From the very beginning of his campaign (and perhaps before), Donald Trump has gathered a following of supporters using his blunt, no-holds-barred oratory. His speeches are often peppered with blatant racism. He often stretches the truth and even sometimes downright lies to make his point.
Even when confronted with the truth, Donald Trump doubles down on his declarations, refusing to back down. His tough guy stance may win him votes among the lowest information voters out there, but for those who want a real candidate, Trump is, quite frankly, an embarrassment.
At first some folks thought Donald was just trolling the Republican party as a way to call out the GOP’s hidden but well-known quest for oligarchy and racism. But as time moves on, either he has begun to buy his own snake oil or he’s been dead serious from the very start.
In recent days, his hate speech against undocumented immigrants, Syrian refugees, and members of the Black Lives Matter movement have spurred his supporters into a lather. The progression of his campaign, and his popularity, reminds me of a television movie I once saw as a kid.
The Wave debuted as an ABC After School Special in 1981 and is a somber reminder of how one person can negatively impact the lives of thousands, perhaps millions of people. The movie was based on actual events of 1967, in which Palo Alto, CA, history teacher Ron Jones conducted a classroom experiment which recreated the conditions of fascism by encouraging them to form a type of Hitler Youth. The results being that nearly the entire class began to act in a way that they felt would please their “leader,” Mr. Jones.
In the movie, the students learn a difficult lesson about how easily one person can manipulate an entire population of people into doing his bidding. They also learn how that same person can intimidate and physically assault dissenters into silence so they stand back and say nothing when atrocities against “undesirables” occur.
Donald Trump is certainly no Hitler, however his oratory appeals to a good swath of the population. Even if the number of his supporters is low in comparison to the number of eligible voters, the fact that his words have already compelled violence towards a protestor attests to the dangerous tone of his rhetoric.
Donald Trump has already suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be required to register in a national database. This is not unlike what the Nazis did with the Jews prior to exterminating them in the millions.
Donald Trump also watched and encouraged his supporters at an Alabama rally as they brutally attacked a Black Lives Matter activist. In fact, the real estate mogul blamed the activists for the attack, not his rabid supporters for having no self control.
During the first Republican debate, Donald Trump mocked Megyn Kelly when she asked him a question regarding his mistreatment on women. He went so far as to issue a veiled threat and suggest that her question was due to her suffering from PMS.
And most recently, Donald Trump mocked a journalist with a physical disability after the reporter went against his claim of having seen thousands of Muslims cheer the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Of course, he claimed to be completely unfamiliar with Serge Kovaliski’s appearance, but that is hard to believe, given his comment about him before he curled up his arms and pretended to convulse in a taunting manner.
“Now, the poor guy, you ought to see this guy…”
Kovaleski has already called Donald Trump out, and he also provided evidence that he had met the real estate mogul while covering him during his time at New York Daily News.
What’s next? Who is next in Donald Trump’s crosshairs?
Several mental health professionals have publicly asserted that Donald Trump is most likely a narcissist. In an interview with Vanity Fair, clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis highlighted Trump’s bullying behavior as typical for people who fit the narcissistic profile.
“Narcissism is cluster B,” he explained, “which means it has similarities with histrionic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder…To degrade people is really part of a cluster-B personality disorder: it’s antisocial and shows a lack of remorse for other people. The way to make it O.K. to attack someone verbally, psychologically, or physically is to lower them. That’s what he’s doing.”
The good news in all of this is that Donald Trump has fallen by 12 points in an Ipsos poll, according to Reuters. And since it’s nearly impossible to muzzle him, Trump’s fall from favor will only get worse.
[Photo: Ty Wright/Getty]