Donald Trump’s greatest contribution may well be that he has dragged public discourse into the gutter. Pronouncements declaring Mexicans as thieves and rapists and Muslims as nihilistic terrorists and his chauvinism suggesting that women be barred from both query and campaign based on their looks and presumed menstrual cycles stand out among other stellar pronouncements.
Yesterday, such utterances would have been political suicide. Today, thanks to Trump, they are not only expedient but assumed reflective of “the way the people feel.” As Trump plumbs new lows of public discourse, his rivals compete to outdo him. Gov. Chris Christie vows to embargo Syrian orphans under the age of 5; and Sen. Ted Cruz describes plans for Syrian refuge in this country as “lunacy.” Thankfully, this nation’s principles were somewhat different when the Cruz and Rubio families settled on these shores.
Trump wants to make America great again. But his approach destroys the comity, civility, tolerance, diversity, secularism and generosity that define the very American greatness that he wishes to restore.