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HOW DANGEROUS IS DONALD TRUMP

His goal is ‘to make America great again’. The business mogul-turned Republican candidate, Donald Trump, formally launched his presidency campaign in June 2015. His critics scoffed, branding the Don as a cabaret act who was merely promoting his multi-billion empire. But seven months since he entered the political race, Donald Trump is at the top of the GOP polls. As of January 2016, he has a predicted 37% of the Republican vote, and is expected to win the Republican nomination.

As the polls rocket with every bigoted comment that he makes, congressmen from both sides of the political spectrum are shocked to see this caustic individual, and his dangerous views, edge ever closer to the White House. Property magnate Donald Trump is a newcomer to the political arena; he has never held political office. But Trump’s bombastic rhetoric and controversial policies have put him 11 points higher than second-place Republican candidate, Ted Cruz. His major campaign points include: a repeal of national healthcare, mass deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants, loosening of gun control in favor of the second amendment, deportation of all Syrian refugees, and a plan to build a ‘great wall’ between Mexico and the US, to reduce immigration.



But beneath this clownish demeanor, Trump’s actions are not at all funny. Playing on his adoring fans’ longstanding fear of liberal attitudes, Trump broadcasts dehumanizing language towards minorities, in order to score political points. In the wake of November 2015’s terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and San Bernardino in California, Trump announced his most controversial promise yet. Critics like journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer are wary of this shrewd businessman’s tactics. She argues that Trump is well aware that a ban on the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims will never happen. But disparaging announcements like this will nonetheless act as ammunition for his campaign – and stir up racial tensions.

The so-called ‘menace to American conservatism’ has caused outrage even among the most right wing members of his own party. Republicans like former vice-president Dick Cheney have denounced Trump’s extreme anti-immigration policy. The former New Jersey Governor, Christine Todd Whitman, is not the first to compare Trump’s political success to that of Nazi f├╝hrer Adolf Hitler.

Whitman has condemned Trump’s fascist rhetoric, while the media has pounced on his decree to create an Islam database and special ID cards to monitor US Muslims. This oppressive policy has harrowing echoes to Nazi Germany. Throughout Hitler’s rule in the 1930s and 40s, the Jewish population and other minority groups were forced to wear ID badges, to shame and identify the wearer. This badge of shame was one of the first steps that eventually led to the extermination of 6 million Jews in the holocaust. But if this wildcard did make it to the White House, would Trump follow through on these promises – or is it just a lot of hot air?

American history expert Brian Balogh predicts that after all his minority-bashing, a Trump presidency would be a difficult and embarrassing affair for this politically inexperienced frontrunner. Trump’s extreme policies would first have to be agreed with, among a Republican majority within Congress. This means that his controversial tax and anti-immigration policies will be extremely problematic – and according to leading economists like Alan Blinder, several of Trump’s policies would be financially unachievable.

However, Trump’s divisive immigration specifics could still have a significant impact on America’s increasingly Islamophobic society - and this will make it harder for minorities of all backgrounds to settle in the “land of the free”. Under the Obama administration, America has already tightened its borders for Iranian and other Middle East citizens, to prevent potential extremists from entering the country. And Trump’s hate speech is contributing to this division. Even if presidency isn’t on the horizon, the effects of Trump’s racist agenda are already being felt across the country.

Donald Trump’s strategy is to use his media platform to aggravate American communities with a barrage of extreme remarks. His most receptive fan base is low-income Republicans. Part of this group agreeably blame minorities for the faults within society – rather than the politicians in charge. But there are worse outcomes that could arise from Trump’s actions. According to political think tank policy director, Jonathan Russell, Trump’s announcement to “cut the head off ISIS” is an ignorant move.

In accordance with his anti-Muslim talk, Trump’s proposed attack on the terror group will in fact contribute to Islamist radicalisation. Russell claims that Trump will breed a discourse whereby Muslims feel increasingly ostracized in their own country, and thus turn to extremism. This will effectively put America at a greater risk from terrorist attacks. In the meantime, the champion for the far-right continues to air his white-supremacist views, normalizing racist attitudes for an ogling nation. Political journalist Heather Parton even argues that the racial tensions that Trump has caused serve only to convince the electorate to make America white again.

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