Outsiders often respond to the critique that they are inexperienced by countering that the silver lining is their freedom from the problems of Washington. “Sure, I’ve never been elected, but that’s why the people want me – I’m like them, I know what they’re like and what they want.” That response falls apart for GOP front runner Donald Trump, who manages to display both flaws in a “yuge” way:
- The “Deportation Force” – This could demonstrate his lack of understanding of the nation’s current military/ police capabilities. It could demonstrate that he’s unaware of how sensitive the issue of policing is. It could demonstrate that he looks to speak or take action before considering a budget – a point further proven by the bankruptcies of his companies. Rather than suggest greater empowerment of the Border Patrol, the GOP candidate suggests expanding the federal government to forcibly remove people from their homes.
- The Starbucks Red Cup “Outrage” – The only name I’ve read who seriously thinks this is a “controversy” is Josh Feuerstein, but, otherwise, it seems the majority of Christians don’t care. However, according to the GOP front runner, Starbucks has for the first time removed the words “Merry Christmas” from its seasonal red cups, even though the depths of a Google search reveal that the Starbucks cups have simply had wintry decorations, such as snow foxes, snowflakes, and ice skaters, rather than anything remotely Christian, for at least the past five years. In fact, the first red cup had a drawing of a “jazzy Santa,” which is not the most accurate depiction of St. Nicholas.
- “Absolutely no choice but to close mosques” – The actions of the Daesh have left me scared, particularly after this recent attack in Paris, so I can understand the motivation behind this position. Nevertheless, it is wrong. These radicals issued a statement after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January stating that they would use violence to drive a rift between peaceful Muslims and their Western homes, with the goal of gaining more support for their so-called “caliphate”. For a man who describes himself as “the most militaristic person out there,” the idea to close mosques is wrong for two reasons: 1) It violates the First Amendment, and if you don’t stand by the Constitution, you are not a conservative; 2) It plays right into the Daesh’s hands.
So the question, then, is this: Can Trump overcome his lack of experience and his inability to establish contact with reality? Or, perhaps: Can we the American voters seek more from a candidate than someone trying to profit off of our fears?
Kevin Dawson is Deputy Operations Manager for the American Principles Project.