Wednesday, September 21, 2016 American Dignity, or Lack Thereof

Micaela Marshall 

 A central question in this election has been: who are all these Trump supporters? If you admit to supporting Trump, many believe you are admitting to being a “deplorable” as Hillary Clinton would put it. A sexist, racist, hateful, ignorant, white supremacist. It is interesting to note that no one seems to be asking who are all these Clinton supporters? While people are quick to say reasons why they are anti-Hillary, it isn’t common for individuals to be negatively stereotyped if they admit to planning to vote for her.

Many reporters have found that the best way to identify what a “typical” Trump supporter is like, is to attend an infamous Trump rally. I recently saw a video on the New York Times website regarding Trump rallies that sparked my interest.

The video is about the type of behavior New York Times reporters following the Trump campaign witness at his rallies. Although there are people who attend Trump rallies that act in a respectful, peaceful manner, this video shows some disturbing images of Trump supporters using profanity, racism, sexism and hate.

There was no mention in the video of what, if any, similar behavior has been witnessed while covering Hillary Clinton’s campaign at her rallies. It is doubtful to assume that Clinton has no narrow-minded, hate-spewing supporters herself. 

In fact, this election seemingly has brought the worst out in everyone. 
Protesters at Trump’s rallies attend for the sole purpose of disrupting his speeches, usually by shouting obscenities and throwing themselves to the ground.

The fact that anyone supporting any candidate is quick to publicly display such behavior shows an alarming trend. A trend toward a complete lack of tact, dignity and respect for fellow Americans.
There was a time when most American's had dignity. A time when children addressed adults as Mr. and Mrs. or Ma'am and Sir. A time when celebrities, no matter how decadent they behaved in their personal lives, at least tried to maintain the public illusion of being a decent person. A time when popular songs contained no violence or profanity. And yes, there was a time when there was no reality TV. 

The way many of today’s popular, idolized reality TV stars behave displays a complete lack of dignity. The back stabbing, the yelling and fighting, the cheating, the profanity, and the trend towards total materialism and hedonism portray the lowest human behavior possible.

But, are we becoming so used to this type of behavior that it is now considered acceptable? Have we become so enamored with reality TV that Americans will actually elect a reality TV star to be the next president? Would some Americans even know who Donald Trump was if it were not for his successful reality TV show “The Apprentice,”?

There is a strong argument to be made that Trump’s TV show has nothing to do with why he is gaining voter support. For many supporters, it is the fact that he portrays himself as a political outsider and a strong businessman that attracts them to Trump. They believe that he will bring more jobs back to America, protect our borders from illegal immigrants, and of course “Make America Great Again!”

I can only hope that if he is elected, he realizes that part of what made America great was the dignity of its people. 

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