As a nation, we have passed the beginning, in earnest, of the 2016 Presidential Campaign. There are few who don’t understand that this is the most significant, pivotal and controversial election in our history. It has the potential to define our country for generations and it deserves our serious consideration and participation.
Consistent with my practice, during the next two months I will offer my thoughts on related matters of importance to the nation and that have specific impact on communities of color.
Unfortunately, this campaign has been turned into a caricature of campaign seasons past. Although it’s common for campaign rhetoric to verge on the point of meaningless blabber, recent discourse has, to the serious listener, devolved in a not-so-comical exchange of verbiage that finds one candidate stuck in a loop of already answered questions about her past “indiscretions” and the other offering his own brand of contradictory, nonsensical platitudes that offer no real substance or insight into his plans.
Starting in the spirit of full disclosure, I find the candidacy of Donald Trump in opposition to the concerns and interests of communities of color and non-Christians. In this brief essay, I will outline a portion of the reasoning that justifies my position and my fears that “low-information” and “unlikely” voters will fall prey to the misinformation that will surely surface.
I have heard some pundits suggest that the die-hard, mostly white supporters of Trump are victims of their own base-instincts and gullibility. They listen to the endless drone of vitriolic attacks upon Trump opponents and, akin to those who back the school yard bully, join him in his juvenile tactics. Supposedly, they are enamored by his sound-bite solutions to national and world crises and surrender to his promises of “I’ll fix it. Believe me. It’ll be huge!”
I agree that base-instincts motivate large numbers of those committed to Trump. This is evidenced by the violence that is visited upon protesters at his rallies and the rabid rejection of tolerance of “difference” by those who find shelter under his tent. I cannot, however, agree that these people are gullible. To paraphrase a comment heard on TV, Trump has brought racism, misogyny, and religious bias into mainstream politics and it presents an ugly picture. Those willing to honestly and objectively assess Trump’s recent move to “soften” his approach to people of color will agree that it is motivated by polling that shows his path to victory is non-existent without some of “their” votes.
And that brings me to the point of my greatest concern. Trump is attempting to exploit the influence of the Black Church. Trump’s visit to Detroit’s Great Faith Ministries Church was an excursion to that end.
While I only offer my opinion, those who fell for Trump’s promises of improved quality of life without the presentation of a substantive corresponding plan of action have been duped. Experience proves that the best predictor of future behavior is shown in past actions. From substantiated claims of housing discrimination in the 1970s to his most recent rants against Muslims, women, immigrants, the disabled and others, Trump has shown himself to be an intolerant bigot.
Let’s not be gullible. He hasn’t found “The Religion!”