Authors: Taylor MacPherson and Jae Won Hur
Updated: Following the RNC last week Donald Trump is now officially the Republican Presidential nominee.
We all know about Trump’s antics – he’s called Latinos rapists, made fun of a disabled reporter, said that John McCain is not a war hero, called for a ban of Muslims entering the United States and was recently endorsed by David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK. We thought we’d discuss some of Trump’s characteristics and give you some thoughts on the Donald.
What are your thoughts on Trumpian policies and plans for America? Do you think that his plan for the wall is feasible?
Jae: His policies are laughable. Will Mexico pay for the wall? Absolutely not. As former Mexican president Vicente Fox stated, “I’m not going to pay for that f*** wall.” Truisms (or at least what should be truisms) aside, let’s examine Donald’s plan for the wall. The 2000-mile-long wall would come at an exuberant price. For comparison, in 2006, the Bush administration pushed through the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The Act, which included 700 miles of fencing (not a wall), which is only one-third of the border, cost $2.4 billion. According to CNBC estimates, this wall could cost as high as $16 million per mile, bringing the cost to $25 billion. And what does the current Mexican president think about Donald’s wall and comments?
“It reflects an enormous ignorance for what Mexican represents.”
Taylor: Okay, let me come out and say it – Trump’s social policies are the worst thing about his campaign. Promises to defund Planned Parenthood and ban late-term abortion seem medieval in 2016, but Trump is also progressive on a few key issues such as gay marriage, medicinal marijuana, and affirmative action.
Economically, Trump’s policies are sound and conservative, similar to his successful business. His basic intention is to keep American money in America, and drive down the national debt. Trump, who warned about the coming economic collapse of 2010, intends to lower corporate taxes to incentivize the creation and maintenance of American jobs.
Finally, Mexico will not be paying for a wall. This is just an example of Trump leaning as far right as possible to make the other Republican candidates seem moderate (the worst insult which can be leveled at a running Republican is being moderate). Once he’s secured his party’s nomination, you’ll start to see this kind of talk tone down. After all, you don’t have to try very hard to seem more conservative than Bernie Sanders.
What about his personality and demeanour? His hair can’t be real.
Jae: My belief on the Donald is that he is a conscious caricature. From the racist, sexist, bigoted and ridiculous comments, to the tie that extends far too long and his supposed ‘real’ hair, his moves are intended and calculated. He maintains a persona and demeanour that he believes would resonate with the frustrated electorate. He’s a reality TV star, for god’s sake. You don’t think he doesn’t know how to manipulate the general public and get into people’s heads?
Taylor: Trump’s personality might seem abrasive at first, but it’s undeniable that the man exudes confidence. He also seems to be the most genuine and honest of the candidates, because he’s willing to speak his mind no matter what. Trump may carry himself like a Roman emperor, but you have to admit that you would rather have him at your next dinner party than Jeb.
As far as I’m concerned, most of Trump’s detractors have more of a problem with his personality and campaign style than they do with any of his policies. They see him insulting his opponents, speaking his mind with a bit too much honesty, and condemning the other candidates for taking corporate money to fund their campaigns. Trump is loud and abrasive – I feel he would admit this himself – but the reality is that he’s also running the most honest political campaign of our generation. By paying for it himself, Trump is staying out of the pocket of lobbyists, and giving himself a level of freedom to speak his mind that has rarely been seen in modern politics.
Oh and his hair – his hair exists somewhere between ‘lion’s mane’ and ‘powdered wig.’ It doesn’t matter if the hair itself is fake, because the feeling I get when I see it is 100 per cent real.
Is he a racist?
Jae: His comments (i.e. associating illegal Mexican immigrants as racists) are inexcusable. What’s the worst about them is that he claims that everyone is just being ‘politically correct’. Here’s what frustrates me about political correctness: you can’t claim that people are being too politically correct for everything. There’s a clear distinction between what is absolutely unacceptable and people being too political correct. Associating Mexican illegal immigrants to rapists is unacceptable. In fact, I don’t even know what it is.
Taylor: I have never met the man, but I feel confident in saying that Trump’s policies do not make him a racist. The two most contentious issues are his promises to make Mexico build a wall to end illegal immigration, and to put a temporary stop to Islamic immigration.
The issue with Mexico has nothing to do with race. Wanting to secure your national borders is not racist, but it is easy to label as such when most illegal immigrants are of the same minority race. If undocumented Americans started flooding across our borders to the point where our economy was suffering, would you not expect our government to take steps in response?
Trump has called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” It’s important to keep in mind that he’s not calling for a Muslim-free America. Instead, he’s admitting that the situation is complex and requires serious study before large-scale immigration should proceed.
Will he make America great again?
Jae: What is great? If ‘great’ means a billionaire mogul with radical ideologies marginalizing certain minority groups, I guess he will make America great again. If ‘great’ means effectively destroying the United States’ foreign policy networks and relations, perhaps America will be great again. If Americans want American children to see that one can bully, threaten and whine through life to get what one wants, yeah, America will be great again. If Americans want their country to become the laughingstock of planet Earth, you know what? America will be great again.
Taylor: I don’t know whether or not Trump will make America great again, but I do know that no country has ever achieved greatness through socialism and half-measures (except Canada, of course). To achieve greatness takes balls, and comparing the balls on Sanders and Trump is like comparing a raisin to the sun. America could do a whole lot worse than a no-bullshit businessman with big ideas, and an even bigger mouth.