As an American exchange student at UEA, there is one question that I just keep being asked: “So, Laura, what do you think about Donald Trump?” The question is almost always asked in a hesitant voice, because my acquaintances are deathly afraid that I could be a Trump supporter.
Here is the simple answer to what I think about Trump: he makes me feel embarrassed to be an American.
I don’t want someone like Trump running my country nor being the face of my country. He has shown that he is unprepared to handle difficult and controversial policy issues; for example the suggestion of building a wall along the Mexican border with the US would not only be a huge drain on resources but a catalyst for international tension and condemnation. Trump has also been belligerently insulting other Republican and Democratic candidates, has shown explicit racism toward Latinos and Muslims, and has made grand sexist statements toward newscasters, other candidates, and women in general.
In fairness to a man who is doing everything in his power to become President, we must look to why Americans are supporting him. Trump supporters believe his honesty and harsh statements about immigrants are refreshing and can “make America great again”.
But, as Trevor Noah, hoast of popular ‘fake news’ programme, the Daily Show, has pointed out, Trump relies on his grandiose loud statements and xenophobia to get his message across, and in the minds of his supporters, this tactic works.
As CNN reported, “Many [supporters] echoed Trump’s alarm about what they perceive to be an America being overtaken by outsiders, from foreigners entering the country illegally, to refugees seeking shelter in the United States.” However, this raises a lot of ethical questions and is pulling American politics, kicking and screaming, into the past, almost into the 1950s many ways. Xenophobia in a political candidate is never healthy, and Trump’s harsh comments may utilise this scare tactic effectively, but the actual implications of such policies could be disastrous. My country was founded on idealised freedom, and Donald Trump wants to take these freedoms away from the Americans for whom they were created: immigrants, women, and those who are black in our country. Freedom should not be the privilege of the white man.
Trump is almost a poison to America, and especially to America’s world image as a nation. He is too brash and rude to be able to interact with world leaders in a productive and effective manner. His policy ideas are vague at best and incredibly problematic at their worst.
His progressive tax plan is perhaps the only potentially effective policy stance that Trump has taken. His ‘1-5-10-15’ approach, as it is labelled, advocates gradual taxation based on income, with brackets ranging from an annual income of $30,000, to over $1,000,000. But even this still has its share of problems, including the potential for a large tax break for Trump himself.However, with his xenophobic comments and grand statements, it seems that Trump is slowly but surely losing his lead over other Republican Candidates. Ben Carson is trailing Trump with about 22% of votes – which means that Trump now only has a 4% lead. Republicans and conservative media are beginning to become fed up with Trump’s antics, and it is refreshing to see them focusing on other, more experienced political candidates.
Simply shouting to crowds that all immigrants are rapists and criminals does not solve any true problems in my country. As this race continues, I think that fewer and fewer Americans will say they would support him which means that I hopefully will not even have to see Mr. Trump’s name on a ballot in the 2016 election.