I’m not sure if I even wanted to add my voice to the chorus of people from both sides of the political fence in denouncing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his bigotry and reckless demagoguery, but with his recent attack on the Philippines and Filipinos, I know I just have to.
Trump touched the nerves of Filipinos when he lumped the Philippines with the likes of Pakistan, Afghanistan. Somalia, Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Uzbekistan as countries whose citizens should be barred from immigrating to the United States because they could potentially be recruited into Islamic terrorist groups.
“You have no idea who they are. This could be the great Trojan horse of all time,” he said, repeating his warning that terrorists, including members of the Islamic State extremist group, will sneak into the United States as refugees. This is a practice that has to stop.”
“We’re dealing with animals,” he said.
His unforgiveable attack on Filipinos exposed his unmatched duplicity because some years back, when he launched his real estate project bearing his name in Manila, he had high praises for the country: “I’ve always loved the Philippines. I think it is just a special place and Manila is one of Asia’s most spectacular cities.”
His recent remark also highlighted his ignorance of history. He has been very busy exploding tirades against Latinos and Muslims, he ignored the fact that hundreds of thousands of Filipinos lost their lives fighting side by side with Americans against the Japanese in World War II and that the some four million Filipinos in the US are contributing significantly to American economy and society.
But Filipinos are not the only ones shocked and worried by Trump’s tirades. Even some ranking members of the party that nominated him have openly said they would not vote for Trump with 50 former national security officials warning he would be the “most reckless president in American history” if elected.
The group, which included former homeland security chiefs, intelligence directors, senior presidential advisors and a former US trade representative, said: “We are convinced that he would be a dangerous president and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
They said the brash billionaire is unfit for office, saying that Trump “lacks the character, values, and experience to be president” and displays “alarming ignorance of basic facts” of international politics. They warned that Trump’s “erratic behavior” has alarmed America’s closest allies and that he fails to recognize the indispensible nature of such diplomatic relationships.
Trump first showed his bigotry and racist character when early in the campaign, he called Mexico a nation that sends its illegal drug traffickers, rapists and killers as immigrants to the US. He then vowed to build a wall between the US and Mexico.
And when pressed on the cases against Trump University, Trump said Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was handling the cases, can not effectively preside over the cases because of an “inherent conflict of interest” due to his stated call to build a wall on the United States’ southern border and Curiel’s Mexican heritage.
And then he turned his attention to Muslim immigrants. He said he would stop all foreign Muslims from entering the United States. Last month, Trump belittled the parents of a slain Muslim US serviceman who had strongly denounced Trump during the Democratic National Convention. The soldier’s father, Trump suggested, delivered the whole speech because his mother was not allowed to speak.
Pakistani immigrant Khizr Khan galvanized the Democratic National Convention with a tribute to his dead son in which he rebuked the Republican nominee for having “sacrificed nothing” for the country.
US billionaire Warren Buffet rebuked Trump for belittling Khan’s speech. “How in the world can you stand up to a couple of parents who have lost a son and talk about sacrificing because you were building a bunch of buildings?”
Buffett is one of several extremely wealthy Americans to back Clinton for president, including billionaire and independent former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
It is not just his fellow billionaires dumping Trump. Every time Trump opens his mouth, the list of dissatisfied Republicans who refuse to support him in the elections are growing.
I’ve never seen a political party divided this badly by its presidential nominee. Only last Thursday, 75 former Republican officials wrote a letter asking the Republican National Committee to divert the funds set aside for the presidential campaign to ensure that the party would keep its majority in Congress by sending funds for the Trump campaign to House and Senate candidates struggling against Democratic rivals.
If he can’t unite his own party, how can anyone expect Trump to unite the whole country? In his campaign to become the president and commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful nation, he has only sown hatred, fear, anger and divisiveness.
Many ranking Republicans in both national and state levels have expressed dissatisfaction with Trump and some have even vowed not to vote for the billionaire demagogue. Even longtime Republicans, including several Filipinos, have said they cannot support Trump because he would be a dangerous president.
After just a few days of blabbering and blunders, Trump’s three-point lead in the polls over Democratic nominee Clinton just before their respective national conventions has turned into a 15-point margin for the former First Lady, senator and Secretary of State.
The 50 former Republican national security officials have every reason to be concerned about a Trump presidency. With the world precipitously threading on the precipice of war in various fronts, it is frightening to think that a man as imbalanced and as reckless as Trump would be holding the code and the key to the launching of nuclear missiles that could send the world to oblivion.
Filipinos should unite this time and join the only course of action available to Americans – reject Trump.