By: Staff Writer Grace Timothy
Picture Credit: Google Images
As my mobile news app notified me that Donald Trump had made yet another disgusting comment, my eyes took a 10 second break from looking at the Florence skyline at Piazzale Michelangelo and they saw the back of my head instead. As the hype around Trump built, I was aware, but from such a long distance I could not comprehend that Americans were actually supportive of such an obnoxious person. Throughout my interactions with Europeans from all different countries, their astonishment that Trump was actually getting support was consistent. There was one morning in Italy that I will never forget. I stopped into a café, and while I was waiting for my order I caught a glimpse of a Vanity Fair Cover. My face instantly flushed from embarrassment. There, in Italy, was Donald Trump and his wife on the cover of an international magazine with the headline reading, “Presidente Trump.” I was mortified that other countries were jumping to conclusions that he would win the election. Then I returned to the U.S. and saw that there is a chance for him.
Now that primaries have gone underway, my disbelief that some Americans could still support an offensive, racist man who even fights with the pope still stands. This feeling has since been accompanied by a disappointment in a portion of our population. While I do agree that the degree to which political correctness runs our society is a bit extreme, there is a strong value to making sure our speech is not offensive in a stereotypical and exclusive way. There is a difference between speaking the hard truth and completely disregarding the customs and feelings of large groups of our population.
Trump has continuously been the frontrunner in the GOP primaries, and my hopeful and pleading mind keeps waiting for this joke of a candidate to announce it was all an act. However, a portion of our population is serious about supporting him. After coming back to America and talking with my peers, I have not met one person who is supportive of Trump, which got me thinking: What kind of person believes that this man should run our country? Are there really still people out there who are ignorant enough to think that hate is the answer to America’s problems? Apparently, there are. It seems to me that his supporters find themselves to be nonconformists by supporting him and like the attention it draws, but do they genuinely believe he can positively affect our country? Maybe these supporters do not see how the aggressive policies that Donald Trump represents go against the founding principles of our country. For example, Trump has suggested banning Muslims from entering the country, therefore, revoking the idea of freedom of religion. I am dumbfounded that people do not clearly understand the threat that is posed for the whole population if government figures begin to take away our basic freedoms.
In a country that has continued to progress in encouraging diversity and acceptance, Trump is a force that has potential to drag us back if we do not logically discuss the consequences that would follow if he were to become the president of the United States.