A WEEK before Super Tuesday 3 — when five states were slated to vote for the candidate whom they believe should be their party’s nominee for the next president of the United States — Donald Trump has been criticized from the left, the right, and everyone else in between. The latest round of criticism comes after violent encounters had erupted during his campaign rallies between his supporters and those who are opposed to catapulting him to the highest post of the land.
While candidates may not have direct control over how their supporters may act during campaign rallies, Trump’s detractors contend that the problem here was that it has been the billionaire reality show/real estate mogul’s rhetoric and attitude against those who oppose him. Even worse, they argue, his toxic regard and public statements against undocumented immigrants, Hispanics, Muslims have gone overboard, and have planted seeds of hatred and divisiveness among his supporters.
His critics allege that Trump does not really promise to “Make America great again” if he becomes president, as his popular slogan goes. What he is allegedly instilling in his avid fans is that “he will make America white again.”
The Daily News even wrote that “the 2016 Republican frontrunner’s decision to push divisive rhetoric and policy has opened the door for an array of white supremacy groups, that suddenly feel emboldened and legitimized by Trump’s hateful bombast, to rejoin the national conversation.”
Trump says he never condones violence, but his detractors say his hate speech and bold combative statements negate his statements, and do in fact, encourage violence among his supporters.
Some of Trump’s statements were quoted by Vox:
[1 February 2016, Iowa] “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell. I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise.”
[26 February 2016, Oklahoma] “In the good old days, they’d rip him out of that seat so fast. But today, everybody’s politically correct. Our country’s going to hell with being politically correct.”
[29 February 2016, Virginia] “Get him out of here please. Get him out. Get him out … Are you from Mexico? Are you from Mexico? Huh? Are you from Mexico?”
[4 March 2016, Michigan] “Get out of here. Get out. Out! … This is amazing. So much fun. I love it. I love it. We having a good time? USA, USA, USA! … All right, get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you in court. Don’t worry about it … We had four guys, they jumped on him, they were swinging and swinging. The next day, we got killed in the press — that we were too rough. Give me a break. You know? Right? We don’t want to be too politically correct anymore. Right, folks?”
However, Trump’s supporters remain unfazed and continue to defend him by saying that that’s what they like about him: he is not a traditional politician. He is bold, unafraid and does not bother to be “politically correct,” and that he is the kind of leader that America “needs to get things done.”
As of press time, Super Tuesday 3 is underway. We will see if Trump wins in crucial races that could make him clinch the nomination of the Republican Party.
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Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos