It’s 2016, and the infamous steak merchant Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States of America. Something that was once the realm of dystopian jokes and Simpsons parodies, is actually happening. If you are still confused about why this is a very, very bad thing, here are just a few reasons:
1. His infamous comments about Megan Kelly: The feud between Donald Trump and Fox News anchor Megan Kelly has now reached historical proportions. In the first Republican Primary Debate in August 2015, Megan Kelly questioned Trump about his attitude towards women, specifically towards calling them, “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.” Trump fired back, later making a derogatory remark about Kelly on CNN: “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” sparking a year-long feud.
2. Advocated building a wall: At the crux of Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ campaign is the border wall between the United States and Mexico, or at the very least, the idea of it. It’s the cornerstone to Trump’s plan to keep the illegal immigrants out, or at least the Mexicans who, in Trump’s own words, are “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
Trump contends that his border wall will cost 12 million dollars and that he will make “Mexico pay for it”, But a report by Washington Post found that it will cost more than 25 billion dollars and no, Mexico has no plans to pay for it.
3. Ban Muslims: In the wake of the San Bernandino shooting, where a Muslim couple shot and killed at least 14 people, Trump advocated a ban on all Muslims entering America. This was followed by condemnation both from people of his party and outside, though clearly not enough for his poll numbers, which surged. Trump hasn’t buckled much on his hardline stance against Muslims, either, including making casually racist remarks about the father of a deceased Muslim-American war hero, who criticised Trump’s policies.
4. ‘Pussygate’: The moment which many declared as the straw that broke the (proverbial) camel’s back. We only wish. Caught on camera telling Billy Bush (yes, related to the Bush family) of Access Hollywood fame that “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait… When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Yes and they also apparently let you be President of the United States.
5. How he treats women: From Megan Kelly, to his former wives, to participants in talent shows like Miss Universe and his own show (The Apprentice), to people he’s running against: Donald Trump has left no stone unturned to insult, humiliate, degrade, objectify women. Including his own daughter, Ivanka Trump, whom he called a “piece of ass”. He has repeatedly aired misogynist views, from asking why anyone would vote for Carly Fiorina because of her face to calling the editor-in-chief of “The Huffington Post” unattractive and implying that her husband left her because of that.
6. Multiple accusations of rape and sexual harassment: Till date, over 10 women (and counting) have accused the President-Elect of various forms of sexual misconduct, including forcible kissing, groping, mistreatment, discrimination, and rape. His ex-wife Ivana alleged, in the 1993 book “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives Of Donald Trump”, that her then husband had raped her (an allegation she later suddenly dropped). Trump was even accused by an unnamed woman of having raped her when she was 13, but it was recently dropped by her attorney under alleged threats from Trump supporters.
The majority of these allegations still persist, however. So the next time someone says rape allegations can “ruin” a man’s career? Clearly, #NotAllMen.
7. Advocated war crimes: According to Donald Trump, the best way to deal with terrorists is apparently “to take out their families”. “They care about their lives, don’t kid yourselves. They say they don’t care about their lives. But you have to take out their families.”
This is a war crime according to the 1949 Geneva Convention, made specifically in response to the two World Wars which saw horrific civilian casualties. But of course, he didn’t stop there and went on to reiterate his support for waterboarding, a form on torture. Even on being told that torture is actually counterproductive and doesn’t actually help anyone (not to mention a terrible thing to do), this was his response: “Even if it doesn’t work they deserve it.”
8. Incited violence: Trump has repeatedly incited violence amongst his protesters at his rallies. From personally threatening protesters with violence, to urging his supporters to beat up protesters, to yearning for the “good old days” when protesters used to be treated “very, very rough”, to even insinuating that Hillary should be assassinated, Trump has crossed the inflammatory speech barrier several times.
9. Made fun of a reporter’s disability: Last November, after Trump’s claim, based on a misreading of a 2001 Washington Post article, that “thousands of Muslims” celebrated the fall of the Twin Towers was proved false, Trump chose to defend his claims by doing an ableist impression of the article’s author Serge Kovaleski. Kovaleski suffers from a congenital joint disease called arthrogryposis. Trump defended his gross actions by claiming he was doing a generic impression of a “grovelling reporter” and had no idea what the author looked like – a defense debunked by Kovaleski himself, who said that they had met at least once.
10. The Trump University fraud: Trump has been engaged in a long-standing legal battle over Trump University, a for-profit University that claimed to offer “graduate programs, post-graduate programs, doctorate programs,” in real estate. Several former students and staff have claimed that the “University” was in fact a giant scam, charging students large amounts of money for seminars that were of no use, and posing as an University when it was not officially accredited. The University was sued in 2013, and Trump is due in court this month.
11. Cut off health benefits for nephew’s chronically ill child: The many people Donald Trump has ripped off include his own family. Way back in 2000, Donald Trump cut off his nephew, Fred Trump III, from the family health plan – thus removing crucial funding for Fred’s son, William Trump who suffers from a rare, chronic neurological disease.
12. Chronic liar: That Donald Trump lies, constantly, all the time, sometimes even in contradiction to his previous lies, is no secret. Even his own lawyers cannot trust him completely, as revealed by court documents. Fact checkers have repeatedly caught him out on his lies, but nothing has seemed to deter either him or his supporters. And while having a liar as the leader a country is a fairly commonplace phenomenon, one of this magnitude is cause for a lot of alarm.
13. His campaign platform: Even by Republican standards, Trump’s campaign platform has been one of the most regressive and hateful of all time, running on unprecedented displays of bigotry, sexism, racism, and xenophobia (see above) and pushing popular conservative agendas like the scrapping of abortion. Tapping into the insecurities of a white middle class that has felt ignored and disenfranchised by progressivism, and a white working class that has actually been ignored and disenfranchised for a long time, the campaign fanned up a racist zeitgeist that helped push them into the White House. Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence are set to do severe damage to LGBTQ rights and women’s reproductive health and potentially roll back whatever progress America has managed to achieve since Obama was elected President.
The thing to remember after all of this? None of this cost him the presidency.