Donald Trump has been leading the Republican presidential race off the rails with his blatant racism and hate, and people are very unhappy with it. Trump’s entire campaign has been centered around his hate for Hispanic immigrants — who he has called “rapists and criminals” — but over the last week he has decided to add a whole lot of Islamophobia to the mix. The frontrunner of the GOP’s clown show has said that we should build a giant wall, endorsed “Operation Wetback” as his immigration plan, and recently claimed that he would shut down mosques and force Muslims to carry special IDs — much like Hitler forced the Jews to carry. President Obama came down hard on Republicans this week, and now Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has too.
While speaking at Georgetown University on Thursday, the Democratic presidential candidate called Republicans out for their disgusting racism:
“If Donald Trump and others who refer to Latinos, people from Mexico, as criminals and rapists, if they want to open that door, our job is to shut that door and shut it tight. This country has gone too far. Too many have people suffered, and too many people have died for us to continue hearing racist words coming from major political leaders.”
He went on to say that it is possible to have discussions about immigration policy without using it as an opportunity to spread hate for political gain:
“People can have honest disagreements about immigration or about anything else. That’s called democracy. But people should not be using the political process to inject racism into the debate.”
Unfortunately for America, the Republican Party only knows how to campaign on hate. They do not know how to discuss immigration without insulting millions of people and their families. During the political off years, they fight tooth and nail against any kind of immigration reform – but as soon as election time comes around, immigration is suddenly a crisis — the 2010, 2012, and 2014 elections are proof of that.
Donald Trump must have noticed how well anti-immigrant rhetoric has worked for Joe Arpaio, Steve King and other right-wing grifter politicians, and decided to use the same strategy to get elected. So far, it seems to be working out quite well for him as he has maintained his number one spot in Republican polls. However, while this loathsome, hate-speech may appeal to right-wing America, it certainly doesn’t make the rest of us want to run out and vote for a GOP ticket.
The last week has been especially alarming. Republican candidates have briefly forgotten about hating Mexicans and turned their attention to the Syrian refugees. Ben Carson compared the desperate refugees to rabid dogs. Mike Huckabee tried to draw a parallel between the refugees and an E-coli outbreak. Jeb Bush said that we should only allow Christian refugees into the country, and Donald Trump laid out a Hitler-esque plan of Muslim IDs.
Senator Sanders heard their hate and on Monday he said:
“I am disturbed by some of what I am hearing from my Republican colleagues, and I will just say this: During these difficult times, as Americans we will not succumb to racism. We will not allow ourselves to be divided and succumb to Islamophobia. We will not turn our backs on the refugees.”
The Republican Party has already succumbed to racism, Islamophobia and fear. Their level of anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, anti-everything American fear mongering has reached an embarrassing level. It is mind-blowing that an entire American political party is spreading such anti-American ideals; our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves. The only upside to the incredible amount of ignorance spewing from the GOP is that they are ensuring their defeat in 2016. The people in this country do not want to be represented by a party that hates our values so much. They can keep spreading their filth, and we will use our disgust to energize voters and trounce them in the elections.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.