We need Donald Trump

I know what you’re thinking. Calm down. Don’t throw the paper away and delete me from Facebook just yet.

I know what you’re thinking. Calm down. Don’t throw the paper away and delete me from Facebook just yet (especially now that I found these new hilarious cat videos to share).

The headline was purposely provocative, and I’ll tell you why…

We’ve all been watching what’s happening in America. While we just elected a prime minister who is promoting love and acceptance – welcoming Syrian refugees with warmth, appointing a diverse cabinet with an equal number of men and women and improving relations with First Nations – our neighbours down south have a presidential candidate proposing to ban all Muslims from their country and calling illegal immigrants from Mexico “rapists.”

Not only that, Trump told Yahoo News that he would consider requiring Muslim-Americans to register with a government database, treating Muslim-Americans as second-class citizens. While we all thought Trump was funny and harmless at first, his ideals have become increasingly dangerous.

Just last week, William Celli, a 55-year-old California man, was arrested after making explosives in his home and targeting a Muslim community. According to police, the man had posted messages on Facebook professing support for Trump and opposition to Muslims.

While Trump’s ideas may sound ridiculous, archaic and even funny to most (normal) people, the truth is that his racist rhetoric resonates with a large number of American voters. This is the main reason we are all still incessantly hearing about Trump on the news (that and his hair, of course). Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from the country has actually helped his election campaign (sometimes I just wish Oprah would run for president).

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, a majority of Republicans support Trump’s call to temporarily block Muslims from entering the United States, even as a clear majority of the public overall rejects the idea. Nearly 60 per cent of Republicans support Trump’s proposal while 60 per cent of Americans think this is the wrong thing to do.

While Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson has urged a developer to drop Trump’s name from a downtown tower project, saying Trump’s “hateful positions” have no place in the city, and a petition to ban Trump from the United Kingdom has had more than 300,000 signatures, Trump’s support in America only seems to be growing.

So why do we need Donald Trump, you ask me? Simple. Because he’s helping expose an ugly mindset that still exists in America and in other parts of the world. He’s helping expose the racism, the prejudices, the hidden fears and intolerance that arises from them – things we all thought had diminished after Nazi Germany. And he is doing it in a brilliant way – he is being so absurd and theatrical that is almost shocking he would have a growing number of supporters. Author Stephen King summarized this perfectly, “Donald Trump is a carnival man, an entertainer, a buffon. His fans are white, scared and angry. He will never be elected, not so long as minorities, liberals and educated people vote, but he has certainly exposed the ugly underbelly of conservatives in America today.”

We need Trump because he is helping pave the way for better leaders. By being ludicrous, he is reminding us of why we need to promote peace and acceptance among nations.

I believe he’s a smart man, and he knows exactly how absurd he has been.

As Trump himself has said it, “The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts.”