Trump exhibits troubling mastery of deception

Khadija Saifullah


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump finally admitted Friday that President Obama was born in the States. This reversed his position on the first political issue he attached his name to five years ago.

This admission may seem irrelevant given the greater issues at hand that the government should focus on, but its implications indicate how racism still affects people of power in any corner of the States. When asking ourselves how many people have died for our country, we should remember to include the 5 million slaves and the 80-100 million Native Americans. The audacity of Trump’s false statements is not punished or reprimanded but instead taken as proof of his willingness to stand up to political correctness and to some, his ability to lead a nation even without any political experience.

Consider how far Donald Trump is estranged from facts or how little he acknowledges the contributions of many minorities to this country. He has created an imaginary realm — where Barack Obama’s birth certificate was faked and the President founded the Islamic State — and the most concerning part of this is that he is able to convince his supporters. In doing so, he draws attention towards the minor details of politics that only divide the nation and fails to address his stances on more pressing issues that the country needs a solution to, such as affordable healthcare, the minimum wage and student loans.

When politics are treated like a battlefield rather than a platform for making progress and solving pertinent issues, society pays the cost. Trump’s insistence that Obama founded the Islamic State precludes a more important debate over how to deal with violent extremists.

And by this same token, Hillary Clinton’s proposals on paid parental leave go unattended and the case for affordable healthcare and manageable student loans is drowned out by irrelevant demands such as for walls cutting us off from bordering countries, banning entire ethnic and religious groups and better yet — investigating the President’s birthplace.

On Friday, when Trump got on the podium to make his statement, reversing himself on the issue he had created five years ago, I couldn’t help but wonder why his priorities lie in his insecurities as a presidential nominee. When President Obama was elected as the first black president eight years ago, people stopped and pondered how far we have come from the Selma to Montgomery march just a little over 50 years ago. When politicians such as Trump’s make the political system dysfunctional, their ramifications contribute to the alienation and lack of trust in institutions that give people such as Trump the audacity to make false statements in the first place.

Saifullah is a neuroscience junior from Richardson. Follow her on twitter @coolstorysunao