Orlando Sentinel - Dear Trump supporter: What are you thinking?

December 20, 2015 | By Dan Beckmann

Dear Florida Donald Trump Supporter,

I'm sure you remember when our state became comedic fodder in 2000. Jokes about hanging chads and our math skills had the entire world laughing at us.

But I pride myself on being a Floridian who knows how to count. And I've lost count of the number of times your candidate has spewed racist and bigoted remarks.

Despite his comments, CNN released a national poll showing Trump ahead of his GOP rivals by 20 points, and a Quinnipiac poll shows him narrowly defeating Hillary Clinton in Florida during a general election matchup. These polls are suggesting support in great numbers. And since he's offended nearly everyone, I'm wondering who you — the Donald Trump supporter — really are.

Are you in the military? Then, are you comfortable with the way he spoke about John McCain? "He's not a war hero!" Trump said, sarcastically. "I prefer people who don't get caught."

Perhaps you're Hispanic. If so, do you agree, as your candidate does, that Mexican immigrants are drug traffickers and rapists? What about his plan to deport more than 11 million undocumented people in this country? That's the size of Ohio, by the way.

Are you a woman? Were you not the slightest bit offended when he ridiculed Carly Fiorina? "Look at that face," he said, according to Rolling Stone. "Would anyone vote for that?" How about his insinuation that Megyn Kelly of Fox News was too overly flushed with hormones to be nice to him during a debate? "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever." Later, Trump clarified his remarks, saying he was referring to Megyn's nose. Oh, those darned stereotypical hormone-driven nosebleeds.

Maybe you're African-American? Which, then, do you feel most proud of in regards to your candidate? The way a Black Lives Matter activist was treated at a recent Trump rally — being kicked and punched? Or the way the candidate you support handled the situation, claiming he "should have been roughed up." And do you believe his claims that blacks commit the majority of murders of whites, which he retweeted from a neo-Nazi's twitter account?

Are you a Muslim? Forget about falling in line and adhering to Donald Trump's notion of your being required to register within a U.S. government database. How do you feel about his "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" proposal?

Perhaps you're disabled. Then does your support mean you give him a pass on mocking New York Times journalist Serge Kovaleski and his physical disability, which limits his mobility?

Are you Asian? He mocked you, too, at a rally this past summer. "We want deal!" he imitated, complete with facial expression and hand gestures.

Are you a billionaire? Trump has "billions and billions of dollars," as he keeps repeating, as if that's the basis for one's success. Which means, I suppose, Mother Teresa simply wasted her time on this earth: a handmade Sari instead of Valentino? She could've made billions if only she'd marketed herself better. What a failure, huh?

Maybe you are a fact-checker? Then have you held your candidate accountable for his unsubstantiated claims that "thousands" of American Muslims celebrated in the streets after 9-11? Or validated his fear mongering, using inflated numbers of Syrian refugees the president wants to allow into our country?

So help me out here. Are you willing to support "Making America Great Again!" by causing a great divide among Americans and the rest of the world? Are you excusing his inflammatory rhetoric as a justifiable response to political correctness run amok? I agree that Donald Trump, in the beginning, was an entertaining alternative. But where's the amusement in the avalanche of sexist and racist comments from someone campaigning to be our commander in chief?

The biggest concern we have today is the threat of ISIS. The war in Iraq helped create that organization. And Florida's recount debacle set it in motion. If Donald Trump ends up in the Oval Office, I prefer Florida not be responsible for putting him there. We already shoulder enough blame for placing George W. Bush and his legacy in that position. And I can't remember that president ever saying anything nearly as offensive.

Contact Dan

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