Donald Trump may get to be president of the United States, and if he does, it will in large part be because the U.S. populace is more interested in re-tweeting pictures of Orlando Bloom's genitalia than in finding out who the Republican candidate really is and what his intentions are for the great United States of America.
Political campaigns are an exercise in brand management. The questions asked inside campaign operations are similar to those asked inside marketing boardrooms: what types of issues should we support? What do we stand for? Is our message digestible to consumers and differentiated from our competitors?
I see you. I see you lurking in the periphery of my Facebook feed, posting pro-Trump rhetoric and awful hate speech. I mean, you aren't saying the things presidential candidate Donald Trump is, but you are sharing them. You are siding with him. I could have blocked you. I could have hidden your posts from my view, or I could have just defriended you. But I didn't, and I won't.
Over the past few decades, analysts have insisted that European style anti-immigrant politics were not easily exportable to either the United States or Canada as such ideas were unattractive to most North American voters. Anti-immigrant politicians usually appeal to a nation's ethnic majority population by insist that the dominant culture is being undermined by migrants. It's not simple to make this case in culturally pluralist democracies like the United States and Canada that lack an easily definable ethnic majority.
The turn towards targeting certain political figures is concerning. Despite Trump's vomit-inducing charades, the truth remains that as an American citizen, he DOES have the right to say what he chooses. Although some of what he says could fall under the category of "hate speech", we keep forgetting that there is a very simple solution to our Trump dilemma: stop voting for him. Really, isn't it the public's fault that he's still there?
Building progress and trust, as the U.S. did, takes a long time to accomplish far more than constructing a building. But Trump will help destroy such progress if he is elected as the president of the United States. All the respect and admiration the world used to have towards this great country will vanish into thin air.
Trump's scapegoating of Muslims, Hispanics, blacks and other "others" for political gain is exposing a racist ugliness, and dangerously inflaming it. Who knows how big the fire might get? "Never forget" became a Jewish slogan in hopes our collective memory might prevent another Holocaust, but also because we can't forget. It defines us. So as hard as it is to hear Hitler's name all over the news, let it at least remind us why we must stop Trump and all leaders who traffic in racism and xenophobia before such hate defines anyone else.
When some may think it's best to mind their own business when a very close friend is about to make a really bad decision, I believe it's important to let them know. With the strong possibility that the highly divisive Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for the United States presidency, it is often out of friendship that many Canadians feel compelled to share their concerns with their neighbours to the south. After all, as friends, we don't want walls between us.
Hillary Clinton could not be in a better position for the November election. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who appear to stand in her way, are actually helping her to position herself for victory. Issues and ideology aside Hillary is way ahead of the pack in the the game of political chess and should have no trouble winning in November.
The battle for civil rights eventually gave rise to such watershed moments as the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and serious attempts at affirmative action. Sadly, some of those initiatives are even now being curtailed by an increasingly tone-deaf right wing majority on the Supreme Court.
As the media vigorously tries to answer the root causes of radicalism, I wish they would do the same about the outrageous Republican candidate that is Mr. Trump. What, or who, radicalized him? His actions mirror the fanatics and extremists who seek to divide us and create mistrust and hate between neighbours.
In today's Internet-dominated world, rational argument is highly overrated. Given the speed of modern communication, there's no longer time for the methodical give and take of reasoned debate. If you just got slammed on Facebook, you better hit back fast and hard or you'll quickly become yesterday's man.
The Donald Trump phenomena in the United States reminds me of our experience in Toronto, Canada, when a so-called everyman mayor who appealed to angry populism was elected. Ford's behaviour proved to be such a distraction that much of his agenda, such as it was, stalled at every step. Ford, like Trump, loved to attack people on their appearance, ethnicity and gender. Over time, personality-driven, badly behaved leaders will get to the point of alienating all but their most ardent allies.
My autistic son wasn't born because God was pissed off at America. My son was born because he was meant to be born, just as he is. My son was born so that I could learn how to be a better human being. He was born so he could teach me how to communicate without words. He was born so that I could learn how to listen with my heart and see things through touch.