“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” This was the arrogant statement that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump made back at an Iowa Rally on Saturday, Jan. 23. The Nevada Primary has also shown us he can spit in the face of God and walk away unscathed.
On Thursday, Feb. 18, Trump made his most audacious statement to date when retaliating against criticism he had received from Pope Francis. Earlier that Thursday, Pope Francis slammed Trump’s idea to build a wall on the border of the United States and Mexico, claiming that, “A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
The pope is an advocate of immigration, having talked in the past about the undeniable fact that the United States was built upon the foundation of immigrants leaving their homelands and coming to our country in hopes of a better life. Pope Francis himself is an immigrant, with his family having migrated from Italy to Argentina before he was born. If anyone has the right to talk about the benefits of immigration, it is the son of immigrants who went on to become the leader of the Catholic Church.
Many people would take the pope’s criticism with humility and not dare to retaliate for fear of backlash — then again, Trump is not a man of sound reason and he is certainly not a man that places importance on respecting others. Trump made a statement blasting the pope’s comments by stating, “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.” In a press conference, the controversial GOP candidate went on to attack Mexico, claiming that the country was “using the pope as a pawn.”
If it was anyone other than Trump making those comments, they would have been the object of persecution by the media and the public for months on end. Unfortunately though, the public’s fanaticism with this egotistical blabbermouth has made people forget about common sense and acting like decent human beings.
Five days after Trump made the ridiculous statement, he won both the South Carolina Republican Primary and the Nevada Republican Caucus by a significant margin. Trump insulted the pope, and he is still the clear front-runner for the GOP nomination.
This whole situation almost feels like the plot of a great satirical movie. A wealthy, arrogant, big-mouthed businessman with no actual political experience decides that he is going to run for president. After announcing his candidacy, the businessman then proceeds to spend the next year running his mouth, offending just about everyone that does not agree with his point of view. In this satirical movie, the businessman disrespecting the pope and still having the masses rally behind him would be one of the film’s biggest punchlines. You know the old saying, “it’s just a movie.”
Well, it’s not just a movie this time around. This complete and utter miscarriage of judgement on the part of our society is actually happening in the real world.
When a snowball runs down a snow-covered hill, it proceeds to increase in both its speed and its momentum until it finally reaches the bottom and comes to a stop. When Trump lost the Iowa Caucus, there was a part of me that genuinely felt that the snowball had finally reached the bottom of the hill. There was a part of me which thought that the game had ended and people had decided to put this whole joke to a close. However, the New Hampshire Primary came around, and the snowball that has been Trump’s iron-tight grip on the American public continued to roll down the hill.
At this point, I really do not know if there is an end in sight. In fact, the unsettling reality is that these past eight months may have only just been the beginning of an era in American history where our country is run by the same man who was hosting “The Celebrity Apprentice” a decade before. You would think the other GOP candidates would be trying harder to keep Trump from winning, but the candidates who have not dropped out of the race are continuing to ask while Trump continues to demand.
Back in September, Trump talked about the potential for greatness America could achieve under a rule of his. “We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning,”he said. If Trump were to win, then we would actually lose because we would prove to the rest of the world that we are so impressed by the hollow talk of an arrogant, disrespectful businessman that we would actually give him the keys to the White House.