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US election 2016: Donald Trump celebrates 70th birthday

Donald Trump
Donald Trump, who turns 70 today

It’s Donald Trump’s birthday. He’s 70 today.

Hillary Clinton? She’s 68.

Did that take you by surprise? Took me by surprise. One of the many — and oh, there have been so many — reasons why Clinton was written off in her early run for the White House was that she’s too old.

She’s too old at 68. He’s not too old at 70.

If Trump succeeds — and he still might — he will be the oldest president ever. Older even than Reagan, who was 69 when he assumed office.

If only that were enough to exclude him.

In truth, Trump’s age is the least frightening thing about his candidacy, the most frightening being his revolting racism, which is again on display.

In a speech yesterday after the Orlando slaughter, Trump ripped into President Obama for refusing to use the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Obama ripped into him back, saying: “What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?”

Trump is in fact right: the gunman was an Islamic extremist, aligned in his own mind with ISIS, and he should be so described. He was also a homophobic madman who has torn a hole through the hearts of a hundred families. God damn him to hell.

But Trump goes further. Of course he does. He’s running for the White House and who cares what sacred civil rights get trampled in the process?

Trump now wants a “total and complete ban’’ on Muslims entering the United States. He wants surveillance of mosques, and the creation of a special data base of Muslim Americans, who must be treated with suspicion.

But why stop there? We need to know exactly who these mendacious Muslims are. Why not issue them with a special symbol, and have them pin it to their clothes?

The religious bigotry of it is astounding, but what’s worse is that we know where this thinking leads: internment camps for US citizens, that’s where it leads. Wire pens for women and children, out in the desert, for the crime of practising one’s faith.

Treating Muslim Americans differently, subjecting them to special surveillance on the basis of their faith — the same faith as was shared by the great Muhammad Ali — is vicious, divisive, calculated and cynical, and at the age of 70, Trump ought to know better.

Happy Birthday, Mr Would-Be President. Many happy returns from the party of Lincoln, who would be turning in his grave.

Source: Theaustralian

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