Donald Trump could be our next president.
That's a scary thought, but it's even scarier that it's taken so many people so long to realize how dangerous Trump is. When he first announced his run for presidency, I responded as many others did, by laughing it off.
I truly thought it was a lame publicity stunt to increase the ratings of "Celebrity Apprentice." In hindsight, I should have known better. All Trump needed to do to get better ratings is bring Gary Busey back for a season or two. Running for president is a bit of an overreach for a reality show; now that I've realized Trump is serious about it, I'm getting scared.
What makes Trump so scary? The very nature of his persona is terrifying. His supporters portray him as this non-politician who says whatever comes to his mind, but they completely ignore what he actually says. Over the past year, Trump has expressed hatred for anyone who isn't exactly like him and tried to play it off as a character quirk.
"This is just how I am!" he seems to say, laughing as he debates which minority to attack next.
He's suggested that we should stop all Muslims from entering the country. He wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to prevent all those Mexicans from taking the jobs few Americans really want. He's insulted women. When Megyn Kelly confronted him about it in an early debate, he implied she was on her period.
No matter what you feel about immigration or people of the Muslim faith, you have to realize that these are real people Trump is talking about. He has completely generalized these people just to garner more support from Americans who fear what they do not know, saying they're malicious when he's the one maligning them. He spouts nonsense and catchphrases about these issues, and somehow there are people who eat it up.
Still, I can understand why some Americans support Trump for this. If you are a Christian, it can be difficult to understand other religions. If you're disgruntled with the employment opportunities in America, it can make sense to blame people who aren't American citizens but work here nonetheless. I'm not saying all Christians or all unemployed Americans are ignorant -- the quiet majority aren't -- but some are.
While it makes sense that Trump has supporters for saying those things, I cannot reason how anybody supports a man who repeatedly demeans women. Trump even treats his own daughter as a sexual object; he's been quoted several times saying he'd date her if she weren't his daughter because of her physical appearance.
That's creepy on its own, but what makes it scary is how comfortable Trump is saying it publicly. Trump seems to really believe he can say anything he wants to and later justify it by calling himself a straight shooter.
I value honesty as much as the next person and want to see transparency in the leaders of my government. That doesn't mean I don't value diplomacy and respect just as much; these things are easily more important than straightforwardness, especially when you apply the concept to Trump.
I wonder if any of Trump's supporters are thinking long-term about how a Trump presidency would affect our country. What happens when Trump needs to mediate issues within his cabinet? Will he just yell at them and be done with it? What about when he's called to meet a diplomat from one of the countries he hates so much? I don't think it'll be pretty.
Last year, my boss wrote a column saying Trump doesn't stand a chance to become our president. I believed it then, but now I'm just hoping it's true.
This does not bode well.
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Samantha Jones is a reporter for the Carroll County News. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com.