Last Thursday, Pope Francis questioned Donald J. Trump’s faith, suggesting that “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” The Republican presidential candidate fired back by saying that Pope Francis’s comment is “disgraceful,” and his campaign released a statement questioning the Pope’s stance regarding the presidential candidate when the Vatican is attacked, because that is “ISIS’s ultimate trophy.”
This is certainly not the first time where Trump has clashed with another popular figure. In addition to his ongoing feud with Bill Maher and Rosie O’Donnell, Trump’s comments regarding Megyn Kelly got their fair share of publicity, resulting in the ongoing dispute between the two. It is no surprise that the success of Trump and his campaign is attributed to such disputes; Trump is determined to always show off his ability to not-give-a-damn, based on the assumption that his approach is refreshing, instead of inappropriate or offensive.
How is it that Donald Trump clashes with the Pope himself and still gets away with it? Because his appeal is based off of ignorance and fear and it serves those who are ignorant enough to believe him. The American political culture is shocking and worrying; one third of a major political party in the world’s most powerful country is supporting a racist, misogynistic fool, and their support is becoming a reality with voting. Unlike his Republican counterparts, Trump has succeeded at maintaining, and even strengthening, his position in the polls. This success can be attributed to the constant media attention around Trump and his campaign, as well as the constant controversy that Trump causes. The controversy around Trump is his greatest tactics. Trump is not an eloquent speaker. Trump is does not have an experience or qualifications either. Yet nothing can stand in the way of Trump’s success, not even the Pope, because of the extremist support he has from the ‘Trumpeters’.
Donald Trump’s Trumpeters are committed fans, who justify his statements and actions, even against the Pope and the Vatican. Yet their justification and large-scale support do not change the fact that his fascist politics is flawed. The only way to stop his journey to the White House is by voting, even if it’s for the lesser of two evils.