Like most people, I originally thought it was a joke. There were was a three-week period when I was waiting for Donald Trump to announce that his whole campaign was an elaborate set-up for The Apprentice Reloaded, and that he would soon be calling us a bunch of idiots while demanding that we tune in to NBC this fall. Like most people, I was floored when I found out it wasn't a publicity scheme.
I don't really need to state all the things that Trump has said and done over the course of his seemingly eternal campaign for the Republican candidacy. You can't escape him. Every single news outlet in North America is bombarded by his name, coupled with depressing endorsements and heated criticisms. It is now a living nightmare; the billionaire buffoon will very likely be the Republican representative in the upcoming presidential election.
There have been outcries all across the states to oust Trump, and recently, some of the outrage has taken a turn for desperate measures. The infamous hacker group Anonymous has recently declared "total war" on Donald Trump, threatening to leak all of his personal information (as well as some highly embarrassing personal facts). That is, unless Trump decides to step down.
My first thought when I heard this news was "good". I went about my day with a new found confidence in the American political system until I realized what this threat actually meant. Anonymous is essentially tampering with the American peoples' democratic process.
I do not, however, think that this attack is merited for one very important reason: it is the public's fault that he is still there.
I'd like to take a moment to say that I think Donald Trump is a clown. I think that the very notion of a man who is clearly bigoted, privileged, narcissistic, and self-deluded becoming a lauded politician is laughable. His bankruptcies and bizarre endorsements should be enough for people to very seriously consider not voting for him. I do not, however, think that this attack is merited for one very important reason: it is the public's fault that he is still there.
Back when they first received international attention, Anonymous was a powerful force for change. They took down members of ISIS, waged war against terrorism, and even worked to bring justice for Rehtaeh Parsons, a sexual assault victim from my home province of Nova Scotia. They served as a voice for people who had none, and I was (and continue to be) a fan of some of their ideals.
However, 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? There are other Republican candidates to vote for right now, and although the other candidates may not be assaulting our senses with rigorous metaphoric jazz hands, they are there. Bush, for example, was not nearly as entertaining, but wouldn't we all have felt better having the devil we knew? The United States did survive two terms of his brother, after all.
Yes, it appears as though the American public wants more Trump, and who is anyone to deny them that? They're all registered voters, all functioning adults, so the responsibility should fall on them. It's the voter's duty to inform themselves adequately about who and what Trump is, so the fact that he is still there to spout off his nonsense rests on THEIR heads, not his. After all, if people were actually paying attention, no one would have to threaten Trump to step down.
Anonymous is essentially losing its faith in America's ability to make an informed decision, and this can be dangerous. Although I don't entirely disagree with Anonymous' reasoning, democracy is the most functional political system that we have in play right now. When the right to choose is eliminated, the democratic system cannot properly function. America is left as a child incapable of caring for itself, and if Mother Democracy can't swoop in to save the day, the child is left defenseless.
Look, I'm writing this from the cushy Great North where our prime minister has as many adoring fans as a popular boy band. Admiration for Justin Trudeau is international, and I don't know a lot of Canadians who can't say that they aren't proud to have such a great leader. It's partly because of this that I freely admit that I may not be an apt judge of the American political system. I can, however, speak to the need to halt censorship of the voters. Whether we like it or not, it's within America's right to choose Trump as their next president.
I hope that Anonymous' war on Donald Trump gives American voters something to think about. We all know that Trump isn't going to back down, so maybe this is Anonymous' true intent. I really do hope that the attack causes people voting Trump to ask more questions and to seek out the proper information on their own accord. A more informed voter is not a bad thing, so long as they are willfully equipped with that information.
And America, I hope you know that you can stop this. Don't let anyone take the power away from you because you aren't paying attention.
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