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Well, Donald Trump is at it again! Last week, Trump criticized U.S. District Judge Gonazalo Curiel, claiming that the judge was exhibiting bias while presiding over the “Trump University” litigation. The resulting backlash has led many to wonder if Trump is, yet again, resorting to the brash behavior that has become the theme of his presidential campaign.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Judge Curial is the son of Mexican immigrants, which Trump claims presents a conflict of interest due to his pledge to build a wall along the U.S. border. There is no substantive evidence that Judge Curiel has been motivated by bias, and it appears that the litigation will continue as scheduled.
Now, I usually refuse to play the race game, and I am strongly against the politically-correct rhetoric that attempts to classify any controversial conversation as “discriminatory”. I will say that Donald Trump’s comments were irrational, and I personally disagree with his choice of words. However, I am not going to try to make this into another “TRUMP IS RACIST” piece.
You can decide for yourself whether or not Trump is a racist. What I care about is the effect that Trump’s actions are having on the conservative movement. By consistently trying to exploit and manipulate the frustrations of the First Amendment supporters, he is providing the left with ammunition that can, and will, be used to slander, criticize, and demerit conservatives of all backgrounds.
It’s important to understand that Trump is an exception to the rule. A man like Donald Trump will hurl insults and accusations at ANYONE who disagrees with him. When his ego is threatened, he has a tendency to respond in the most offensive ways imaginable. While there is a stark difference between an egomaniac and a racist, it is important to realize that perception is everything.
In the eyes of the progressives, Republicans and conservatives are already made out to be racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Christian, white males. I may have missed a few, but you get the idea. Donald Trump’s behavior does nothing to improve this image, on the contrary, it feeds into it. Hillary Clinton has, to no surprise, already capitalized on his comments, referring to them as “dangerous” and “bigoted”. Unfortunately, considering the facts, it becomes increasingly hard to debate her assessment.
As I’ve discussed in previous posts, MOST conservatives are willing to be tolerant of others, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc. However, we believe that tolerance cannot be one-sided, nor does it mean that we need to accept or support things that we disagree with. I will be tolerant and respect you, as long as you don’t try to FORCE me to support your views.
Despite accusations from the social justice warriors, it is possible to be anti-political correctness, pro-free speech, and pro-tolerance. There are many rational individuals who oppose the politically-correct agenda, not because they want to intentionally hurt others, but because they desire the freedom to express their views without experiencing vicious backlash from progressive hypocrisy. Most of us just want the freedom to live our lives and to be left alone.
Donald Trump does not represent a true conservative attitude towards free speech, in fact, he represents the antithesis. Although he has gathered many followers in his crusade against political correctness, we have to be honest about what his main goal is: to crush any form of speech that bruises his ego. By exploiting the well-understood frustrations of the free-speech advocates, he is able to utilize his signature bully tactics to discredit those who oppose him.
My plea for the American public is this: don’t let Donald Trump define your opinion of all conservatives. We do not use speech to intentionally hurt others. We use free speech to stand up for our beliefs and values, and we refuse to bow down to political bullies. Instead of falling victim to schemes designed to discredit us, we need to stand together and show that we do not condone speech that is derogatory and divisive.