30 March 2016


So I haven't written about politics in a bit but I'm still thinking about it. Since I'm not in the group of people who thinks there are no good candidates, I'm not worried about who I'm going to vote for.  All of my energy is going into wanting Trump to be kept as far from the White House as possible. Here's the latest example of why I don't what him there that actually has to do with policy rather than how Trump treats people.*

I was very bothered by the way Trump answered many of his town hall questions last night.  I think this was the first time I've seen him in a town hall (he's usually on after I go to bed to keep people watching) so I hadn't seen how differently he interacts with the audience than the other candidates do.  He's obviously nothing like Kasich in his personal interaction, or Hillary who is also very good, or even Bernie or Cruz, but I thought that he handled the questions from the audience very poorly.  He completely misunderstood one very basic question which meant his answer was worthless (and laughable); he honestly couldn't think of anything he has ever apologized for or even something specific he'd learned from- until he finally came up with the obvious answer of apologizing to family members; but I thought his response to one question in particular was insulting to the questioner and dangerous to anyone who isn't a white American Christian and I don't think Trump would even recognize that.

The man who asked the question was a law enforcement officer, Brian Murphy, who was shot 15 times while responding to the 2012 shooting of a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin.  It wasn't mentioned explicitly that the shooting was by a white supremacist against people wearing turbans, but presumably Trump knew that (I hope I am not giving him too much credit, although there was absolutely nothing in what he said that indicated that he did know that).  Murphy asked "How would you suggest we help educate the public and not alienate these groups and, at the same time, how do we protect the constitutional rights of minority groups like the Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, and Jews, while still addressing radical Islamization?"

To me, Trump's obvious first response should have been to thank Murphy for the sacrifice he made because that context matters greatly in this question.  This is not a man who is unfamiliar with the dangers of marginalizing these groups because he himself was shot 15 times because of it.  Not only did Trump not thank him, he didn't ever acknowledge the shooting in his answer, nor did he respond to the question about protecting constitutional rights of minorities in any way.  Instead he talked about Obama's using different terms than Trump does when describing some terrorist attacks, how saying that he would ban Muslims helped him in the polls, defending second amendment rights, banning Muslims again, wiping out ISIS while saying he was against the war in Iraq and Obama's pullout from there, and finally adding some inaccurate things about refugees. I feel like Kasich and Hillary do a good job of connecting with people who ask questions, but Trump used Murphy as a platform to spew hate. It was awful.

Anderson Cooper finally was able to elbow in and ask about protecting rights again and Trump finally said, "I want to do that also, and I do want to do that, but I at the same time we have to recognize we have a serious problem" which is no answer at all to the question of *how* he would protect those rights.  Cooper went on to ask about Cruz's proposal to "patrol Muslim neighborhoods" which has serious constitutional implications and Trump cheered on that idea.  It was appalling.

*As for the campaign manager incident, I am also appalled that Trump not only is denying that anything happened, but also trying to say the reporter was the real perpetrator.  No wonder women often don't report violence.  Everyone agrees this incident was relatively minor, but even after the charge Trump is trying to dismiss her by saying she didn't yell, that she made up the story, that there is no proof that the bruises weren't already there.  That she touched him first, that she might have been carrying a knife.  That she caused the problem by reporting what happened.

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