2016 is the first year I’ve been able to express my voice as a citizen of the United States of America in the form of a vote, and my, what a year to jump in.
We’ve had Republican candidates crawling out of the woodwork, a former first lady entering the mix for the second time, as well as a democratic socialist who dropped a fire mix of “This land is your land.” back in 1987. However, no summation of the 2016 presidential election would be complete without addressing the large orange elephant dominating the room.
Donald Trump. A real-estate mogul, reality TV star and presidential hopeful has dominated the Republican primaries thus far. Despite the predictions of nearly every political analyst at his start, his fiery, blunt, and unconventional persona has garnered support from Hawaii to Massachusetts.
I’ve been following the election closely since October. I even printed out a map of the U.S and began coloring in the states with crayons after each primary. I too never thought Trump would progress past the Iowa caucus, but the orange crayon that represented Donald Trump filled in state after state.
It just didn’t make sense. His controversial and disgusting statements, combined with his poor vocabulary, lack of any political experience, and his tendency to change sides on major issues convinced me that Americans would never put up with a man so disqualified for the presidency.
Alas, Donald Trump continues to act like a five-year-old cousin stabbing you with a blunt spoon at a family get together. “Aww Johnny’s attacking me, that’s cute. Look at
him go! Somebody get the camera! Hahahah…. Alright that’s enough Johnny. Ow! Haha okay Johnny time to put the spoon down. Johnny…OW! Stop it Johnny, you’re hurting me! OW! Put the spoon down, Johnny! I’M SERIOUS STOP. WHY IS NO ONE STOPPING YOU? WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS?”
And now we’ve reached the point in this election where I’m afraid that little Johnny is actually going to kill me with that plastic spoon.
I’m far from the first person to realize this. Democrats and Republicans alike in recent months have disavowed Donald Trump. His attackers range from 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney, to George Clooney, Shakira and J. K. Rowling, who actually stated that he is worse than the Dark Lord Voldemort. Yet, I believe the best shot at Trump so far has come from HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver.
Using his unique comedy style to get his point across, Oliver systematically picked apart Donald Trump’s campaign in a video published on YouTube Feb. 28. Oliver addressed the reasons Trump supporters like him continue to support the candidate, and then went on to expose the truth behind those statements. For example:
“He tells it like it is.” Trump supporters often say they admire the way Trump speaks his mind. He is blunt, honest, and pulls no punches. “The website PolitiFact checked 77 of his statements and rated 76 percent of them as varying degrees of false,” Oliver said.
He went on to share that Trump had told news channels his show had invited him four or five times to appear as a guest. “It was genuinely destabilizing to be on the receiving end of a lie that confident. I even checked to make sure that no one had even accidentally invited him, and of course they hadn’t,” Oliver said to the laughter of his studio audience.
“He is self-funding his campaign.” Donald Trump has estimated that he has donated 20 to 25 million dollars to his campaign. Oliver then revealed that according to his website, Trump has only donated 250,000 dollars to his campaign. He has, to his credit, loaned 17,000,000 to his campaign, but he can get all the money back if he drops out. “If you think there isn’t a difference between a gift and loan, try giving your spouse an anniversary loan and see how that goes,” Oliver said.
“Donald Trump is a successful businessman. If he runs the country like he does one of his companies, we’ll be in good shape.” Oliver had a field day with this one. Trump has a list of failed businesses that include, but are not limited to: Trump Airlines, Trump Steaks, Trump Mortgage, Trump Magazine, Trump World Magazine, Trump University and Trump Vodka.
Oliver ended his segment by redubbing Trump with his ancestral name: “Donald Drumpf” in an attempt to wake people from the illusion that has been built around the Trump name. Oliver than urged his viewers to “Help make Donald Drumpf again.”
Since John Oliver’s video went online last month, it has accumulated over 21 million views and more people now search Google for “Who is Donald Drumpf” more than any other republican candidate besides Trump himself. Despite all this, Trump still went on to dominate Super Tuesday and the primaries.
I have to admit that I’ve been frustrated. I understand that Donald Trump is entertaining, I really do.
The election would be boring without him, but at what point do we allow our entertainment to become more of a priority than electing the most qualified man or woman for the job? All joking aside, Donald Trump would make a horrible president. He takes all the anger and fear inside the hearts of Americans and, rather than offering solutions, chooses to blame minorities for the nation’s problems. His aggressive stance towards protestors has sparked violence at rallies and he’s referred to women he disagrees with as pigs.
I’ve heard him contradict himself so many times that I honestly don’t know what he believes. He called in to Fox News to say that the best way to defeat ISIS was to go after the fighter’s families. That’s a candidate for the presidency of our nation advocating a war crime.
I know that my words here today are just a molecule in a drop in the ocean of the political tsunami that is 2016, but I implore you: If you are considering supporting Trump, please look more closely at the man you wish to lead our nation.
Whoever the next president is, Republican or Democrat, man or woman, I hope and pray that our leader strives to unite us with love and understanding, not lead us into the darkness of fear and resentment.
Over spring break, I was sitting at the kitchen table when I learned that Donald Trump had won the Michigan primary. I angrily whipped out my orange crayon and scribbled in Michigan on my little map before snapping it in half.
That orange crayon never did anything to me, and neither is orange itself an evil color. Pumpkins are orange, and so are sunsets and peaches and plenty of wonderful things. But I snapped that crayon in half because it felt good to associate all of my frustration with the little writing utensil in my hand that was the same color as Donald Trump. I believe in that moment, I was more like Donald Trump than I would ever like to be again.
Please don’t vote for him.
—Brandon Grossi, staff writer