Make America Hate Again?
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Politics and Activism

Make America Hate Again?

My reaction to Donald Trump's speech at the RNC

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Make America Hate Again?
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Last week was the Republican National Convention. A four-day party filled with Republicans preparing to nominate their candidate for this year’s presidency. There were many speeches throughout the week by the party’s leaders and famous conservative celebrities; it seemed as though the RNC’s only intention for the week was to scare the audience with warmongering, anti-Clinton propaganda, and stories about Islamic terrorism and illegal immigration.

Come the fourth and final day of the convention and Ivanka Trump, Donald’s daughter, gives her speech. Unlike everyone at the convention for the prior three days, she addressed many issues that were important to millennials and her perspectives were intelligent and surprisingly liberal. I suggest you all watch her speech because I was truly impressed. She really lightened the mood to the convention and I thought that maybe Donald Trump’s speech would be something just as unexpected, in a positive way.

I was wrong.

Not only was his speech unbearably long, it was full of the same content from everyone that spoke before him, excluding his daughter, of course. I truly feel as though the Republican Party is running on fear and hate this election because Trump provided the audience with misleading fact after misleading fact about the state of the US and it was very frustrating.

He started by suggesting that violent crime is on the rise by referencing crime rates in a few major cities. It is true that some cities are experiencing spikes in violent crime but it is absolutely incorrect to say that violent crime in the US is on the rise because violent crime has actually been steadily declining and one or two spikes do not define a trend.

He also fueled more fire to the fear of immigrants by referencing more misleading statistics that make it seem like illegal immigrants and the crime they commit is an epidemic. Yes, illegal immigration is a problem and so is any crime, but for the past few years there has been net zero immigration from Mexico. This means that there are more people leaving to Mexico than there are people coming in from Mexico. Pair this with the fact that President Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any other President in history and Trump’s fear mongering has less impact.

Later, Trump moved onto foreign affairs and this is where there is actually a lot for Republicans to criticize Democrats for effectively and truthfully; however, some of the things Trump said cannot go unaddressed. Trump criticized Obama’s signing of the Iran deal by pointing out that we gave the country billions of dollars and that they “gave us nothing”. He seemed to forget that the Iran deal prevents Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon. I may be mistaken, but that seems to be more than “nothing”.

Then, just as he and other Republicans (and half of the country) have been doing for the past year, Trump moved on to criticize Hillary Clinton for her time as Secretary of State. Let me tell you, there is plenty to criticize Secretary Clinton for in foreign affairs and a lot of the time Trump is just in what he says but some of what he said in his speech was absurd. He had the audacity to suggest that Clinton was solely responsible for the formation of ISIS and its control over much of the Middle East. She has done many things wrong, but she is not responsible for ISIS. That’s stupid, wrong, and disrespectful to Americans for being such a flagrant lie. He later says that Clinton wants to get rid of the 2nd Amendment which is actually one of the dumbest and unsubstantiated things he has ever said.

Following the Clinton-bashing, Trump moved onto his plan for America if he were elected. In a word, it is “Americanism”, putting America first. This is where I start to have a serious problem with Trump and his message. To the untrained eye, this does not look so bad, what could be wrong with making sure we are taken care of first?

This year I took an AP course in European History and I learned about things like socialism, feminism, romanticism and nationalism. Nationalism is a sense of pride and belonging for one’s country which can be both great and terrible. It can lead to the creation of independent nations but it can also lead to fascism. Fascism is a right wing, extreme nationalistic, authoritarian form of government. It is most recognizable during WWII under the leaders of Italy, Benito Mussolini, and of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler.

I am not saying that Trump is exactly like Mussolini or Trump but he is dangerously close to resembling them. They both ascended to power by making their people fear others just as he is doing with Muslims and immigrants. They were the only ones who could protect their country and they were both great leaders and, at first, very beneficial for their country (if you were a native and not deviant in race, religion or sexuality). Both Mussolini and Hitler benefited their nation’s economy, and the employment and health of their country because they put their people first. There is nothing wrong with focusing on our people before trying to help others but it can turn very quickly. I fear I am seeing history repeat itself.

Then he addressed the Orlando shooting a few weeks ago. In the Republican party, known for being anti-gay, I find it hard to believe Trump when he said that he “will do everything in his power to protect our LGBT citizens from violence and oppression”. This is the only time Trump addressed the LGBT community and I find it to be a weak and insulting outreach to a minority group. Other than the fact that he is a Republican as evidence that Trump is lying about protecting the LGBT community, he picked Mike Pence as his running mate who is infamous for trying to pass the some of the most anti-gay legislation in the history of America as the Governor of Indiana.

Then Trump said that we will not protect countries that do not “pay their fair share”. I assume he is referring to countries in NATO because he recently said that he may not protect Baltic countries from Russian aggression because they don’t pay enough. Peace should not be abandoned when a country does not pay enough money, which just shows how Trump’s priorities are skewed. Also, situations in which we do not support and protect vulnerable nations are situations that lead to conflict and eventually lead to war. World War. Something that I am sure Americans, and humans in general, do not want to have a part in any time soon.

He then thanked the evangelical community which is understandable because they make up a lot of his voter demographics. But then he did something that both confused and scared me. He implied that he would, as president, make it legal for religious groups to openly advocate their religious views. I am not entirely against this and you may not be either until you keep reading. But Trump would make this legal while protecting religious institutions’ tax exemptions. If you know the 1st Amendment, this sounds like a merger of church and state which is arguably one of the most unAmerican and unconstitutional things that can ever exist. I am not sure if Trump realizes this but if it ends up happening it could lead the US resembling a theocracy, like the ones we meant to distance ourselves from at our country’s founding and just like the ones we are fighting in the Middle East right now.

Having said all of this, I need to point out that I have nothing against the Republican Party. I am just very apprehensive towards Trump’s Republican Party. It is a new party to me, filled with fear and hate and I do not like where it is heading. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few months and maybe even next few years but whatever you do, please do not make America hate again.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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