: I get it. I used to think we were above liberals. After all, we don’t usually protest violently like liberals do, but while we think we are the party of values we just voted for a man who has none.