I’m not sure if I even wanted to add my voice to the chorus of people from both sides of the political fence in denouncing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his bigotry and reckless demagoguery, but with his recent attack on the Philippines and Filipinos, I know I just have to.
Trump touched the nerves of Filipinos when he lumped the Philippines with the likes of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Uzbekistan as countries whose citizens should be barred from immigrating to the United States because they could potentially be recruited into Islamic terrorist groups.
“You have no idea who they are. This could be the great Trojan horse of all time,” he said, repeating his warning that terrorists, including members of the Islamic State extremist group, will sneak into the United States as refugees. This is a practice that has to stop.”
“We’re dealing with animals,” he said.
His unforgiveable attack on Filipinos exposed his unmatched duplicity because some years back, when he launched his real estate project bearing his name in Manila, he had high praises for the country: “I’ve always loved the Philippines. I think it is just a special place, and Manila is one of Asia’s most spectacular cities.”
Filipinos are not the only ones shocked and worried by Trump’s tirades. Even some top members of the party that nominated him have openly said they would not vote for Trump with 50 former national security officials warning he would be the “most reckless president in American history” if elected.
The group, which included former homeland security chiefs, intelligence directors, senior presidential advisors and a former US trade representative, said: “We are convinced that he would be a dangerous president and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
They said the brash billionaire is unfit for office, saying that Trump “lacks the character, values, and experience to be president” and displays “alarming ignorance of basic facts” of international politics. They warned that Trump’s “erratic behavior” has alarmed America’s closest allies and that he fails to recognize the indispensible nature of such diplomatic relationships.
Trump first showed his bigotry and racist character when early in the campaign, he called Mexico a nation that sends its illegal drug traffickers, rapists and killers as immigrants to the US. He then vowed to build a wall between the US and Mexico.
Then he turned his attention to Muslim immigrants. He said he would stop all foreign Muslims from entering the United States. Last month, Trump belittled the parents of a slain Muslim US serviceman who had strongly denounced Trump during the Democratic National Convention. The soldier’s father, Trump suggested, delivered the whole speech because his mother was not allowed to speak.
Pakistani immigrant Khizr Khan galvanized the Democratic National Convention with a tribute to his dead son in which he rebuked the Republican nominee for having “sacrificed nothing” for the country.
US billionaire Warren Buffet rebuked Trump for belittling Khan’s speech. “How in the world can you stand up to a couple of parents who have lost a son and talk about sacrificing because you were building a bunch of buildings?”
Buffett is one of several extremely wealthy Americans to back Clinton for president, including billionaire and independent former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
The 50 former Republican national security officials have every reason to be concerned about a Trump presidency. With the world precipitously threading on the precipice of war in various fronts, it is frightening to think that a man as imbalanced and as reckless as Trump would be holding the code and the key to the launching of nuclear missiles that could send the world to oblivion.
Filipinos should unite this time and take the only course of action available to Americans – reject Trump.