By Andres Trujillo
What are words without substance? What is a quote worth if the context in which it was spoken is unknown?
It’s hard to tell in 2016. People are no longer spending the time to read between the lines or to do basic research behind quotes. They simply look for the quote that best fits their particular viewpoint and follow behind the person who said it.
I use this style of contemporary thinking to try and explain the anomaly that is the Donald Trump presidential campaign of 2016.
The Trump campaign has been built off of a type of nativism that should be terrifying to all of the Americans old enough to vote.
But it hasn’t terrified everyone. Trump’s rhetoric has galvanized the angry Americans who are tired of an Obama administration that they feel did nothing to help them or is meddling too much in their lives.
These are blue-collar, hard-working and mostly white Americans who think a billionaire populist from New York understands the plight of the middle class in Middle America because he “tells it like it is.”
Mr. Trump recently said that the law should punish women who undergo abortions. Only to backtrack a few hours later and change his stance to saying that the doctors who perform the abortions should be punished.
But these statements on a woman’s right to choose are only the latest topic Mr. Trump has flip-flopped on. His campaign has turned the Grand Old Party into the laughing stock of the world. And even after the deplorable treatment of protestors and journalists at his rallies and news conferences, he maintains his popularity among his supporters.
But why? Why are his supporters not as appalled by his words and actions? Why don’t they question his diplomacy? Or his economic theory? Or anything of actual substance?
It’s hard to understand how he has reached the platform upon which he now stands and scholars won’t be able to explain his rise to power until a decade from now when they can look back and see how he changed the Republican Party — and if he wins the Presidency, how he changed the world.
The problem with a populist candidate like Mr. Trump is that he has no legitimate stance on anything. His campaign slogan may be that he wants to “Make America Great Again” but how can anyone be so sure about what that even means?
Is it truly impossible to imagine that an egomaniac like Donald Trump doesn’t just want to put another notch on his belt? That in all honesty he really just wants the title President before his name?
The problem is that we truly don’t know. Donald Trump is a wild card in every sense of the word. He doesn’t think before he speaks and when he does speak his words are shallow in meaning and deep in bullshit.
He is not a man suitable for the prestige that the office he is running for holds.
The president of the United States should be rational and able to take criticism from any pundit or journalist that questions him or her.
A president should not abuse the power with which the people entrusted him.
A president should not cultivate and nurture a culture of bullying and bigotry.
But after skirmishes with Megyn Kelly and the countless assaults on protesters and journalists at his campaign stops, it’s obvious Mr. Trump is not suitable for office.
Now I want to be clear, I do not have a problem with Donald Trump the character or Donald Trump the businessman. His business acumen is well documented and it is obvious he is extremely successful.
But his plan to simply hire the best people and have them figure out America’s problems is troubling. Because how is he choosing these people? Will they be chosen on merit? Or will they be chosen through back-door deals?
The President of the United States isn’t a figurehead position.
Being President of the United States isn’t like being CEO of a major corporation. You can’t just hire people and expect them to work out the world’s problems for you.
A Trump administration would destroy the decades of diplomacy the administrations before him had worked tirelessly to create. A diplomatic relationship with Mexico will be a distant memory. Mr. Trump’s idea that the country of Mexico will pay for a billion dollar wall is as egregious as it is laughable.
But alas, here we are. This upcoming election will be one of the most important due to the potential impact it could have on the political landscape for years to come.
Andres Trujillo is a journalism senior at the University of North Texas. He is currently an editorial intern for Latina Lista.