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Trump’s gaffes ostracize women voters

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John Cassidy’s recent article in The New Yorker asks the question America has been wondering for 11 months: is Donald Trump’s campaign finally coming to an end? Has his bombastic parade of obscene and offensive comments finally gone too far? Is something he said irreversibly damaging enough to take him out of the running for President?

To give a brief review of recent events: Donald Trump recently defended his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after he physically assaulted a female reporter. Trump flippantly dismissed the reporter, Michelle Field, saying to CNN that “she probably made it up” despite video evidence of the scene which proved her claim and a charge of simple battery from police in Jupiter, Florida. In any normal campaign, this would have ruined a candidate’s political career. Regardless, Trump continues to defend his campaign manager, claiming that Lewandowski had the right to defend himself because “she had a pen in her hand which Secret Service is not liking because they don’t know what it is, whether it’s a little bomb.”

This disregard for women’s physical safety simply adds to his unforgettable remarks in Wisconsin, where Trump claimed that women who seek an abortion ought to have “some sort of punishment.”

Trump’s misogynistic comments are hardly new, and are merely representative of his persona. The real conundrum which confounds political analysts is that Trump has repeatedly contradicted known facts, blatantly lied about his own positions and retracted all of his previous statements the next morning. He refuses to answer any probative question about his policies with the now famous defense that the media is attacking him unfairly. It should be obvious by now that this man does not have the mental, logical or moral capacity for Executive Office.

Yet his supporters love him – despite the outrage to his tirade against Mexican immigrants, about whom Trump said, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

This comment alone made Trump lose millions of dollars in sponsorships. Regardless of his unconstitutional plans to ban all Muslims from entering the United States and bring back torture tactics against suspected terrorists when he becomes Commander in Chief, and despite the fact that he encourages violence from his supporters at rallies across America, the horrifying truth is that Trump is not retaining and growing in popularity despite his offensive comments, but because of his offensive comments.

Trump has tapped into a political base of white undereducated males who lack economic opportunity and feel as if they have also lost their political voice due to public censure. Their uninformed xenophobia causes them to resent foreign immigrants becoming economically successful and to fear anyone who doesn’t adhere to Christianity; the mainstream media’s broad response to those fears is the accusation, “You’re racist.” White males feel forgotten after decades of being silenced by popular opinion. This voting base does not see political correctness as an attempt to protect minority groups but as a way of disregarding their problems. They love Trump because he refuses to apologize to the media’s insistence of political correctness: Trump promises to make Make America Great Again for them.

Will Donald Trump’s political campaign eventually collapse? At this moment young and optimistic Bernie Sanders supporters are attempting to do that for him, by violently protesting Trump rallies. However, they are only making things worse. Pitting the most extreme political groups in the United States against each other will only create more animosity, more resentment and more bitter adherence to radical party principles. We, as a Nation, will never be able to pass policies in such an ideological gridlock. An election between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the fall would spell existential disaster for America’s political system.

Women have the chance to quietly and effectively end Trump’s campaign once and for all. Currently 47 percent of Republican women would not support Trump, nor would they support the potential democratic nominee, Bernie Sanders. A moderate candidate between both poles could capture these votes. Compromise, not protests, will win the majority of supporters. Politically moderate young women will decide the fate for America next fall.

Annie Halloin ’18 (halloi1@stolaf.edu) is from Eau Claire, Wisco. She majors in English and religion.