Election Commentary

Donald Trump and the politics of bullying

Donald Trump and the politics of bullying

I find Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican candidate for the presidency disconcerting for many reasons, the most important being that his popularity stems not from the substance of this policy initiatives – of which he has generated very few – but, rather, from the style and tone of his arguments. Trump has conducted a campaign of attack, innuendo, name-calling, and incessant racist, Islamophobic, and misogynistic bullying and scapegoating.

I would not find this so concerning if it had not resonated with a significant majority of the Republican electorate.

While some others in contention for the White House on the Republican side understood that their chances hinged on attracting a more diverse electorate in addition to older white people, Trump figuratively spit in the faces of minoritized racial groups, in particular Latinos, during his off-scripted rambling announcement speech last summer.

“The US has become a dumping ground for everyone else’s problems,” he said. “[Mexico is] sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and they’re rapists.”

He eventually enlarged his dehumanizing representations to include people in all of Latin America.

Donald Trump, arguably the more prominent of the so-called “birthers,” continually accused President Obama of illegitimacy as Commander in Chief by claiming that he was born outside the United States, even well after the President released his official birth certificate. This along with his supposed investigations into Mr. Obama’s time spent in Indonesia as a child, and inquiries into his African roots on his father’s side coexist as not-so-veiled xenophobic and racist rants.

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