By Isla Lamont
They say you aren’t supposed to talk politics in polite company. They also say not to mix politics and family, and for the love of God, never politics and in-laws. But while visiting my boyfriend’s parents a few weeks ago, I found this very difficult when his mother (I’ll refer to her as Mama G) casually mentioned she will be supporting Donald Trump in 2016. It triggered the following question, simple yet stupefying – why?
I was in Europe this August, and numerous times on my journey, upon being revealed as an American, people from all over asked me to explain Trump. Barcelona, Rome, the United Kingdom, even in the Philippines—it appears that the world is watching our election polls (or at least, the Internet) and wondering the same thing I am: if everyone hates Trump so much, why is he “winning?”
As both a woman and an immigrant in this country, not to mention an intelligent and ethical human being, I could not begin to fathom why Mama G would support such a womanizing, foul-mouthed, self-righteous, xenophobic, pompous waste of a hairpiece.
I asked her how she could support a man who was accused of marital rape by his ex-wife; publicly used the words “slob,” “fat pig,” “dogs,” and “ugly” to proudly objectify women; has stated a Fox News anchor was probably on her period; said, “I believe we’re all equal, except women still have to try harder and they know it;” and, for such a great business man, has declared bankruptcy and been bailed out by the government. Twice.
Her response, however, was quite simple: he isn’t afraid to say what we’re all thinking.
As Mama G put it, “We are so tired of these lying candidates, always promising what they won’t commit to. He at least tells it to you straight, even if it ain’t pretty.”
The respect one feels for a person who is undaunted by authority or mass opinion is rather universal. It is not, however, a trait acceptable for someone in such a delicate and globally watched position as the President of the United States.
So to summarize: the American middle class feels under attack. They feel hatred for their religion, nationality, and their very way of life from growing corners of the world. The media doesn’t shield them from violent protests at home and global violence, while they cope with the daily grind of hard work as only the rich get richer. Most of all, they feel that they cannot even rely on their own government.
Then, on the television, comes a beautiful woman: Ivanka Trump, proclaiming how when it comes to her father, “There is no one you’d rather have in your corner.” The hotshot himself comes on, larger than life, flashing to the country his supposedly self-made billions as if it were a hall pass from Heaven above. Basically, Donald Trump has a god complex, and America wants a savior.
You see, I’m scared too. And my concerns are not just limited to this country. It genuinely frightens me to think of what Trump will do and say as the leader of our nation. Presidency is a position that involves the highest level of tact, diplomacy, and sensibility. Are we really going to rely on someone so volatile to deal with Iranian nuclear missiles, or maintain foreign relationships?
The man talks himself into a corner at every media opportunity and has no concrete goals for his vague objectives of “getting the economy back on track” or “defeating ISIS.” The one plan he actually released, as of mid-September, is his immigration proposal, which encompasses large swathes of negotiable territory and no real sense of direction.
The impetus for global action rests on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the commander of wars, the Daniel to our lion’s den—are we seriously going to deliberately, willingly, and intelligently elect Donald Trump to any position over us?