Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has become a national embarrassment. His hateful rhetoric that is so appealing to the GOP’s racist, xenophobic and bigoted base, is causing outrage not just in the U.S., but around the rest of the world as well. He launched his bid for the Republican nomination by calling Mexicans “rapists” and “criminals.” He continued his rise to the top of the polls by pledging his support for a giant wall along the Southern border and saying that he supports a plan like Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback.” His constant flow of anti-immigrant rhetoric caused many high-profile figures in Latin America to condemn the billionaire; but, in the weeks since the Paris attacks — and in the days since the San Bernardino massacre — Trump’s narrow-minded attacks on Muslims are now turning Europeans against him, too. In fact, so many citizens of the United Kingdom are disgusted with Trump, that Parliament may actually ban the businessman from entering their countries.
Over the last few weeks, Trump has said that he will close all of the mosques in America, force Muslims to carry special IDs, put them into internment camps, and on Monday he said that if he were to be elected, he’d ban all Muslims from entering the United States. His vapid bigotry against people of the Islamic faith, was so appalling that Suzanne Kelly of Aberdeen, Scotland, began a petition to ban the presidential candidate from entering the U.K. Her petition states:
The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK.
If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.
The petition needed 10,000 signatures in order for the government to respond, and 100,000 signatures for a Parliamentary debate. As of this writing, more than 211,000 people have signed it — with more than thirty being added every second.
According to the Washington Post, Trump’s comments were so offensive that British Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to respond to them:
While it is rare for a British prime minister to comment on contenders in the U.S. presidential race, Prime Minister David Cameron joined British politicians from all parties in condemning Trump’s remarks. Cameron said through a spokeswoman that he “completely disagrees” with Trump’s comments, which he regards as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.”
If Parliament decides to ban the Republican candidate from entering the U.K., he would not be alone. Notorious birther and professional Islamophobe Pamela Gellar was banned from entering the United Kingdom for spreading the same kind of deplorable, anti-Muslim nonsense that Trump is peddling. However, although he would not be the first American to be banned from entering the U.K., it would be unprecedented for a United States presidential candidate to be barred from entry.
If the government does vote to keep him from entering, it is hard to imagine that he could continue to run for president. After all, how in the world does the GOP expect their presidential pick to govern if our biggest ally doesn’t want him setting foot on their soil?
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.