Donald Trump isn’t funny anymore.
I wrote once that his antics were amusing, back when it seemed like he’d be a brief distraction before the serious candidates took over.
But he’s still here, whipping the most dangerous members of the electorate into a frenzy.
One of his strategies for appealing to them is to tell them he’s not concerned about political correctness. His supporters, sick of whatever it is they think political correctness is, eat it up.
Here’s the problem: Trump isn’t just being a little impolite or using outdated terms.
He’s spreading dangerous ideas, and a disconcertingly large segment of conservatives like it because he’s just calling it like he sees it. It seems those ideas line up with how they see it.
Straightforwardness is admirable, and not always found in politicians. But it’s irresponsible to like that about Trump without acknowledging the awfulness of the ideas he’s frank about.
Everyone should recognize the problems with a ban on Muslims entering the country, regardless of their personal opinion of Islam.
What would that ban say about the United States, the country we like to tout as being created with such an emphasis on religious freedom that it was enshrined in the First Amendment? What would it say about the country we like to claim is an open, accepting melting pot? What precedent would it set for future blanket bans of religious or other groups?
And last month, Trump said “Maybe he should have been roughed up” in reference to a Black Lives Matter protestor who interrupted his rally in Birmingham, Alabama.
Maybe the protestor was as obnoxious and rude as Trump claimed. I wasn’t there.
But he still wouldn’t deserve getting beat up for voicing his ideas. Even if someone is rude, even if it isn’t the right time and place to speak up, that isn’t the right way to handle the situation.
Supporters, though, appear to like his tough stance on Muslims and that he isn’t friendly to a racial movement they see as unnecessary.
But I guarantee if roles were reversed and their religion or race was in the spotlight, this isn’t rhetoric they would welcome.
No one should advocate treatment of other groups that they wouldn’t accept for the groups they belong to themselves.
Those of us who disagree with Trump should be especially thankful that he’s so open about the way he sees it. It would be a real shame if we didn’t know, and he reached the White House before unleashing any of his hatefulness.
But we do know, and we should ensure he never gets there.