Verbal Trumping

Or “The only time I will defend Donald Trump”

For those of you who don’t know, Donald J Trump yesterday spoke about the 9/11 attacks, and while he was doing this, accidentally called them the 7/11 attacks. The exact quote is:

“I watched our police and our firemen down on 7/11, down at the World Trade Centre, right after it came down, and I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen in action.”

And the most unusual thing happened- the Daily Mail, Fox News, The New York Times, The BBC, and every news outlet you can think of with a vague interest in American politics suddenly exploded. Trump seems to have made the absolutely unforgiveable crime of mixing up a “9” with a “7”.

So why would I, as a left winger who detests nearly everything Trump believes in, come to his defence over this?

Because I think this was most likely a genuine mistake. Not made out of ignorance (although this is not beyond him) but a simple slip up in a speech.
I understand, of course, that there is a popular supermarket chain (or “convenience store” as they’re called in America) called “7-Eleven” who were mildly offended, and people thought that he mixed the two up, but it seems utterly facetious to make this argument: It is beyond even the stupidity of Donald Trump to think that the 9/11 attacks were carried out on top of a convenience store- it just makes no sense.

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I would not like to speculate, but it seems to me that a rather right wing media are trying to find things to condemn Trump for, that in other circumstances they would approve of- or at least tolerate- themselves.

The media often accepts Xenophobia if it comes from the right source- or any source in the case of the Daily Mail. I cannot think of another explanation as to why they lay so heavily into him for such a small mistake. Let me be clear: I’m no apologist for Donald Trump, but nor do I feel the need to say something that I don’t think merely for the sake of popularity. I do not think Donald Trump intended to say “7/11”, and nor do I think he’s actually ignorant of the fact that the attacks happened on the 11th September 2001.

Why do I say this?

Well, because Donald Trump has made ridiculous accusations about his own experiences that day, claiming that, on the day of 9/11, Muslims were celebrating on the streets of America. It’s not just false, but offensive to the people who died to create a scapegoat of all Muslims. And it’s offensive to the thousands of Muslims worldwide who had already fallen victim; losing their lives trying to fight Al Qaeda while Trump was sitting in his Golden Tower and babbling about how important freedom is.

If you’ve read and understood the above and what it implies, then you should surely be wondering by this point, why the media made such a big deal of this tiny slip up, when Trump has made statements like this.

And what about when he insisted (for a very long time) that he wanted to see Barack Obama’s birth certificate, because he had “doubts” that Obama had been born in America.

Why do we think Mr. Trump had “doubts” that Obama had been born in America?

Perhaps for the same reasons he refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan?

His statements are as thinly veiled as the racists who say that Barack Obama is a Muslim simply because he is black and has an unusual name. I hardly need to tell you how morally low he is.

Or what about his views on Mexican people?

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists.”

Or his views on greed?

“The point is, you can never be too greedy”

They don’t mention that he’s a fanatic wrestling fan who once tackled a referee during a match and then shaved the referee’s head while two guys held him down. Far from an ideal presidential candidate.

They don’t mention that he punched his music teacher in the face merely because he disagreed with him in high school, and then stated in his autobiography that he “wasn’t proud” but that was how he got what he wanted ever since, and he still uses verbal intimidation in a similar way. I don’t think that sounds particularly apologetic.

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Trump advocates an ideology of violence towards those who oppose him. Claiming about one protester at his rally “I would like to punch him in the face, I tell ya folks” and then offering to pay the legal fees for any of his supporters who acted violently during that rally.

He’s actively prejudiced against gay people. This is what he said with when he was asked what he would say to his grandchildren about Gay Marriage:

“I have been against [same-sex marriage] from the standpoint of the Bible, from the standpoint of my teachings as growing up and going to Sunday school and going to church, and I’ve been opposed to it.”

To clarify: he’s a backwards conservative, literalist bible thumper, with a strong dislike of immigrants, possible racism conducted against a president and the refusal to condemn the blatant racism of the Ku Klux Klan, spreads lies about Muslims celebrating the very thing which the Muslim world has been fighting so hard to repel, and promoting violence against those who disagree and try to question his views, while promoting “freedom.”
It seems to me to be a pretty null point that this guy once slipped up in a speech and named a supermarket instead of a horrific historical date.

If your complaint about Donald Trump is that he “doesn’t know when 9/11 was”, I think you’re not just being unfair to him, but you’re also being unfair to yourself and should immediately relativize your complaints based on what else you know about this bizarre man.

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