What demographic will be next on Trump's growing list of "just temporarily" banned people? After he said on Wednesday that women should be punished for receiving an abortion if the procedure is banned, it's looking as though all women might be the target of Trump's latest tirade. One Twitter user, @OhNoSheTwitnt, sardonically suggested that Trump may approach women as he did Mexican immigrants and Muslims. She tweeted:
Trump: I propose we ban all women from this country. Not permanently. Just until we can figure out what they're planning.
It might sound extreme and completely out of the question. After all, this is America, right? But based on what's come out of Trump's mouth thus far, it's not that far-fetched. If anything, this rude but necessary awakening should remind Americans to take the real-world implications of Trump's inflammatory comments seriously, because like it or not, he's inching closer to becoming the GOP's next presidential nominee.
Trump's behavior operates on a surprisingly predictable pattern. He attacks one group of people, and it sparks controversy and oftentimes outrage. However, the outrage is rarely channeled in a way that holds the candidate accountable for his un-American rhetoric. And once it dies down, he creates yet another illusion of division by making greater generalizations about a different group of people. That progression began with his statements about Mexicans, and most recently manifested in his comments on women and abortion.
Last June, when he announced his bid for the presidency, Trump said that some undocumented Mexican immigrants were rapists:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.
Sure, people with criminal records cross the border illegally. In response to that, it's understandable to believe that the government should make it more difficult to illegally cross the border. But this should not, as Trump is implicitly suggesting, mean we should create gross generalizations about Mexicans as a whole. And it shouldn't incite fear by conflating Mexicans with people who rape and commit crimes. That's perpetuating racism. Now apply this scenario to the candidate's most recent statement on women who seek out abortions. Will he make generalizations about women? How far will those generalizations go?
Initially, Trump made the "punishment" comment during an MSNBC forum with Chris Matthews, who asked him how he would implement a ban on abortion. Trump's response shocked viewers, as well as fellow Republicans.
You go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places. But you have to ban it ... There has to be some form of punishment.
Apparently, Trump hadn't thought before he spoke, because he rescinded his "punishment" remark later that evening. Becoming more open-minded and aware of new viewpoints is human nature, and should be something which we all — politicians included — aspire to. It signifies that we are growing as understanding individuals. However, Trump's retraction doesn't fit into this category. His misstep is the result of careless, hatred-inciting rhetoric that leaders cannot afford to spew. In fact, Trump's most recent statements against women and abortion indicate that his views are becoming increasingly dangerous to a greater group of Americans. Imagine what four years in office would do for his ego.
During February's GOP debate in Houston, Trump proved he was the most progressive candidate on the stage — which is not saying much — after being the only candidate on the stage to admit that Planned Parenthood does good things for women. He simultaneously promoted the establishment's unwavering quest to defund it, but it was a small step forward nonetheless.
Millions of millions of women -- cervical cancer, breast cancer -- are helped by Planned Parenthood. I would defund it because I'm pro-life, but millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.
That same candidate who tried to talk sense into the GOP but ultimately gave into its ultra-conservatism claimed about a month later that women seeking abortion should be punished. Several hours later, he took that statement back. And Americans are enabling him to speak on a national stage. The man receives insane amounts of publicity because no one knows what he's going to say. His unpredictability keeps him relevant and entertaining, but it also paves way for some frightening possibilities. Who's getting banned next? Or maybe we just shouldn't worry since it will only be "temporary." You're killing us softly, Trump. One by one.