Trump’s political incorrectness gives candidate free pass

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The United States needs to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico. Not just that, but Mexico will pay for this wall. This is just one of Donald Trump’s notorious and polarizing views. Throughout his campaign, Trump has held stances that Republicans running for President of the United States before him have not held. His behavior has been rebuked by numerous highprofile Republicans in the establishment, including former Republican presidential nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain. Just recently, former Republican president George H. W. Bush came out in support for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president. This should be an indicator to American voters of how troubling Trump is to not only the Republican Party but to America, and yet it doesn’t seem to have an effect.

The significance of losing a percentage of the Republican establishment’s support is staggering when you compare it to his support throughout the country. He has been praised by American voters for being a “Washington outsider” and running an “unconventional campaign.” In short, he says and does things that politicians would consider politically incorrect. An example of this would be his stance that Muslims would not be allowed to enter the United States under a Trump presidency, whether as citizens or refugees from areas of con- flict. He has even gone so far as to say American Muslims may be entered into a registry. This stance is one that many Americans believe to be inherently racist, xenophobic and against American ideals. Yet, his supporters are praising him for these unconventional views.

Clinton, on the other hand, cannot afford to make such claims. The former first lady and senator has been under the political spotlight for well over 20 years, and as a politician, she has been held to standards that Trump seems to disregard. It creates a disparity on the battleground. Recently, Clinton called some of Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables,” which included, in her own words, Trump supporters that are “sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” and are thus “irredeemable.” Having grossly generalized American voters, Clinton has received blowback that has affected her image; at the same time, her polling numbers have dropped. The only problem with this is that, if Trump had said it, many of his supporters would have applauded the comment, quite possibly accelerating him ahead in the polls. We’ve seen it before. It’s not unlike Trump to make such a generalization and for his supporters to back it.

Look at the newly released photo from the Trump campaign comparing Syrians refugees to Skittles. Te graphic reads, “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” It was released in order to, in Donald Trump Jr.’s own words, “end the politically correct agenda.” Not only did the Trump campaign skew data, but it compared human beings fleeing a devastating civil war to candy. If this comment does not generalize more than Clinton’s “deplorables” comment, it at least matches its audacity. So why has Trump received less flak? It appears that Trump supports are backing the statement, while Democrats came out against Clinton’s comment. They urged Clinton to recant, which she later did. Trump, on the other hand, has not and most likely will not revoke. When Clinton says something “politically incorrect,” she is scorned. When Trump does it, he is lauded. His campaign thrives because of moments like these.

The Trump campaign is receiving a free pass on these comments. They are following an entirely different set of guidelines than Clinton, allowing them to recklessly choose words and get away with it. The consequences? Trump’s rhetoric has given underlying sentiments in the United States, such as racism, the opportunity to grow. He gives those that perceive other groups of people as inferior a means by which they can further these dangerous attitudes. He is harming the foundation the United States stands for: freedom and equality of all. Standards are set for this reason, and Trump’s lack of care for them is bringing out hatred in this country. Being “politically correct” has never been so important. Political incorrectness, or what is actually plainly articulated bigotry, has divided this society. It has depleted policy as the main issue of focus. If experience and valid policy stances were the gauge in this election as they have been for decades, Trump would have been weeded out of the primary over a year ago. Reckless rhetoric and blatant racism have kept him in the race this long, and hopefully in the months to come, voters will start to show their disapproval of this malicious behavior.