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The front-runner in the race for Republican presidential candidate - or global pariah?


Bruin Fisher

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After Donald Trump's controversial (to say the least) comments on muslims among others, a petition was launched on the UK Government's website calling for him to be banned from entering the UK on the basis of his expressed views that may constitute racism. The petition went live on Tuesday and today's Thursday and already it has over 400,000 signatures. Any petition on the site that gains more than 100,000 signatures qualifies to be debated in Parliament. This has been the biggest (or is it fastest?) petition ever on the site.

Methinks the Brits don't think much of Mr Trump.

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It's interesting that suddenly it's politically incorrect to say hateful things about a particular religion whereas for years -- centuries even -- people have said hateful things and even fought wars over religions and/or the belief/non-belief therein. I have to wonder why the sudden turnaround, and why only on the behalf of this one particular religion.

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Re: the question, why Islam and why now, I think the reason is because we don't want to condemn an entire group for the actions of a few. Just as I wouldn't call ALL Texans idiots because Ted Cruz is a Texan or ALL Christians murderers because some abortion opponents murder, or all police corrupt or racist because a small minority are, or all Republicans racists because their frontrunner is one, so, too, would I not call all Muslims murderers because of the actions of some. It is to avoid punishing or abusing the innocent that we oppose profiling or stereotyping. I would hope that would be progress.

However, in times of stress, it is common for people to get defensive of their fears and try to justify their tendencies to see "others" as an enemy. Demagogues like Trump, George Wallace, Joseph McCarthy, Oswald Mosley, and Huey Long always take advantage of that and their followers become even more adamant when questioned about their actions.

What Trump and many of his supporters fail to understand is that this is precisely how ISIL wants us to react. They WANT the apocalyptic war with the West and they want us to overreact, to abandon the principles that make American society so free and strong. To be honest, I doubt Trump is capable of understanding that or of even caring. As a malignant sociopathic narcissist, he is concerned only with building the adoration of his followers for him and he doesn't give a damn how he does it or how much harm it causes.

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I think that they should ban all Muslims from entering the US and also consider deportation of the ones who are already living here.

And while we're at it we should consider all Jews for the same treatment..

Would banning Christians be going too far?

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Back in the 1930s, a charismatic speaker was able to capture the emotions of a people. I've always wondered how he was able to do that, how anyone could be that spellbinding with his rhetoric. It never made sense to me.

Now, we have our own firebrand, and my thoughts run back to that evil murderer who turned much of Europe into rubble four-score years ago. People in this country are now being swayed and seduced by our own ranting and raving maniac just the way Hitler stirred the masses back then. The situations are running parallel, too. In the 30s,the economy was in a rut, and there was a national malaise infecting the people. Hitler made them feel good about themselves and the country at a time others were talking about how weak they were.

I'd guess Trump strikes a similar chord in some of the people in this country who feel disenfranchised, who feel this country has lost its way, that we as a nation are becoming insipid and impotent. He fortifies their prejudices, speaks their minds, and rallies their fervor.

I don't understand how Hitler did it, and I don't understand how Trump is doing it. Most of what he says is childish vitriol, but people are responding. My hope is simply that not enough fall under his spell to get him elected. History tells us what happened to Germany when it became besotted by the charisma of a madman and elected a dictator.

C

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What Trump and many of his supporters fail to understand is that this is precisely how ISIL wants us to react. They WANT the apocalyptic war with the West and they want us to overreact, to abandon the principles that make American society so free and strong. To be honest, I doubt Trump is capable of understanding that or of even caring. As a malignant sociopathic narcissist, he is concerned only with building the adoration of his followers for him and he doesn't give a damn how he does it or how much harm it causes.

Unfortunately I think Trump fully understands that, I suspect he would be just as happy having a war with ISIS as they would be to have the war. Think of all the money he would be able to make through he business interests.

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I don't understand how Hitler did it, and I don't understand how Trump is doing it. Most of what he says is childish vitriol, but people are responding. My hope is simply that not enough fall under his spell to get him elected. History tells us what happened to Germany when it became besotted by the charisma of a madman and elected a dictator.

It is simple, people only hear what they want to hear and not what is actually being said. A friend of mine who was the son of a major figure in German history once told me that he found it very strange watching newsreels of Hitler. He had been at the events and remembered hearing Hitler speaking but he never heard what he hears now when he watches the newsreels.

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I think that they should ban all Muslims from entering the US and also consider deportation of the ones who are already living here.

And while we're at it we should consider all Jews for the same treatment..

Would banning Christians be going too far?

Banning all Christians might be a problem, but perhaps we could ban Mormons...after all they aren't real Christians are they? I think banning any religious denomination is a bad idea...and this you are hearing from an atheist !!! Religion being the opiate of the masses we need something to keep those people calmed down.

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Trump's magic is a response to what people claim they want: a person who will say what he means devoid of the political doublespeak. As several of you have pointed out, this was a characteristic of Herr Hitler's speeches which indeed swayed the masses. No more "I have a 13-part plan" garbage. He tells it like he sees it. And while we're being bamboozled by what seems like unbeheard-of 'singlespeak', Trump is single-handedly rewriting contemporary American politics. Not the first person and/or place to have seen it happen.

Here's the old master at his finest:

(ya gotta love the little grin at the end)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I didn't know this speech. I have to say I am quite smitten. No wonder people followed him like madmen!

But seriously: you have to remember that Hitler was appointed - not elected - chancellor by a senile president, v.Hindenburg, an arch-conservative who was a Prussian general in WWI. The Nazis failed to win the elections in March 1933, the first elections under Hitler (although they made considerable gains). It took a lot of intimidation of the public and the elimination of all parties left of the centre until the Nazis won the election in November 1933. And international observers wouldn't have approved then (had there been any), I am sure (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_election,_November_1933).

So, my dear Americans, I don't think you need to worry too much - yet...

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While we are attempting to discuss religious matters at a civil level, one cannot help but wonder if it isn't already too late.

Personally, I tend to agree with Free Thinker's analysis; however, it looks as if western Islamophobia is but the merest Summer breeze in comparison to the whirlwind of events on the ground in the Middle East where the Sunni-Shia feud appears to escalating dramatically. This has erupted in warfare before, and may very well do so again.

Religion, and my analysis may very well be superficial, seems to be playing a significant role in the crises. Largely Sunni Saudi Arabia just executed a Shia cleric for some fancied outrage. The only comparable outrage I can think of this morning, only one cup of coffee into the day, would be Catholic France advocating sainthood for Joan of Arc while Catholic England executes her for heresy.

Oh dear God, please protect me from your followers.

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Being a republican these days must be like having a crazy uncle that lives in the basement.

Uncle is a dues paying member of the John Birch society and will sally forth with the traditional rhetoric.

Unfortunately, he's a heavy drinker with Tourettes.

crazy_uncle_trump.jpg

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I think it's scary that we don't seem to have a single viable Republican candidate.

Could it be that the Republicans have to re-group, because the traditional Republican responses to at least external challenges do not seem to work anymore? Neither the war in Iraq nor in Afghanistan (I seem to remember both were started under Repuclican watch) did effectively stabilise either region. Instead both are on the verge of chaos with both ISIS and Taliban on the advance again. I cannot imagine that even the Republicans would want to get embroiled in another war in Syria.

And what of the new challenges posed by China and Putin's Russia?

And what of the hundreds of thousands of people on the move around the Mediterranean, fleeing war or poverty? Or closer to home: the refugees from Latin America trying to get to the USA? The politicians in Europe are faced with the same challenges and only time will tell whether they will be able to come up with appropriate, acceptable or successful answers and solutions. Right wing parties in Europe are on the rise in the meantime.

What of global warming? I guess even Republicans find it difficult these days to believably deny its existence.

And it seems to me as an outsider that the question of private gun-ownership is coming to a head in the US.

Maybe Republicans have become too complacent over the past twenty years. Maybe they assumed they would beat the Democrats easily on questions like health care. Suddenly there are challenges they have no viable solutions for.

In the meantime the jester has the floor.

(please accept my a√ľologies: I still have to find out how to quote the right way)

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Religion, and my analysis may very well be superficial, seems to be playing a significant role in the crises. Largely Sunni Saudi Arabia just executed a Shia cleric for some fancied outrage.

Just as religion is becoming more radicalized here. We're seeing more and more religion-based animosity in this country, too. Doesn't this all begin to seem cyclical? And why can't calmer minds prevail to stop it before it reaches the war stage? Yet that hasn't happened throughout history.

C

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Being a republican these days must be like having a crazy uncle that lives in the basement.

Uncle is a dues paying member of the John Birch society and will sally forth with the traditional rhetoric.

Unfortunately, he's a heavy drinker with Tourettes.

crazy_uncle_trump.jpg

Jabba the Trump. I love it! Thanks, James.

Colin :icon_geek:

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