Why We Have to Talk About Trump: The GOP Debate and Beyond

According to quite a few critics of Wednesday night’s GOP debate, it went too long and was too focused on Trump (again).

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After taking 16 pages of notes, I had to agree about the length of time, but I disagree about the amount of focus on Trump.  He must be discussed, but in a savvy and insightful way. I loved – as did many – Carly Fiorina’s harsh smirk when she responded to Trump’s cracks about her looks.  She ignored his face altogether, not making eye contact while she told the country in just a few words how ridiculous he is.  That’s how Trump should be treated by everyone – with disdain and ridicule.

CNN moderators asked questions on standard topics – Middle East turmoil; the treaty with Iran; taxes; illegal immigration; and abortion, which has now become a debate about Planned Parenthood nearly as much as abortion itself.

Except for Trump, the candidates articulated their opinions well and for the most part were polished, except for Ted Cruz, who spoke slowly and melodically, directly into the camera.  He mesmerized us with his devotion to conservative principles.  Got it.  Trump’s proposed foreign policy is to get along with people like Assad and Putin and to get good advisors who will tell him what to do.  Ridiculous.

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Christian Sharia

There is a growing idea that American Christians are being persecuted, and this came up during the debate.

John Kasich articulated it during a discussion of whether American military intervention to fight ISIS is warranted:

You wonder why young people, educated people, rich people have tried to join ISIS…We need to make it clear that our faith in the Jewish and Christian principles force us to live a life bigger than ourselves.

Mike Huckabee, who last week embraced Kim Davis on her release from jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has a lot to say about the idea that respect for Christian values is being eroded.  When Davis came up in the debate, he referred to her contempt charge as representing a “criminalization of Christianity.”  He complained that Muslims in Fort Hood and Guantanamo are given more religious accommodations than people like Davis, who he claimed represents the values of 75 percent of the people who voted her into office.

In a discussion of potential Supreme Court nominees, Huckabee asserted that the litmus test for any justice would include support of “religious liberty,” which has become code for what I call Christian sharia – the idea that laws can be changed to incorporate values tied to Christianity.

Speaking of sharia, I find it amazing that no one has chastised Ben Carson for his proposal that the tax code be based on biblical tithing.  That is an unmistakable proposal for Christian sharia throughout the country.

Trump Goes a Step Too Far

I knew the day was coming, but when it happened it infuriated me nonetheless. 

Last night at a town hall meeting in Rochester, New Hampshire, Trump opened the floor to questions.  The very first question asked was how Trump proposed to solve the “Muslim problem” in the U.S.

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“We have a problem in this country.  It’s called Muslims,” the questioner said.  “…we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”

Remember in 2008, when John McCain was running against Barack Obama, he participated in a similar town hall and took a question from a woman who said that Obama wasn’t trustworthy because “he’s an Arab”? 

McCain immediately took the mike back from her, shaking his head.  He corrected her and went on to say that Obama was a good man.

Seven years later the potential Republican candidate barely seemed to register the weight of a far worse question.

“We’re going to be looking into a lot of different things,” replied Trump.  “A lot of people are saying that bad things are happening, and we’re going to be looking into that and plenty of other things.”

I despise Donald Trump the candidate, but at times I think I should despise his supporters more.

He does not seem to care about the import of anything he says.

Either he does not know or does not care about the growing level of anti-Muslim bigotry in this country, including “Muslim-free” gun ranges right there in the state of New Hampshire.

Trump’s response to nearly every issue is to grimace and nod and say ‘we’re gonna do something’ and he’s going to get the best people around him.

He needs to be taken to account for ignoring a supporter’s plea to “get rid of” Muslims. If he can let a comment like that one go, he isn’t fit to do anything but build his egotistical empire of money and celebrity.  His supporters should be ashamed of themselves.

Of all the candidates on the debate stage, he is not number one, as the polls claim.  He is the lowest, the worst, a zero.

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9 responses to “Why We Have to Talk About Trump: The GOP Debate and Beyond”

  1. Dawn says:

    Interesting. As a lifelong Christian, I have never heard the term Christian “sharia”. This term is certainly not in the Holy Bible and while Jesus Christ is the Role Model for Christian morals and values, He never forced His moral values, teachings and behaviors to be codified into a list of civil punishable offenses if not followed. Rather, following Jesus is a matter of personal choice. Whether or not such as lying or stealing is identified as laws deserving punishment if not followed is a civil issue and decision in the west, not a religious one of Christians only. Does not Islam teach lying and stealing as offensive to their deity as well? And is it not Islam alone which in the name of its deity combines acceptable moral behavior with its defined punishment? And may I ask that the author define what is meant by the remark “values tied to Christianity” besides the one value mentioned, known as Biblical tithing? Thank you.

    • Ridwan says:

      Hi Dawn,
      Thanks for you question, I hope you can read this with a sincere, open heart.
      That statements you made had a lot of presumptions about islam, often times I’ve heard these presumptions from many Americans. For example a good christian friend of mine told me that the more conservative position is what ISIS follows regarding fighting, when I showed him the verses of Jihad in the Quran it completely went counter to his ideas. First I want to say is please read the quran and do not get your education solely from pastors, the church, or the media as my friend did.

      Now in regards to your points, first in all my reading of the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or the Quran I have never read that it is part of a muslim’s belief to force others to accept his religion. In contrast non muslims were allowed under muslim rule to practice their own law, and even worship in their holy places. ‘There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.’ (2:256) The Prophet (peace be upon him) never punished non muslims for drinking alcohol, or doing things that were right in their own religion. The only times I have read he punished were when muslims openly committed crimes, or when they confessed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), and there were instances where he would just turn them away saying go back. So in regards to imposing Islam on others, it is not allowed.
      Now in regards to muslims, let me ask you this if muslims as a majority in their own nation choose that they would like the sharia to be practiced upon themselves, what right do you or anybody for that matter have to prevent them from their freedom of choice. Just because you don’t like some of the punishments it doesn’t matter. I personally dislike in this country how there are hotlines that aid in the destruction of the family, enocuraging one to cheat on their spouse. Since however I’m a citizen of this country and this is ok by the law I have to respect it. Now why do muslims in their own countries have to accept adultery, I have spoken to christians about this and all of them agree that the American family is fading away and with that comes so many problems. In a country which practices sharia, such a heinous crime is punished by stoning only when it is done in public and there are 4 eyewitnesses to the act. Now if muslims choose to preserve the sanctity of family by implementing this law by their own freedom of choice then why should you force them to accept adultery as a norm and a as a good thing as it is here in America.

  2. Hi Dawn. Others on this site may give a more eloquent definition of sharia than I can, but the word does not refer only to a code of criminal justice, which is the way it’s commonly misinterpreted. It refers to guidelines for all aspects of Muslim life, from governance to prayer rituals. To use the tithing example, because tithing has specific guidelines, the word sharia would be apt. I don’t mean to say Christianity and Islam are the same, only that both religions follow particular rituals.

    As for “values tied to Christianity,” I don’t think I can define them as well as Christians can based on their denomination or specific faith practice. The point is not what any particular religious values are but how appropriate it is to enforce them in our law.

  3. Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena says:

    Barack Obama – “he is an Arab”.
    ALLAAHU AKBAR.!
    Haji Abdul Kareem Nandasena.
    Sri Lanka.

  4. Ismail says:

    Wow, and I thought Presidential debates in my so-called “Muslim country” were made up of useless characters!

  5. M.Mahmud says:

    These candidates reflect the sheer stupidity and ignorance of the average GOP voter. They are stunningly incompetent and evil people especially Huckabee and Cruz.

    I remember a narration of how in the end of time the lowly will be trusted and given power.

    This may be the start of it. There is absolutely nothing of value or leadership any of these have to offer. That they are even considered genuine is just insane.

    It’s really surreal. God help Muslims.

    On a side note, if anyone wanted evidence democracy is a sham then this is it. Democracy, kingship, authoritatian governance, all of these succeed with a combination of gifted leadership and ideal conditions or fail due to a deficiency in them.

  6. M.S. says:

    Salaams:

    Okay, I hate politics but I love watching from the sidelines and commenting on it.

    I think political demagoguery and scapegoating is the bread and butter of any modern democracy model. The American system included. Folks, pick up any American history if you don’t believe me. I hate to generalize, however in the last 100 years, American elections were always based on which politician can get the crowds “worked up” and out to vote. Whether it is through hate mongering or otherwise, it has always been about who can set the tone and frame the issues/arguments first; can get the media bosses excited about selling headlines again; can yell the loudest and separate himself from the pack; can sway the general masses that he is their savior, the promised son that will bring safety and security from the coming doom and gloom, and save them from the “boogeymen” that are lurking everywhere.

    To cut a long story short, human beings have a proclivity to listening to messages like “look how bad those people are, we are better” and “you know they hate you”. That message resonates well – especially in politics. For someone to get elected in this country, the politician has to have a convenient scapegoat to lay the blame of all the problems of the beautiful nation. At one time (or I should say for a long time) it was the native Indian people. The politicians always reminded people that everything bad started with the un-godly Indian heathens. Politicians got elected on the message on eradicating the native-Indian problem. Many well known ones. Then other immigrants got their fair share. The black people under slavery, were the scapegoat or a while. That project ran for many years simultaneously with the native Indian problem. And it produced many many election results. At one point the Spaniards and the Mexicans also took the limelight in the south, he southwest and the west. Then other non-English immigrants stated coming to this country and they got it as well. The catholic Irish immigrants got it bad for some time, they were many colorful names for them; lazy and drunkards were some of the popular we can say online. Then the Italian immigrants got their share as well; they were blamed for originating all kinds of social ills. Many city, county and state elections were won or lost, based on how well a politician vilified the Irish and the Italians, more than the other guy. Of course how can we forget how evil the Germans and the Japanese were – it didn’t matter that the ones already living here in the USofA, were law abiding citizens, and were active members, part & parcel of the society.

    Anyways, my point is, what we seeing today is exactly what it is – demagoguery. Donald Trump (I hate to say credit to him, but credit to him) figured out that he needed a message that will resonate with a mindless crowd. Something that would distinguish him from all the other [weirdos] that are running for the presidency. Something attention grabbing like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater – he found a scapegoat and yelled out “the Mexicans”.

    Even with it’s vile and disgusting undertones, the Donald succeeded very well with his attacks on the Mexicans. It got him on the AM and PM news, and it got him poll numbers that were phenomenal with the crowds that he wanted to attract. (In an American election cycle, it is the numbers from joe-mini-6-pack, which matter until party-nomination day. Then the real two-party-system fun starts.) And as he rode the “Mexican” gravy train, I believe phase two of the Donald’s rise to the top was going to be launching another round of vomit on a different group of new immigrants – the American Muslims. But Dr. Ben (needs-a-brain-operation & a copy of the US constitution) Carson caught on to the Donald’s ideas and promptly unleashed his version. So far, the baying crowds and the blood-thirsty media are absolutely loving Dr. Carson – their tiny brains have already forgotten about the “criminal” Mexican who wants to take their land, their jobs and their women. Go figure! The Donald is a very shrewd businessman and from what I am seeing, is good at selling the “cool-aid”, but I don’t know if Dr. Ben Carson can out-do the Donald yet. We will just have to wait and see.

    Peace.

  7. […] have accused the media of giving Trump too much air time, ink and bytes, and that's valid, but as I have written before, we cannot ignore Trump.  Quite the opposite: we should scrutinize his statements. […]

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