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Look, Trump is not a lawyer. Linguistic semantics are not his forte, and he doesn't have a committee of operatives review his every word for semantic accuracy and soundbite-proof-ness. That's how you end up sounding like a robot, like Romney and Clinton. Trump, like most adult humans, expects the listener to glean the relevant information and tense from the context of the discussion (or at least, he wants us to believe he expects this).

For example, when Trump says "they're sending", we know he knows that Mexico isn't literally sending these people. They don't pick them up and bus over the border so that they'll become America's problem. Illegal immigrants run the border primarily because the wages in America are so much better than the wages in Mexico, not because someone "sent" them over, except in the metaphorical sense where the country either cannot or does not provide the desired standard of living for its residents, and thus they "send" them away to a place that can and/or does.

Your quote is selectively edited. What is the VERY NEXT sentence after your quote cuts off? "And some, I assume, are good people." How can Trump say they're ALL rapists and then literally in the next sentence say "And some are good people"?

Pretend like you're talking to someone you respect about his position on immigration. Are you going to listen to him say this and take his verbatim statement as his literal meaning, especially when he offers a direct contradiction of that verbatim statement less than one second later? No, you'll do what normal people do, and bridge the gap. You'll know he doesn't think that EVERY Mexican is a rapist. You'll know he meant that a disproportionate quantity of illegal immigrant are criminals of all sorts, including thieves and rapists. You are free to disagree with this all you want, but it's not worth the time to speak to someone who insists on taking the least-charitable possible interpretation. If Trump spoke a bit more quickly and these soundbites were harder to extract, this whole trick would've collapsed a long time ago.

This is really the crux of the matter. Those who are disposed to hate Trump take the crudest possible interpretation, say the surrounding context is irrelevant because it's just trying to throw some ambiguity into the mix so he can pull people off the scent. Those who are disposed to like Trump take the most moderate possible interpretation and look for contextual cues that can exonerate him from the literal meaning, which are available in abundance, because Trump is just a normal guy with an imprecise way of speaking ... ... right?

"Objectivity" is a foreign concept to the human decision apparatus. Humans base decisions almost entirely on the credibility they attribute to the relevant carriers/advocates.

That's why intense hostility is not really justified by either side. The election was really a question of "Which candidate do you feel is more deserving of the benefit of the doubt?", since taken at face value, both candidates were embarrassingly unqualified.

Clinton's campaign strategy was straight up fear-mongering. Legalistically parsing the words of a non-lawyer, stripping context and meaning wherever possible, and using these soundbites to try to frighten minorities into believing that Trump hated them. The American people were not fooled by that strategy, but there are many confused and disgruntled people left in the dust by HRC's divisive methodology. It is now incumbent upon Hillary Clinton to come out and admit that the fears she's planted in the hearts of religious and ethnic minorities are unfounded and were manufactured as a failed political strategy to scare people out of voting for the person they believed could bring them economic prosperity.




"Trump is not a lawyer. Linguistic semantics are not his forte,"

Your arguments are not going to fly given the position that he is running for.

The man was running for the President of the United States of America - to speak for all Americans, wherein his words carry incredible meaning.

"And some, I assume, are good people."

No. This 'qualification' does not make the statement any less racist.

"Black people are stupid mongrels and criminals - but I assume that some of them are good people" <--- That's extremely bigoted. This is basically hate speech.

I'm astonished that people could possibly try to defend this particular statement.

He called Mexicans coming to America rapists.

Full Stop.

You guys are using a lot of gymnastics to try to defend what is a point-blank, obvious-as-the-sky-is-blue racist, bigoted and terrible statement.

Words matter.

If you can't stop yourself from calling an entire nation of people 'racists' - if it requires explaining or context - then you should not be running for PUSA.

I don't Trump is actually racist, likely he was just spinning up the bigot vote - but there is no defence of his statements.

Whatever Trump does - even if he does well as PUSA - his legacy will be pretty stained by some comments he made during the campaign.


It sounds like you are really set on this point. Maybe try considering that to a lot of intelligent people (like me (not US citizen), like my immigrant/minority family (who also happen to have education from top US universities) who voted for Trump, like millions of others who voted for him of various backgrounds, education, ethnicity and political views you sound like you are either incredibly ignorant or dumb on purpose.

I am not saying this lightly, to me people who hold the most morally repugnant positions rarely sound dumb on purpose. I think they are wrong, I think they are not emphatic, sometimes straight up evil but they rarely sound just completely brainwashed. You do though. I rarely see something as wrong and arrogant on HN and I read the comments every day. You are just not getting it at all. Read the comments of people who replied to you and try to understand why his comment is not about all Mexicans. I realize that I sound to you as arrogant ignorant person lecturing you on reading comprehension but I am doing you a favor. You will lose a lot of contacts and opportunities if you continue to argue this way without even seeing where the other side is coming from.


Donald J Trump: "Mexicans coming to America are rapists"

Random Person: "That's pretty much racist"

Trump Supporter: "You're an idiot, ignoramus, shut up stupid, you didn't understand what he meant, he's not a lawyer - why should he have to worry about specific words"

"I am not saying this lightly" - you want to 'lose contacts and friends'?

Go into your office tommorow and repeat Trump's statement. In full - for context if you want.

You will lose your job immediately, and probably a few friends and acquaintances.

It doesn't matter that you voted for Trump, what your ethnicity or education is - that's besides the point.

What I care about is that some people clearly do not seem to understand what point-blank bigotry is when it's right in our faces.

This is not 'leftists overreach' or 'left wing bias' or 'social progressive oppression' - it's just bigotry on the part of Trump.

It's just a very obviously racist statement, something someone in any public office or that has any public position should never ever say. Stop defending it.


>Donald J Trump: "Mexicans coming to America are rapists" >Random Person: "That's pretty much racist" >Trump Supporter: "You're an idiot, ignoramus, shut up stupid, you didn't understand what he meant, he's not a lawyer - why should he have to worry about specific words"

That's not how this exchange with Trump supporters has gone. I believe it's been reasonably polite, despite some rather inflammatory rhetoric from the non-Trump side.


I agree with you to a point, but I don't think you're seeing the reason why focusing on Trump's negatives is unhelpful.

When you vote you don't have to agree with everything someone says in order to vote for them. Some things that are said and done are seen as dealbreakers, stopping support for a candidate. However, the dealbreakers depend on context, and in the case of the recent US election neither leading candidate was particularly praiseworthy so it's very much a case of picking your poison.

What happens when people constantly paint a candidate based on words like 'racist' and 'bigoted' is you end up tarring their supporters with the same brush, whereas in reality those might be things people were willing to look past. In other words, focus on what matters to people in an election, not on the vehicle they've chosen to try to improve their country.

To spell it out even more bluntly, the number one issue in this election for the majority was changing the economy. If you're getting sidetracked by racism you're missing what matters most in the debate.


>The man was running for the President of the United States of America - to speak for all Americans, wherein his words carry incredible meaning.

There is no requirement that every word the President of the United States utters be clean-room engineered. Perhaps this is a value you hold important in a president, but that doesn't mean everyone else does. It seems that a lot of people are willing to consider context over soundbites.

>He called Mexicans coming to America rapists. Full Stop.

No, not "full stop". You can't just say this and expect people to ignore the context of the comments. You're asking people to discard important environmental information that would bridge the communication gap here for your political convenience. That's bad. The election is over now, so we can stop trying to scare minorities out of voting for Trump.

Many people believe that the context indicates Trump was referring only to a disproportionate quantity of Mexicans crossing the border illegally, not every Mexican in the world, nor every Mexican currently in the United States. You are clearly convinced that this is the incorrect interpretation, but that doesn't mean it's implausible. It just means you don't want to like Trump. If you did, you'd give him the benefit of the doubt, because there is a perfectly viable pathway for an interested party to do so.

>You guys are using a lot of gymnastics to try to defend what is a point-blank, obvious-as-the-sky-is-blue racist, bigoted and terrible statement.

No, it's not gymnastics. Again, you can't just say "Stop thinking about everything else, please focus exclusively on my soundbite in isolation, I've carefully stripped it for optimal damage". People are merely aware of the topic Trump was addressing and the vernacular in common use. This is all that's needed to understand that Trump was referring to a specific subset of illegal immigrants, not addressing a nationality as a whole.

If you consider making simple logical connections between the subject of a speech and the statements made within that speech a mental triple-tuck-standing-backflip, it doesn't reflect well on you.

>If you can't stop yourself from calling an entire nation of people 'racists' - if it requires explaining or context - then you should not be running for PUSA.

It doesn't require explanation or context. The media extracted his words from their original context and distorted their meaning because they wanted people to hate and fear him as they do. The people who are repeating this on their behalf are being intentionally obtuse and pretending like they can't understand that Trump was referring to Mexican nationals who illegally enter US territory because he used the contextual shorthand "Mexicans" instead of repeating the full phrase "Mexican nationals entering US territory illegally" for soundbite-proof-ness. Trump is a smart business man and knows that people hate voting for robotic or false-feeling figures. Making yourself sound like a law textbook to avoid criticism from people who'd never vote for you in the first place is not a winning strategy.


"There is no requirement that every word the President of the United States utters be clean-room engineered"

* It's not 'clean room engineered' *

* He called Mexicans coming to America rapists

* Full Stop *

"Again, you can't just say "Stop thinking about everything else, please focus exclusively on my soundbite in isolation, I've carefully stripped it for optimal damage"

No - it's not stripped, isolated, out of context.

* The PUSA called an entire group of migrants coming to America 'rapists'*

That is morally repugnant and nobody in that position should ever come close to making that mistake.

I don't think you understand what it means to have public office, or to have any public image or personae.

100% of CEO's of public companies would be fired instantly for making such a comment.


>No - it's not stripped, isolated, out of context.

If you weren't trying to take it out of context, you wouldn't need to keep dropping cues to try to stop people from processing the contextual information like insisting that your opinion should be considered a "full stop" and mocking the consideration of simple contextual data as "mental gymnastics".

You need to say those things because you're trying to confine people to only the isolated statement you've cordoned off. You don't want them to know that literally the next thing out of his mouth is that some "Mexicans" (meaning non-US citizens entering the United States illegally via the border with Mexico) are good people.

People are wary when they can tell someone is intentionally trying to block their access to relevant information.

----

I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree. We see this situation differently, we've both exchanged our POVs, and there's nothing else productive to do here.

I would simply ask that moving forward, you please recognize this for the friendly disagreement that it is and not attempt to mischaracterize all Trump voters as actually-racist, pro-racist, dont-care-about-racism, etc.

Your private opinion can be that Trump holds racist opinions, but just know that a) that's not the only possible conclusion a reasonable person can make, as thoroughly discussed in this thread; and b) only an infinitesimal fraction of his voters agree that he is actually racist. 99.99999% of his voters would be among the first on the street if some of the actually-racist things that the media pretends Trump wants actually happened.

We may have different perspectives on this issue, but we don't need to be at each others' throats over that. Let's insist that we all recognize the good in one another and politely disagree where necessary. Further, let's hold accountable the conglomerates that are attempting to fan the flames of discord and conflict among the populace.

The reaction to this election does not bode well for the future of the republic. We must heal and come together if we're going to proceed.


When you're the president of the United States, you need to speak precisely and choose words carefully. The stakes are a lot higher than when you're "talking to someone you respect."


It appears that the American public is more forgiving on this than you expect.


> Pretend like you're talking to someone you respect

Excellent advice in general. This would be a happier world were it more often heeded.




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