By Felipe Bueno, Trending Writer
Donald Trump. Just reading those words stirs strong emotions in almost everyone, no matter where on the political spectrum they may sit. When he announced he was preparing to run for office, Trump was an unknown quantity. He was a dark horse with unknown intentions and possibilities.
Having never held any political office, the American people were curious as to what his campaign would be like, and it was not long until the media exploded with commentary on his statements. At first, leftist media outlets criticized him for his comments, which they claimed were xenophobic, racist, sexist, hateful, and just about every negative adjective that one could imagine. This is in fact a trend that continues today. The right wing media on the other hand praised Trump for saying what other politicians wouldn’t, and claiming that his revisionist policies reflected what the American people truly desired.
Whether people want to admit it or not, they were right. Donald Trump is successful because he is in demand, people truly do want a candidate with his stance. The important question is one of morality: should people want a candidate with his beliefs for president? There are very serious implications to having Trump for president.
Since his comments can be construed as hateful, they will be. There is very little room to take an admittance of sexual assault as nothing more than “locker room talk,” because his proclamation seems to have been based on action. His actions have been taken by many as horrendous and negative, with the majority of his own party refusing to support him. Voters often fail to look beyond our borders and question what the implications electing someone who makes those kinds of comments may be. Additionally, voters fail to realize what effect this may have on them.
Not only do his actions set examples for the American people, they set precedent. Albert Bandura, a Stanford University psychologist, wrote extensively on social behavior theory and stated that “Children observe the people around them, and create ‘models.’ Then, “these models provide examples of behavior to observe and imitate.” Trumps comments could potentially create a generation of sexually abusive, xenophobic, and racist Americans.
Voters tend to “look the other way” on these topics because of something behavioral finance calls ‘Confirmation Bias’. Which is the gathering of facts after making a decision and taking into account only those facts that support our prefabricated decision. People let Trump’s comments slide because he says just enough to support their ideals and miss-calculate how negatively these comments may impact the world’s view of America as well as the upbringing of our children.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 25th print edition.
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