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Perspective: Trump and the Muslim Ban

Diversity Saves Us From The Temptation To Fascism


Diversity Saves Us From The Temptation To Fascism: Trump and the Muslim Ban

I can’t think of a better definition of (rich) white, male privilege: Invite a foreign leader to interfere in American elections, joke about assassinating a presidential candidate, and live to spin it. You think if Donald Trump was a different color or a different religion he’d even be a candidate? If he was Muslim the only wall he’d see would be the one around Guantanamo Bay. Trump gets away with it because certain people still can.

They are more American than the rest of us, more human than the rest of us, more valuable than the rest of us. If you think differently, you’d have to tell me, with a straight face, that a black candidate could get away with half these comments, and then win the nomination of a major party. It’s not just disgusting, of course. It’s terrifying. But this isn’t even about racism, even though that’s a big part of it. This election is like a constitutional convention.

It’s about whether we will have a functioning country.

Last time I checked, asking the most powerful enemy of your country to help you win elections, and joking about using thugs to accomplish your political objectives and circumventing the establishment, are the definition of a “failed state.” Donald Trump’s candidacy hasn’t just corroded American democracy. He doesn’t just make unfunny comments about using violence to achieve his ends. The world isn’t laughing with us. It’s laughing at us. And what of every single politico who’s endorsed him?

That a man so crude, offensive and ignorant can win their support, that they’re willing to sign over the future of America for a chance to defeat the other party, well guess what: that is also part of the definition of a failed state. In all of this, incidentally, is a signal to exactly how this guy would govern. When he’ll want to accomplish a policy goal, he’ll just encourage his supporters to celebrate their second Amendment rights outside the offices of legislators, a.k.a. enemies of the people. Think I’m going too far? I don’t think you’ve gone far enough.

He always backtracks, you’ll note. Because, you see, in his mind, it’s not what words mean, it’s the effect they have. Where most of us have a sense of self, a personality, a moral core, an identity, a set of beliefs, he has a void. Daddy didn’t hug this kid, basically, and mommy never loved him. That’s why he so desperately needs and requires the oxygen of public approval. He would die if you just ceased to believe, for one minute, that he isn’t the greatest, richest, strongest, biggest, handed billionaire in the world. He is afraid he is a loser. He is willing to say anything to fill that hole inside himself, and what he says doesn’t matter. What happens to the world, to America, to other candidates. To other people. Everyday people. Doesn’t matter.

But words matter, just like lives matter. What you say from the pulpit matters. You can’t hint at killing someone and then walk away from it and expect there to be no consequences.

Rich white male privilege isn’t just bad for minorities. It’s bad for all Americans, including the many white men who support Donald Trump, and will probably get hit the hardest for it, burned the most badly. If you feel like the GOP sold you out, and you have good reason to, I understand why you want to poke the elite in the eye. The privilege, the entitlement, the indifference. It’s true. A lot of politicians aren’t listening. But if you think you got played before, you’re falling for an even bigger con now. He doesn’t care about you.

He doesn’t care about us.

P.S. You should be so grateful there are Pakistani Muslims in America. It was Khizr and Ghazala Khan that Trump tried to run over, and instead got flattened by. Yeah, he bounced off them like the Tumbler ricocheted off Superman in Dawn of Justice. That’s right. Brown uncle in Potter glasses and Auntie in shalwar kameez literally saved American democracy from itself. Want an argument for immigration? Diversity saves us from the temptation to fascism.

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    Haroon Moghul

    Haroon Moghul is a co-producer at Avenue M, a widely published writer and a popular public speaker.

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