At the beginning of Donald Trump’s campaign, many of us thought a Trump nomination was a joke. After playing the ignorant schoolyard bully in debates, that amusement intensified, and Trump became the poster boy for cluelessness and an easy poke for humor. Many young people circulated posts around social media that used Trump’s words to communicate a universal feeling of helplessness, and one went as far as drawing a haunting picture of what he believed Trump would look like naked.
However, now that Trump is the leading candidate for the GOP nomination, this amusement must end. It is time to fall victim to his fearmongering tactics and be scared. This man could very easily be the next president of the United States.
Over the course of his campaign, Trump has been notorious for his racist and xenophobic views. He has described Mexican immigrants as rapists. His policies include compiling a database of all Muslim-Americans within the U.S. and building a U.S.-Mexico border wall funded by the Mexican government. His behavior has been as shocking as his policies. He has made condescending remarks about a well-regarded debate moderator’s menstrual cycle and has failed to
denounce a former KKK grand wizard.
Despite this, many young people continue to joke about “President Trump.”
Psychology professor Art Markman said there are two reasons jokes about Trump
“Many people deal with scary subjects by using humor in order to laugh in the face of anxiety,” Markman said. “In addition, the president of the United States is an office that has a lot of dignity about it. By using humor that paints Trump as a clown, people are trying to make him seem unfit for the office.”
Tracy Wuster, managing editor of UT’s Humor in America project, spoke on Trump’s increasingly sinister representation as his campaign went on. Trump was originally portrayed as “a clown or as a joke,” but “after his statements began to get more inflammatory, Trump was portrayed as a monster … [and] shortly after his comments on banning Muslims from entering the U.S., cartoonists started to portray him using fascist imagery, even portraying direct links to Hitler.”
These jokes distract from reality. The nervous laughter needs to turn into action. Last night, Trump’s victories far outpaced those of his rivals, winning seven states at press time. Unless several of his rivals drop from the race, Trump seems to be the only candidate with a shot at winning the republican nomination outright.
This man could be the 45th president of the United States. He could go down in history alongside George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. He could be the one who visits foreign countries as a representative of the United States and its people. He is not worthy of that honor. He is not representative of the people or even wanted by many of his party’s leaders. If you do not want Trump’s idea of a great America to become reality, it is time to get serious and stop with the jokes.
Vernon is a PACE freshman from Austin. Follow her on Twitter @_emilyvernon_.