The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reflecting on the one year anniversary of Donald Trump’s official entrance into the Republican presidential race:
“Ever since he descended by escalator to make his racist, fact-free anti-Mexican campaign announcement speech one year ago today, Donald Trump has been peddling a dark vision of an America in decline. In doing so, he has done his best to drag our democratic norms, political institutions, and American values down with him. Trump’s racist fear-mongering and paranoia in response to the horrors in Orlando have merely been the latest reminders in a sustained, year-long testament to the fact that he is advancing a dangerous vision of America and is fundamentally unfit to lead our great nation.
Throughout the past year, Trump has made abjectly racist statements – calling Mexican immigrants ‘rapists;’ saying a U.S.-born judge of Mexican ancestry cannot sit in judgment of Trump; and doubting a Muslim judge could be fair. Don’t forget, Trump started his rise in the GOP as a ‘birther’—claiming that President Obama was not born in America.
Throughout the past year, Trump has advanced vile policy ideas ripped from the fringes of the anti-immigrant and white nationalist movements – calling for a ‘Deportation Force’ to round up and deport 11 million immigrants within 18-24 months; seeking to ban all Muslims from admission into the U.S.; looking to revoke birthright citizenship to 4.5 American children born of immigrant parents in the United States; pledging to rescind protections for 700,000 Dreamers on his first day as President; and calling for us to round up and return home Syrian refugees already resettled in America.
Throughout the past year, Trump has outlined a divisive vision of America, cleaved along racial and religious lines – seeking overtly and implicitly to redefine the conception of what a ‘true’ American is and casting doubts on the loyalties and patriotism of millions of his fellow U.S. citizens. In no small part due to the climate of intolerance and ‘us versus them’ he has inspired, Trump campaign events and Trump-inspired acts of bigotry, intolerance, violence, and harassment have risen to such frequency that we have been tracking them on a ‘Trump Hate Map.’ We have had to update the map to highlight new incidents with a disturbing level of frequency.
Throughout the past year, Trump has come to embody everything America in 2016 should not want to be.
Beyond party, Trump is now forcing us all to choose in what type of America we want aspire to. Republicans who endorse or support Trump have a choice to make: continue to embrace an authoritarian demagogue who promises to divide the country along racial and religious lines and trample on America’s democratic norms and traditions; or take a stand and revoke your support for Trump. Stand by Trump and you stand for racism. Stand by Trump and you are more interested in party and power than in defending our founding ideal that all men and women are created equal. Stand by Trump and you will be forever defined by your capitulation to a man who, has proven throughout the past year, that he wants to take America in a dangerous – and un-American – direction.”