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07/18/2015

Is Donald Trump entertaining?

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Is Donald Trump entertaining? Many in the media seem to think so. Coverage of Trump is intense. The Huffington Post, trying to marginalize him and his candidacy, has decided to confine coverage of his Presidential campaign to their entertainment section. But Trump is no joke. Treating him as such is inexcusable.

Promoting racism should never get a pass. Bioethicists familiar with the ways in which racism has fueled totalitarian politics and prejudice in medicine know this all too well. When one of the leading candidates for President in a major political party spews bigotry and hate as key themes of his campaign serious attention must be paid, and serious condemnation proffered.

The political experts all say that Trump cannot possibly win. Really? That is what their great grandparents said about a hate monger with a lousy haircut and a very odd mustache who the cognoscenti summarily dismissed as an awful public speaker and, thus, not a real candidate for the highest office in Germany.

Hitler become Chancellor of Germany in 1933. His constant unchecked chatter about the need to preserve the nation’s racial identity from ‘non-Germans’ and his constant warning, that had the full support of many doctors and scientists, about the need to stop ‘non-Germans’ from spreading ‘disease’ through marriage and immigration, allowed Hitler to emerge triumphant in a nation worried about all these claims.

Donald Trump is a racist firmly in the repugnant tradition of Hitler and race hygiene. When you call all Mexicans rapists, criminals, drug-dealers, losers, and the source of disease — just as Hitler alleged about Jews, gypsies and blacks– when you disparage an entire ethnic group as the cause of all your country’s woes, you deserve to be called out on the editorial pages as a hate-monger not laughed at on the entertainment pages as a buffoon.

Giving Trump a highly visible national platform to promulgate racism without a serious effort to call-out what he is doing by both his party and the mainstream media leaves a sickening blight on Mexicans and Latinos that will endure long after he is gone. That is not funny. It is not entertaining. It is not amusing. It is a serious distortion of the facts fueled by raw bigotry and Trump should be soundly and straightforwardly condemned for the raw racist that he is.

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