Do you consider yourself a progressive, politically correct person? If so, then I blame you for creating the support for Donald Trump. “How can this be?” you say, “I have nothing against Muslims or Mexican immigrants!”[pullquote align=”full” cite=”RELATED: Sanders is the wrong choice for the Democratic nomination” link=”http://www.smudailycampus.com/opinion/sanders-is-the-wrong-choice-for-the-democratic-nomination” color=”#034174″ size=”14″][/pullquote]
And while that may certainly be true, I view the Donald Trump phenomenon in this country as a result of all of the “progress” that has been made in our societal values in recent years. While I understand that our society has inequalities and that there are many noble causes out there which need their championing, it seems as if we have lost any middle ground in these debates.
All too often it seems to me as if rhetoric and political correctness becomes an all-or-nothing affair, with harsh words and ad hominem attacks being thrown around on both sides. Believe in a right to life? Well then you certainly hate women, which seems to be the message from the media and progressives. Do you think that refugees from an area that actively produces terrorists might possibly be a security threat? Well then you’re an Islamophobic bigot, no questions about it. And the list could go on with numerous other social justice cases, the story always seems the same. One can either fall in line or stand out, get called names and be ostracized for one’s beliefs.
Therein lies the allure of Trump. Supporting Trump is a rallying call of sorts to say what you want and do what you want. There is no pressure to fall into line with any ideology. Those who have been steamrollered in the name of equality and higher ideals can now band together under the Trump banner. Have a problem with immigration reform? Just say that you should build a giant wall between here and Mexico. Are you scared of terrorists? Suggest banning all immigrants and shutting down Mosques.
Within the attraction also lies the drawback to Trump’s appeal –saying whatever you want is not always the right thing. And that’s why I do not support Trump’s presidential campaign; allegedly saying things like shutting down mosques is unconstitutional and irresponsible, not presidential.
But unlike those “enlightened” progressives out there, I am not going to harshly criticize those who support Trump. Because I get it, I understand why people would want the freedom that comes with the ideals and attitude that Trump publicly projects. And I would encourage those who scoff at Trump and think he is an entire joke to at least step back and consider why he has gained his popularity.
Somewhere along the line equality and social justice stopped being about inclusiveness and equality and became more of a mantra. Somewhere it is decided by someone what the “correct” or most appropriate ideal is to have, and then that becomes the only opinion which is acceptable. This seems to happen all too often, from my perspective. And it is people who see it like this who go out to support Trump in the droves; I certainly am not alone in these feelings.
Maybe you can draw the conclusion from this support that America is just full of a bunch of awful bigots who need to be sensitivity trained, culturally educated, or subjected to whatever the newest trend is these days. But to me Trump’s support is far too widespread to just write him off as the one man crying out in the wilderness. We should consider how society can include everyone moving forward, rather than just putting forth one ideology that is “accept or be cast out.” Many people in this country feel alienated and insecure with the current cultural norms, which is what I think the root cause of the support for Trump is.
Interpret the support for Trump however you would like, but it seems as if some analysis and consideration should be given to why Trump is gaining the support that he is rather than just scoffing, hurling insults and moving on disgusted as so often is done. That way we can learn and progress, rather than just drifting further apart in our cultural divide that this nation seems to be facing.