I’ve been watching a lot of Trump speeches over the last few weeks.
It’s my own fault. Nobody is making me watch these speeches and interviews and rallies. Outside of your incredibly generous donations (thank you!) nobody is paying me to spend this much time focused on a crusty rug with a bad attitude. I’m watching because I want to and because I think watching and paying attention (as barfy as it makes me) is important. Donald Trump is saying quite a lot in the little that he actually says and, while it’s fun to watch him try to talk and read a teleprompter at the same time, so far I have yet to hear him say anything that doesn’t terrify me.
If you’ve caught even just thirty seconds of domestic news over the last couple of weeks, you’ve undoubtedly heard some of Trump’s latest greatest hits:
- Barack Obama is “literally the founder of ISIS” (he isn’t) along with Hillary Clinton (nope).
- Hillary Clinton is a bigot (I doubt it).
- The Obama Administration paid $400 Million in ransom to Iran (nu-uh, and I’ll talk about this more later this week).
- That Hillary is physically and mentally unfit for office–and that she’s harboring some weird secret illness. (*sigh*)
- He “regrets” saying the wrong things and causing personal pain (followed up by going back to saying and doing exactly what he’s been saying and doing all along).
- He (Trump) will be able to get 95% of the black vote by 2020, he guarantees it.
We all talk a good game about how there are only lies and nothing of real substance in his stump speech, but if you pay attention? There’s some super scary sh*t in there and nobody seems to be covering it. Probably because it isn’t quite as outlandishly delivered or ignorantly conceived as what I listed above.
For example, while everybody else is mad because Trump keeps insisting that Hillary Clinton is a bigot who uses black people as pawns, they’re overlooking a statistic he’s repeated a few times since then:
“58% of African American youth are unemployed.”
Notice the inclusion of the word youth. This is not an accident. He has used this quote in a few different speeches now, varying it once in a while to make it look like he’s trying to talk directly to the Black community: “half of your youth are unemployed!”
What, exactly, does he mean by “youth”? Does he mean teenagers who can get work permits? Younger? And why is the unemployment rate of African American youth such a big sticking point for him?
In one speech he even went so far as to say that Hillary Clinton would “rather bring in a refugee or an illegal to take a job than have one of the African American youths do it.” (paraphrasing mine)
Think about the stereotype surrounding jobs typically performed by refugees and undocumented workers. Is he saying that we should be sending in kids–black kids in particular–to do those jobs instead? Because that’s problematic, even for a guy who supposedly has a (white, of course) twelve year old running his Colorado campaign office.
Then there’s his whole thing about ideological testing. A lot of news coverage has been given to Donald Trump’s plan to impose some sort of ideological test on people who want to immigrate to this country (because nobody would ever lie on one of those, I’m sure). What this coverage leaves out is how far and how invasive he’d like this testing to be. Here are quotes from just two of the speeches he’s given recently:
“On immigration, we will temporarily suspend immigration from any place where adequate screening cannot be performed. All applicants for immigration will be vetted for ties to radical ideology, and we will screen out anyone who doesn’t share our values and love our people. […] If you want to join our society, then you must embrace our society, our values and our tolerant way of life. “ —Charlotte, August 18 (bolding mine)
“This also means we have to promote the exceptional virtues of our own way of life – and expecting that newcomers to our society do the same.Pride in our institutions, our history and our values should be taught by parents and teachers, and impressed upon all who join our society. Assimilation is not an act of hostility, but an expression of compassion.” —Youngstown, August 15 (bolding mine)
These are not the only scary ideas that he’s not-so-subtly projecting. There is also the language about “Americanism not Globalism” and the advocation of eliminating nation-building:
“If I become President, the era of nation-building will be ended. Our new approach, which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the Middle East, must be to halt the spread of Radical Islam.All actions should be oriented around this goal, and any country which shares this goal will be our ally. We cannot always choose our friends, but we can never fail to recognize our enemies.”–Youngstown, August 15
He talks about using “military, financial and cyberwarfare” to defeat terrorists. What does that even mean?
It’s easy to laugh and point at Donald Trump and to wonder how on earth a candidate who has no concrete plans to accomplish any of this promises got so far. But if you really listen, there are incredibly scary messages included in his speeches and they are why he should never ever have any power.