On Donald Trump

This image was taken by Gage Skidmore and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons

With all the hype surrounding Donald Trump, it is hard to jump into any political discussion these days without at least mentioning his name. Trump has taken the country by storm, and not necessarily in a good way. He has captured our attention through his bombastic rhetoric, which has targeted immigrants, women, and just about anything.

Trump’s candidacy was initially met with amusement. The idea of Trump running the highest office in the land seemed like stuff one would see only in a South Park episode, and I, myself, dismissed his candidacy as a joke that would soon lose its steam. Instead, I watched as Trump demolish his GOP rivals in the polls, which included high-profile names like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and Jeb Bush. Many pundits have been trying to explain his popularity, with some going so far saying that he is a Democratic plant. Others have been predicting the demise of his campaign. But the truth remains: The Trump is more popular than ever. And, as perplexing as it is to some, Trump’s sudden viability as a presidential candidate must be taken seriously by our society.

In a country that is weary of the usual political bull, Trump offers a fresh approach to campaigning. He has earned some respect for his unapologetic statements because he does not attempt to sugarcoat his unpopular views. As Trump himself said, “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.” Fair enough. We would rather have our candidates be honest and straightforward. But instead, what we have is a cabal of the same old same old bunch of politicians, whose words are so calculated and so watered down as to be rendered meaningless. Trump, with his high-octane mouth, is the new “maverick” of the GOP pack, so to speak.

Trump draws much of his popular appeal on immigration policy, a third-rail issue that our leaders have been dancing around for many, many years. Nobody has the balls to actually tackle this problem head-on, primarily because taking one view or another on this issue is bound to alienate a good number of voters. Thus, undocumented immigrants are caught in a political purgatory, a place where their futures are at the behest of people concerned with public image. Trump, meanwhile, is clear about what he wants. He wants to get rid of undocumented immigrants. Period. No bull shit. No prancing around the sulfuric acid cauldron of bad press. And for that, he gets a lot of respect.

But all this brings us to another important question. Is deporting every single undocumented immigrant the solution? And the resounding answer is no. I believe in open borders as a matter of good economic policy and of human rights. If Trump wins and somehow gets past all the check and balances of our government, his immigration plan would disrupt society and dampen America’s competitive edge in the world economy. Undocumented workers are vital members of the American workforce. They do not “take our jobs”; rather, they fill positions that contribute to further economic growth. Growth which, contrary to popular belief, leads to more jobs.

Yet facts and numbers are dull creatures. They do not command ratings. They do not usually go ‘viral’. The voice of truth is so soft-spoken that we often do not hear it speak. And we, Americans, in the busy-ness of our lives, are left with no time to dig for truth. What we are left with instead are distorted information that come out of the mouths of rambunctious idiots like Trump, who play on our fears and our lack of understanding about reality.

I am not denying that immigration is an important issue. We, as a country, need to deal with it. And we need to deal with it fast. But deporting everyone who didn’t have the luck to be in the United States with the right paperwork sounds mighty xenophobic to me. America has to wake up from the Trump’s trance pretty soon before it is too late.

As for Trump himself, I could not wait until the predictions of his campaign’s demise come true. Trump has always been a good entertainer, but that is all he deserves to be. But giving him the levers to our government is a recipe for destruction. Despite our system of checks and balances, our political system still has the potential to be ruined through the public’s complacency. Thus, I am writing this piece as a call to action for all Americans. I am not imploring anyone to support any candidate in particular nor am I trying to change your beliefs regarding immigration. But I would like us to take a moment to look at our current political environment and let reason be our guide in selecting the next top leader of this country.