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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


GOP leader’s dominance is a reality, but nothing trumps First Amendment rights

Tom Price

GOP candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters and protestors during his rally at Mesa-Phoenix Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona on Wednesday, Dec. 16. 

MESA, Ariz. — The candidacy of Donald J. Trump has been the national joke for the past six months, but laughs are starting to wear thin.

With the primaries fast approaching, Trump is, against all logic, dominating the polls. A recent poll taken by the Washington Post and ABC News found that 38 percent of registered Republican voters would back Trump in the primaries.

That’s 23 percent more than voters said they would elect Ted Cruz, the GOP candidate in second-place.

Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio, when introducing Trump to a crowd of thousands at the GOP candidate’s rally in Mesa on Wednesday, Dec. 16, issued a warning: “A lot of people won’t say it, but they support [Trump]. They won’t tell you, but [when] they go to that voting booth—watch out.”

Trump’s unwavering fans call themselves the “silent majority.” Drawn to Trump’s uncensored rhetoric and authoritative, if not illogical statements, it seems their faith cannot be shaken.

“Nothing else has been working. To me, we have to get tough,” said Janet Horner, retired American Airlines employee, on Wednesday while waiting for doors to open at the private airplane hanger where Trump’s rally was held.

When asked her opinion on Trump’s ability to handle foreign policy given his track record of offensive comments, Horner said, “I think he’d be good. It’s about time [foreign nations] respect us again.”

Horner was right in a way. Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Trump during an annual news conference the day after the rally in Mesa.

But is the endorsement of Putin really a positive for a U.S. presidential candidate?

Trump may have gained respect in that court, but has lost it with a far more important ally—the United Kingdom.

UK citizens started a petition to block Trump from entry into the country after his controversial proposal to ban all Muslims from the U.S., which petitioners have dubbed ‘hate speech.’

The petition has gained more than 564,000 signatures. Parliament must now consider the petition for debate, as it does all petitions with more than 100,000 signatures.

Now, Americans must think: Will we support a candidate who is already losing respect in the eyes of our trusted allies? Who is willing to compromise Americans’ First Amendment rights to freedom of religion for the “safety” of America?

Trump also showed disdain for freedom of the press during his Mesa rally.

No politician is expected to be a fan of his or her critics in the press, but they should have a semblance of respect for the institution put in place to protect democracy.

“Look at all of them back them there,” Trump said while pointing to the media corner in Mesa. “Look at those cameras. They are the worst people.”

Then, true to form, he conceded that his generalization was not all-together true before pulling an imaginary statistic out of thin air.

According to Trump, “70 to 75 percent” of the press is dishonest. An ironic statement for the man who was awarded PolitFact’s 2015 Lie of the Year Award after only one of his statements was ruled true.

I don’t think it is unreasonable to wonder if Trump would work to oppress the freedom of the press, similar to his new pal Putin. All I can say to Americans is, please go to the polls this primary season with the integrity of America in mind.

Follow Michelle Jaquette on Twitter.

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