And here I was worried Donald Trump's run for the presidency was going to be a one-issue campaign. All he wants to talk about is President Obama's birth certificate. But it turns out The Trumpster isn't merely a birther! He's an Islamaphobe too!
Trump continued to pretend President Obama didn't share his birth certificate with the world three years ago when he appeared on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor last night. This time, Trump alleged the president is hiding the document (which is legally available on the Internet) because it might show he's a Muslim. Of course anyone who has looked at the real thing released by the Obama campaign knows it says no such thing. But Trump proved two things last night.
First: It's a good thing Trump isn't running for registrar of vital statistics, because he may be the only parent in America who doesn't know what an actual birth certificate entails: a baby's name, parents' names, date, time, and place of birth. Really, Trump, nothing about religion on mine, my husband's or my kid's -- and we were born in three different states. We're a pretty good cross-section of America.
And the more important second: Trump wasn't just playing with Islamaphobia last fall when he pledged his sizable bank account to the right to take over the so called Ground Zero mosque site and drive out the Islamic cultural center planned for the downtown site. At the time, Trump tried to play both sides, claiming he was simply putting a wet blanket on a hot topic, promising to "end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse." But when he followed up his birther rhetoric last night with warnings that our president might be a Muslim and alluded to the fact that it's something Obama would want to hide, the Donald made clear he finds Islam shameful:
He may have one, but there is something on that birth certificate ... Maybe religion. Maybe it says he's a Muslim. I don't know. Maybe he doesn't want that. Or he may not have one. I will tell you this: if he wasn't born in this country, it's one of the great scams of all time.
Unfortunately it sounds like Trump is taking a page out of the playbook of the extreme right; the exact same people who accused him of being too kind to Islam last year when Muslim-American Rima Fakih was named Miss USA, a pageant he owns. At that point the extreme right wing was calling Trump a supporter of terrorism despite the obvious lack of evidence that Fakih is anything more than a Lebanese-born woman who moved to Michigan and is totally hot. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Making wild accusations, completely unfounded in fact, to get some attention on the national stage?
If Trump is serious about his run for president, it certainly suits his purposes to keep him out there. But will this second agenda really help his campaign?
Image via Boss Tweed/Flickr