Last week, Julian Lee wrote an opinion piece challenging anti-Trumpers to provide a rational critique of the US presidential candidate. Amid a torrent of abuse came a message from 19-year-old Aucklander Tony Zhang, who is studying business administration and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. Here are the key excerpts from his opinion piece.
People are not wrong to hate Trump. Such "visceral hatred" as you say, absolutely should be warranted.
For the reasons I am about to provide, you will see why he is not qualified to be president.
Trump wants to get rid of the Geneva Convention. He believes that we should "torture even if it doesn't work". Trump also wants to target the families and relatives of ISIS, aka civilian slaughter. Here, he is flat out calling for civilian massacre, openly advocating for war crimes. Absolutely deplorable.
Trump wants to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the USA. As if Muslim extremism is even an issue inside the USA -- right now in the States, right-wing nationalist terrorism is far more prominent than Muslim terrorism.
Trump reposts factually incorrect tweets from neo-Nazi sources on Twitter and failed to denounce the Ku Klux Klan, but leaps to assumptions about all Muslims and Mexicans. What more evidence do you need that he is a racist and a bigot?
As far as policies, he's all over the place. He says things like "target the families of ISIS", but the next day he will advocate for populist ideas like leaving Putin to fight ISIS, and withdrawing from the Middle East and spending that money on US infrastructure.
He also wants to end free trade deals and bring jobs back to the USA, but he actively avoids this himself in his own business endeavours in order to cut costs.
Trump also claimed he could wipe out the US national debt in eight years. This is beyond dense. If you had any understanding of basic macroeconomics, you'd know that this is not only impossible, but also not even all that beneficial to the economy.
More recently Trump threatened to default on the national debt, which not only contradicts his previous statement, but also is wildly unconstitutional and would likely cripple the global economy.
Lastly, let's address the wall. About half of illegal immigration is through boat or aircraft, not the border. Not every metre of the wall can be monitored 24/7. All a five-metre tall wall would do is open up a market for six-metre long ropes.
I get that "the wall" is just a memorable aspect of his campaign, but it's probably one of the worst ways you could go about stopping illegal immigration. Let's not even get into how much it would cost.
The mainstream media in the US (and in NZ) has done a horrible job of actually critiquing his policy substance and calling him out for inciting violence at his rallies, for his blatant lies and his advocacy of what are quite literally war crimes.
Instead, media outlets engage in sensationalist drivel, political correctness to the extreme and treat the election like a reality TV show.
The media needs hold people like this accountable for the things they say; the stakes are too high to not do so.