Archive for Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Opinion: Trump rhetoric fuels hatred

March 16, 2016


The violence at the most recent political rallies for Donald Trump must be taken as a message of great social importance. Initially the media and many Americans believed that Trump’s candidacy was a stunt and would soon fizzle out. Trump, however, has proved that his candidacy is serious. He is has tapped into a vein of raw anger, if not rage, that threatens the very life of our republic.

Now, finally, many people realize that Trump and his rhetoric of hate is dangerous, but what is more dangerous, to my mind, is that millions of Americans are attracted to Trump’s demagoguery. His message is simple: He is going to make America “great” again. He is going to do this by building a wall on the border with Mexico and applying his self-declared negotiating brilliance to global politics.

In fact, Mr. Trump has revealed few details of any serious policies or plans. The notion of a wall with Mexico is ludicrous. It has been discussed for years and always rationality has prevailed. The type of wall Mr. Trump favors would be financially impossible to build and impossible to police were it somehow to be built. The idea that we will force Mexico to pay for it is even more ludicrous. How will we do this? Will we declare war on Mexico?

At the heart of the Trump campaign is also a simple idea: hatred and scapegoating.  Many Americans are depressed and desperate. The effects of the crash of 2008 are still being felt. Many Americans are seeing their jobs disappear. Many Americans are discovering that their skills do not fit in with the new, changing economy and that they are unable to go back to school to acquire new skills.

In such a situation it is comforting to be told that there is a single cause of all this grief. And the cause, of course, is some group of “foreigners” who are stealing jobs from Americans. But where is the factual basis for these claims? Trump has learned that scapegoating attracts support. The Nazis knew this. Now Trump knows it. And he is using the rage of everyday Americans to further his own ambitions regardless of the results.

What was deemed to be political burlesque has become deadly serious and violent. There seems to be little chance that the violence breaking out at Trump rallies will decrease unless Trump himself changes his rhetoric and stops fueling ordinary Americans’ rage and fear.

We need a president who has constructive ideas and who can provide solutions to the very real problems that have made so many Americans so angry. Hatred, racism, violence; these will not solve the problems we face as a nation. They will only make them worse.

— Mike Hoeflich, a distinguished professor in the Kansas University School of Law, writes a regular column for the Journal-World.


Bart Johnson 1 year, 10 months ago

Yet again, an establishment figure doesn't understand the Trump phenomenon. Here's the thing, your whole "Hatred, racism, violence" line is baloney. We all know it's baloney and the thing about Trump is that he doesn't back down and apologize in terror because of your words. THAT is why people support him. So when you folks keep coming at him using these same tactics, you are only driving more people to support Trump. What we're tired of is YOU. We want to try and have a civil discussion about immigration, but you folks just shout "RACIST!!!" in order to shut down all debate. We're tired of that baloney and we can't wait to have someone in a position of power that will stand up to you bullies.

So keep coming at him. He's exposing you for what you are. If you establishment folks really want to hurt Trump, then you should endorse him. It's YOU that we are against.

Jim Slade 1 year, 10 months ago

You want to have a civil discussion about immigration...


There it is folks, the dumbest thing you'll read all day.

A civil discussion on the topic would start with reforming the immigration process to make it cheap and easy to immigrate in with no limits on the numbers of people allowed in. The lottery is BS and the costs are extravagant.

Migrant workers should be encouraged to enter to work during peak seasons.

But you're not really interested in that discussion, are you?

Jim Slade 1 year, 10 months ago

Bring those immigrant onto the tax rolls and increase your tax base, thereby lowering the tax rate.

Who cares who they tend to vote for? Would it be ok if they voted republican 2 to 1? It's their right to choose who they vote for. We don't base immigration acceptance on their political candidate opinions.

The FBI doesn't vet every person born in the U.S.; by and large most terroristic activity within the U.S. is committed by U.S. born citizens.

There are record levels of unemployment by young black men because of the draconian war on drugs brought to you by the GOP (imagine how much money we've wasted on that!). Try getting a decent job when you got caught with a dime bag as a black teen and had to do 6 months.

Jim Slade 1 year, 9 months ago

Housing construction is not low skilled. It pays decently and those wages do pay into taxes. You generalized a whole population into being low skilled. You're 0 for 1.

Just because someone doesn't vote for YOUR candidate it does not mean that it will turn this nation into a third world nation. You're 0 for 2.

OKC. Ft Hood. Atlanta Olympics. Abortion clinics. Unabomber. Columbine. Aurora theater. You're 0 for 3.

Egg and the chicken. Which came first? Poverty or drugs. This subject is very nuanced. We'll call this a draw.

You have failed to critically think about my responses in a satisfactory manner.

Bob Summers 1 year, 10 months ago


Put your critical thinking cap on. You are thinking pre-transformation.

The country is in post-transformation. The North American Union is well on it's way to being completed, Open boarders is accomplishing just what the leaders of Obama planned.

Whomever is President next will carry on with the plan.

I am guessing, Trump has recently been informed of the plan.

He will either comply, or be usher out of the process.

Bob Summers 1 year, 10 months ago

...says the distinguished professor with the Liberal condition.

Don't forget Professor. Soros is funding the fuels for that hatred.

Since you are distinguished, you might comment on the fuel used.

In fact, Mr. Trump has revealed few details of any serious policies or plans.

In fact, since you are distinguished, you might venture to Trump's web site where your pondering accusations would be mollified.

Paul Beyer 1 year, 10 months ago

And the first 2 posts are prime examples of what Trump is doing and the hatred he's pandering to.

Bob Summers 1 year, 10 months ago

Speaking of pandering to hatred

March 14, 2016, 05:58 pm Trump spox: Saying ‘bringing a knife to a gun fight’ incites violence By Mark Hensch

If we want to talk about inciting violence, where is the interview when [Democratic presidential front-runner] Hillary Clinton and [President] Barack Obama when they’re talking about ‘bringing a gun to a knife fight?’” Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson asked host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead."

"Obama invoked the phrase 'bringing a knife to a gun fight' during his 2008 presidential campaign against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), that year's Republican nominee.

"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," he said of countering GOP attacks against him during a fundraiser in Philadelphia in June 2008. "Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I've seen Eagles fans."

Joe Herynk 1 year, 10 months ago

Agree with Bob Johnson. Anyone who protects the status quo rather than the embracing the possibility of a brighter future due to change, is an active member of an establishment.

Our education system (establishment) has not produced student performance commensurate with the amount of money our country spends on education. Compared to other developed nations, our student performance ranks number 30. In order to improve student performance there must be change even though it may be disruptive and uncomfortable to the educational establishment.

Richard Aronoff 1 year, 10 months ago

If I were Professor Hoeflich, I'd be more worried about the college "brown shirts" on campuses all over the country shouting down and in some cases assaulting people expressing opinions with which they disagree --- "Hey, I need some muscle over here!"

The answer to offensive speech is more speech --- not near-riots.

Here's a good discussion regarding the "Heckler's Veto."

Bob Summers 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm sure the distinguished Hoeflich knows where all the safe places are on campus to evade the Brown shirts shouting.

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