Donald Trump Announces Presidential Run, Calls Mexicans “Rapists”
Real estate tycoon and braggadocious buffoon Donald Trump has single-handedly guaranteed that politically-minded comedians and satirists won’t have to worry about finding new material for the foreseeable future by announcing yet another presidential run.
But there was nothing funny about much of what the Sultan of Self-Aggrandizement, the Baron of Bankruptcy, the Titan of Toupée had to say during the course of his rambling, ranting, raging 46-minute announcement on Tuesday. In fact, The Donald, quacking away like the eponymous Disney water fowl, was downright disgusting at times, repeatedly calling people he doesn’t like “stupid,” boasting about how rich he was—”I’m really rich”—and demonizing an entire group of millions of people—Mexican immigrants risking their lives to flee poverty and crime for better lives in the United States—as criminals. In case you missed it:
The US has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. (Applause) Thank you. It’s true, and [you] are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you… 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.
Yes, some Mexicans, maybe some of the 200 or so undocumented immigrants Trump hired (eschewing and screwing union labor) to help build Trump Tower, are good people. But in the World According to Trump, more are rapists. This shameless slinging of red meat to a still significantly racist Republican base may fire up the sort of conservative primary voter who can’t find Mexico on a world map (or see their own feet when standing up), but it certainly won’t go down well in an America in which elections are increasingly won or lost based on how Latinos vote.
It’s not like the GOP leadership doesn’t know this. The party’s own post-mortem of its painful defeat in the last presidential election was as frank as it should have been cautionary: focus group members asked to sum up the Republican party described it as “out of touch,” “narrow-minded” and full of “stuffy old men” (see: Trump). And this:
If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.
Some of the other 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls get it, or at least talk like they do.
Marco Rubio: “It’s really hard to get people to listen to you on economic growth, on tax rates, on healthcare if they think you want to deport their grandmother.”
Lindsey Graham: “In essence, Hispanic voters tell us our Party’s position on immigration has become a litmus test, measuring whether we are meeting them with a welcome mat or a closed door.”
Jeb Bush: “Yes, [undocumented immigrants] broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love, it’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that is a different kind of crime, that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families. I think we need to kind of get beyond the harsh political rhetoric to a better place.”
Trump’s racist ranting drew a harsh rebuke from the Mexican government. Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong rightly called the 69-year-old candidate’s words “prejudiced and absurd,” lamenting that “[Trump] surely doesn’t know the contributions made by migrants from practically every nation in the world, who have supported the development of the United States.”
Speaking of immigrants from other nations, one famous migrant from across America’s other border—Canadian rocker Neil Young—joined millions of Mexicans and people of conscience everywhere in blasting Trump’s announcement. Not because of what he said about immigrants, but because of his “unauthorized” use of Young’s hit 1989 anthem “Rockin’ In The Free World” as a campaign song. Never mind that Trump and his team missed the song’s anti-conservative lyrics—Young slams then-Republican president George H.W. Bush for not giving a damn about the poor (We got a thousand points of light/For the homeless man/We got a kinder, gentler/Machine gun hand). Young, upon discovering Trump’s use of his song, was quick to declare himself “a longtime supporter” of self-proclaimed “socialist” and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
A Trump nomination and victory are as unlikely as tits on a turtle. Still, and as clownish as he may seem, we should take him seriously. Millions, perhaps tens of millions, of Americans, mostly of the older, whiter variety, share his xenophobic zeal and more than a few Trump supporters would sooner press their finger on the trigger of an assault rifle aimed at desperate border crossers than press “dos para Español.” Thankfully, their numbers wane each day as the number of Latino voters grows. Republicans must find a way to shift on this, and so many other issues (LGBT rights, racial, gender and wealth equality, the environment), or face growing ridicule and irrelevance. On second thought, stay just the way you are…
Tagged 2016 Republican candidates, donald trump, Donald Trump immigration, Donald Trump Mexicans rapists, Mexico, Neil Young Donald Trump, Republicans, Republicans immigration, Trump 2016, undocumented immigrants