1 year ago
Esteban Bustillos
Commentary

People need to unite to stop one of the nation’s most controversial presidential candidates in recent memory from taking Oval Office

As the nation recovers from its Super Tuesday hangover, one thing has become frighteningly clear — Donald Trump is a serious contender for the presidency of the United States. And if we want to do something to prevent that, we can’t just sweep the problem under the rug and hope for it to go away anymore.

When Trump’s candidacy was originally announced, it was common for people to write him off as a mere joke. A business mogul who was better known for his reality TV antics rather than his boardroom savvy didn’t seem like someone who people could vote for to be the leader of the whole free world.

Trump’s fiery, xenophobic rhetoric on the campaign trail didn’t help. Saying everything from claiming Mexicans are rapists and criminals to calling for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country convinced pundits around the country the electorate would not vote for this man.

They couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only has Trump — who is the current frontrunner in the Republican race for the party nomination — created a significant gap in the delegate count between himself and the other candidates, he’s also been a driving force behind some of the largest Republican turnouts in primary history.

On Super Tuesday, every state that held a Republican primary set a new record for voter participation in those contests.

In Texas, where Trump ultimately lost to Ted Cruz, 2.7 million people came out to vote in the Republican primary — 1.2 million more than in 2012’s contest. Out of the 10 other record-setting contests held that day, Trump ended up winning seven.

When the day was over and a triumphant Trump took the stage at his campaign headquarters that night, he seemed a bit more reserved than usual, but still filled to the brim with confidence. This should scare people. He’s already looking to November and preparing to appeal to the common voter. He knows he has to start toning himself down at least a little bit.

But that doesn’t mean Trump is progressing. It only means he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing that’s taking advantage of his weak competition. Cruz is too similar to Trump without having the flamboyant personality that makes him recognizable to the casual voter.

Marco Rubio, on the other hand, has resorted to becoming a cheap stand-up comic in a pathetic attempt to derail Trump from the front-runner spot. Alternatively, John Kasich is poised, polished and has a common sense approach to his conservative politics — which automatically disqualifies him from running as a modern Republican.

Looking at the other side of the aisle, it’s not a lock that any of the Democratic candidates are a shoo-in to beat Trump. Bernie Sanders’ campaign already looks like a losing effort and Hillary Clinton may or may not be about to be indicted for treason. The closer it gets to November, the more it looks like a total toss up on who will win.

If Trump does end up winning, the scariest aspect isn’t what he will do, but rather how people will act. Trump won’t be able to pull off most of his half-baked ideas, even as the president. But people all around the country, who have already demonstrated a lack of trust in the powers that be, will lose even more faith.

The presence of protestors at Trump’s rallies and the often-violent reactions they have drawn from attendees and security shows just how volatile his presidency will be. Ferguson and Baltimore will become pleasant memories compared to the civil unrest Trump could bring about.

The only way to stop all of this is to get involved. Trump can’t win if young people get out and vote. The only way to stop Trump’s supporters is to beat them at their own game and create record-breaking turnouts for someone people with common sense can get behind.

And if everyone’s worst fears come true and Trump one day takes the oath of office, the solution isn’t to run to Canada or Europe. The only option is to stay and fight harder than ever before for what really matters. One of the best aspects of America is the ability of its people to come together, fix problems and unite when times get dark.

The prospect of a Trump presidency shouldn’t divide Americans. Rather, it should unite everyone in an effort to continue searching for a way to keep people like him far away from the country’s most important offices.