What Voltaire taught me about Donald Trump

COMMENTARY: We can always count on Donald Trump for “delighting” us with his outrageous statements. So I am not surprised to see that he continues to make headlines.

Rodolfo Acosta-Pérez

Courtesy photo

Rodolfo Acosta-Pérez

Having that said, I was sitting peacefully at home when one of Voltaire’s quotes led me to reflect on Donald Trump’s behavior: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities (a widely used paraphrase of the quote.)”

As you know, Trump prides himself on being vocal, even if it means insulting people’s character, faith and physical appearance. Being some kind of “rebel” myself, I consider that there is nothing wrong with standing your ground and challenging traditional ways of thinking. However, all of us have weaknesses and strengths and we should have the decency to see our flaws and admit when we are wrong.

Due to his outrageous comments, Trump has crossed an imaginary line of moral conduct while showing no remorse for insulting different groups of people. He keeps trying to instill fear in people while sending a national and even international message of “doom and gloom.”

Based on this, some voters might believe his absurdities and commit atrocities – which include, but are not limited to, electing an individual who has set a tone of hatred and segregation.

Trump wants to convince voters that building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border will solve many (if not all) of the complexities associated with the economic interdependence that takes places between these two nations on a daily basis. In my opinion, building such a wall is not economically feasible, but who cares if Mexico will pay for it, right?

I could keep talking about Trump’s attacks against different individuals and groups, but let’s stop here. I am most concerned about Trump’s intention to build a “virtual wall” that will divide people and might ignite a social outburst and create a toxic political environment. A physical wall can be brought down, but virtual barriers that hinder progress can persist for many years, are hard to bring down, and are obviously invisible to the human eye.

We are indeed living tough economic and social times, and a response is definitely needed — but I seriously doubt that an individual who wants to divide and conquer, as opposed to drawing upon our collective goals and individual differences, is fit to lead a nation and lead the way to a better future.

It is okay to disagree with one another and it will be hard to come up with a unified voice on every single matter that impact us all, but let’s try to move past our misconceptions and individual traits and remember that a single person cannot change the world by himself or herself.

After all, presidents come and go and we are the ones who will inherit the result of their good and bad decisions. So, it is ultimately up to us to take action and create a better future for ourselves and our families.

Rodolfo Acosta Pérez is director of family empowerment for a nonprofit organization in Las Cruces and a former research assistant at the Arrowhead Center for Economic Development.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from NMPolitics.net, and written by Heath Haussamen, NMPolitics.net. Read the original article here.