Trump's toxic rhetoric encourages violence

President Donald Trump’s rhetoric has greatly affected the United States and fueled the angry fire deeply buried in many Americans. His elaborate ways of persuading the public into consuming his political rants have caused many politicians and news outlets to receive backlash. It was rather recent that Cesar Sayoc sent pipe bombs to Democratic politicians and their families, including the Obamas, Clintons and even CNN's New York office.

According to The Guardian, Trump’s divisive speech has led some Americans to resolve their problems in violent ways. In effect, the use of his dangerous rhetoric has obviously caused high-staked panic.

Trump’s rhetoric has not only impacted America but also the rest of the world. For example, in 2017, when the London Bridge was attacked by terrorists, the president resorted to using social media to take credit for isolating Qatar instead of giving credit to the Saudi Arabian government.

Additionally, with this misconception, he engaged a social media battle, making lackadaisical comments against London mayor Sadiq Khan after the attacks. Trump’s immediate resort to tweeting his opinions has caused more foes than needed. In addition, it is a perfect example of the “America doesn’t want to lead,” message, said by John McCain.

Other foreign countries have also used Trump’s presidency as a prime example of creating laws. For example, in Egypt, new “fake news” laws were passed that criminalize the spreading of false information, as reported by Politico. Furthermore, there have also been many government operations constructed to hinder free press and increase rates of censorship. For instance, in Vietnam, a news outlet called Tuoi Tre was fined and suspended. Similarly, authorities raided Forbes offices in Kazakhstan and detained four journalists from a news website called for a short time. As Trump’s slogans continue to spread internationally, it will only be a matter of time before violence occurs.

The Nigerian army has used Trump’s rhetoric as a justification for their actions when it came to killing protesters from the Islamic Shiite activist group who were throwing rocks at them. The Nigerian government stated that it used Trump’s response to the military’s deployment toward the migrant caravan as means for killing the more than 40 protesters. As NPR quoted from Trump, “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” referring to migrants.

The Nigerian government took this statement literally. Also, according to The New York Times, the Christian south of Nigeria appreciates Trump’s “straightforwardness” when he talks and voices his negative views on Islam. Even though Trump did make a comment stating that Nigerians would not leave America to “go back to their huts in Africa,” there are still many who support him.

Ultimately, it would have been silly to think that one Twitter account could do this much harm, but in 2018, it is a real and damaging issue that has affected the United States and other countries.

-Alison Lui

Accounting ‘22

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