Judging from the public’s response to words from Presidential candidates, it’s become clear where the American public is most sensitive. This is an area so raw that it can trigger a public backlash strong enough to decisively ruin a candidate.
Spoiler alert: it was revealed four years ago.
Donald Trump has called Mexican people coming across the border “rapists”, mocked war hero John McCain for “getting caught”, said he wants to exclude all Muslims from emigrating into the United States, ridiculed the physical appearance of both Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul, appeared to make fun of a reporter with special needs, and referenced Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle. Trump re-tweeted racist misinformation to his 5.3 million followers regarding the racial breakdown of domestic shootings–and then defended himself by saying it wasn’t coming from him, but was a just a “retweet”. Huh!? This is the current leader in the polls for the Republican Party, and it’s hard to believe.
These comments are 100% detestable. But notice how Trump has no insults for the “47%” that Mitt Romney insulted. That’s right– the subject of income inequality appears to be the most sensitive spot for the American public.
In the “47%” video, Mitt Romney mocked the poor and essentially called them entitled free-loaders. He said, “47% of Americans pay no income tax” and “they believe they are victims (and that) the government has a responsibility to care for them”. He went on to say “I’ll never convince them to take personal responsibility”. Romney claimed he was just talking about his election strategy but the damage was done and he was done.
This tells me that Bernie Sanders is really on to something. His message of combating income inequality has enabled him to set the all time record for the most individual donations ever during the year before the election. He just passed the record President Obama set of 2,209,636 through December 31, 2011. Sanders claims that 99 percent of new income is going to the top 1 percent in the United States, and that the top .1 percent have as much wealth as the bottom 90%. Setting the record for the most individual donors ever at this point in the campaign shows his message is resonating strongly with many people.
I wonder if all Trump’s ridiculous statements are hurting Sanders more than any other candidate. As the news cycles are filled with feigned shock and rubber necking at what Trump said, Trump’s words are having a result opposite to Romney’s, and that’s quite ironic. Trump is saying shocking things that are taking attention away from the issue of income inequality, and it’s helping him win in the polls.
While Trump may insult everybody in disgusting ways, I’ll bet he never insults anyone for being poor. I wish he would.