Politics is usually about discourse and debate. Politicians debate each other on how to handle issues, whether it be economic or foreign policy. That is why there is a government and an opposition, so that we can make sure we have a civilized and purposeful debate.
What’s sad is we’re not seeing any of that in the current GOP debate.
Instead we are seeing a wacky competition of who can out-bigot the other candidate. It would be a great reality show if this weren’t all so real.
And now we’ve reached this point. Donald Trump announced yesterday that his policy would include banning all Muslim immigration. Waves of twitter posts and condemnation came out, as it always does in these scenarios (which have become increasingly frequent this campaign). You know how we learn history so we wouldn’t repeat it? Well, someone clearly missed out on the Nazi Germany lesson.
But instead of mocking the leader, my fear lies somewhere else; the people who consume this media become driven by this rhetoric. They adopt it as an identity, confirm their biases, and then they’ll hurt innocent people. That’s the major consequence of this rhetoric. Who is to say that someone won’t attack a young Muslim woman (who seem to be the target audience of physical Islamophobic abuse in the West) because they think they are immigrants that shouldn’t be allowed in our country?
It feels weird to say this, considering how obvious it truly should be, but the cold fact is that Muslims are, above all else, people. We are made of the same flesh and blood that everyone else is made of. We are born with the same morality, under the same sun and stars as everyone else. The problem is that, with Trump’s latest nonsense, Muslims are now becoming degraded to a second-class human, one that can be treated like cattle and are only identified by their religion. Yes I’m a Muslim, but I’m so much more. I mean, at least let me be a Leicester City fan.
Bottom line is that this rhetoric is poisonous. Not only does this damage political discourse, but it turns innocent people, including Americans, into second-class people. Leaders are meant to represent everyone, but divisive politics will get us nowhere. Donald Trump may enjoy the hatred that his campaign is built on, but he will also have to answer for the abuse that people will suffer.