A recent Reuters/opinion poll shows that Donald Trump has a nearly 20-point lead over all of the 17 Republican nominees who are seeking to represent the party in the 2016 election.
The poll shows that Trump has a whopping 30 percent of Republican support. This officially puts him even further ahead of Bush, who used to be in second place with 16 percent of the vote but is now in third place with 8 percent.
Ladies and gentlemen, there's been a lot of horrifying news this week. But this might take the cake.
It's fundamentally absurd that Trump has this much of his party's support. It's fundamentally absurd that more than one person has menacingly said the words "Trump is COMING!" to me, as if I should be...scared? Excited? I don't know. I honestly don't.
The Reuters poll found that 77 percent of Republicans like Trump because he doesn't care about being "politically correct."
This idea of political correctness has recently emerged in the cultural conversation because apparently everyone is fed up with people who are too politically correct -- as if political correctness is somehow different from "respectful dialogue," and as if we're supposed to just ignore historical systems that have oppressed people whenever we talk about politics.
Regardless of where you stand on the idea of political correctness, though, Trump's senseless, ludicrous rhetoric is a completely moronic and diseased response to this so-called fear of political correctness.
As just one example of many, last week, Trump inspired a hate crime. Two men from Boston beat up a Hispanic man and reportedly referenced Trump as their justification for the beating: "Donald Trump was right. All these illegals need to be deported," one of the men told police.
When questioned about this, Trump responded by saying that his followers were "passionate":
I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.
The frontrunner of the Republican party, the man who may very well be our next president (he probably won't, but I'm mentally preparing anyway), did not condone a hate crime, did not even acknowledge that it was a hate crime and even twisted it into something positive.
As award-winning journalist and author Matt Taibbi wrote in Rolling Stone, this is officially the moment Trump stopped being funny and threatened to unleash the Great American Stupid.
Well, instead of being politically correct, Trump chooses to "tell it like it is." And his followers love it.
@KarlMcKinnie @rtoberl Wee doggies. Go Mr Trump tell it like it is .We love your honesty. — DJ Lewis (@umpire43) August 25, 2015
Gotto Love @realDonaldTrump Just Tell it like it is '#TradeWar #Trump Would straighten China out. @realDonaldTrump @oreillyfactor — the big fellow (@borderfox116) August 25, 2015
@realDonaldTrump i believe in you Trump! You tell it like it is I admire someone who can do that save the US — Kristine Wilson (@813Wilsonk) August 17, 2015
@aduanebrown @realDonaldTrump @MichaelCohen212 Yes he has!!#Trump2016 !! Tell 'em like it is Mr. Trump!! — Becky York (@BeckyYork2) August 16, 2015
Trump not only "tells it like it is," but he encourages his supporters to as well.
For example, during a Trump rally in Alabama, one of his supporters can be heard yelling "white power!" in the background not once, not twice, but -- if you read the transcript of people's reactions to the rally -- multiple times.
Yeah, tell it. White supremacy is good.
To Trump and his followers -- the oblivious children following the Pied Piper to their doom -- spewing blatantly hateful stupidity in the form of "telling it like it is" is more effective than political correctness.
Let's test this theory out, huh? Let's go over some of the ways Trump tells it like it is in order to Make America Great Again.
"Telling it like it is" about women
Trump tells it like it is about women of his own party. Take Fox News' Megyn Kelly, journalist and host of "The Kelly File."
In the first Republican presidential debate, Kelly confronted Trump about the sexist language he's used against women in the past, including calling them "fat pigs," "dogs" and "disgusting animals."
It was a fair question. Kelly did what any good journalist would do: challenge politicians' actions and ask them to explain themselves.
After the debate was over, however, Trump tweeted that Kelly was "not very good or professional" and told CNN's Don Lemon that Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever" (vagina, basically, to indicate she was on her period) when she asked the question during the debate, essentially dismissing and invalidating Kelly's perspective because she's a woman.
Just telling it like it is.
He even tried to defend himself on Twitter by saying he meant NOSE, GUYS, and by circle-jerking everyone who's against the evils of political correctedness too:
Re Megyn Kelly quote: "you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever" (NOSE). Just got on w/thought — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2015
So many "politically correct" fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2015
Nice. Yeah. Tell it. Like it is.
Later in the month, Trump continued to tell it like it is in a series of more comments about Kelly. After taking a 10-day vacation as a result of the backlash, Kelly came back on the air and was welcomed with a slew of hateful tweets from Trump in which he said he wished she'd take another vacation and he liked the show better without her.
After a long silence, Fox News chief Roger Ailes finally released a statement against Trump in which he said that Trump's continued attacks against Kelly were "unacceptable" and "disturbing" and called Trump "irresponsible" and a "bully."
The Fox News chief doesn't tell it like it is, though. Trump does. Trump tells it.
Trump has somewhat of a history of being creepy and sexist toward female journalists. One anonymous journalist told Mic that she received "a phone call from one of Trump's guys who said, 'Trump likes you. He sees you on TV all the time.'"
Trump then demanded that the journalist "meet him at the airport and drive with him to his meeting throughout the day, and then, at the end of the day, he'll do [an] interview," she said. After she refused, Trump's team ignored her.
Then a couple days later, Trump's people called me to ask me if I had seen the exclusive they have to another female reporter. I said yes, and they were like, 'Well that could have been yours,' basically insinuating that the other female reporter agreed to spend the day with Trump. They're scum.
Another anonymous conservative female pundit also told Mic, "For him, it's all show business. He could care less how he treats women in public if it means he wins. It's all a big game."
Yeah. Treating women like sh*t = telling it like it is = winning.
"Telling it like it is" about immigrants
Trump loves telling it like it is about immigrants. On July 24, Trump told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that there are 30 to 34 million illegal immigrants in America.
According to PolitiFact, a Pulitzer-prize winning platform that fact-checks everything left-wing and right-wing politicians say, this is wrong.
As of January 2012, the Department of Homeland Security says the number of illegal immigrants was about 11.4 million. Other research groups estimate between 11 and 12 million, neither of which are anywhere near 30-to-34 million mark that Trump is claiming.
But, hey, just more of Trump telling it like it is.
Then, this past Tuesday night, Jorge Ramos, a prominent Latino journalist who's been called "The Walter Cronkite of Latino America," questioned Trump about his stance on immigration at a press conference. Trump then insulted Ramos by refusing to let him speak, telling him to "go back to Univision," and having him leave the room.
Ramos, who's been in journalism for 30 years, says he's never once been ejected from a news conference.
After Ramos was allowed back in, Trump proceeded to call Ramos "obviously a very emotional person," effectively stereotyping Ramos as the fiery, hot-tempered Latino.
More telling it. More like. More it is.
Soon after, Ramos was allowed back in the room, and Trump answered Ramos' question about immigration policy by reiterating what he said in the first Republican debate, which is that Mexicans are sending rapists and murderers across the border.
As a reminder, during the debate, Trump said: "The Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning. And they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them. They don’t want to take care of them."
VICE's Mike Pearl did an excellent job of busting the myths of what Republicans have said about immigrants. For this particular myth, Pearl analyzed a Pew Research Center graph that shows how crime rates for both native-born Americans and immigrants spike at age 16, with more crimes being committed by native-born Americans by far.
Overall, he concluded that there's no real evidence that immigration is connected with crime rates in the US.
So, yeah. Mexicans are all bad. That's just Trump telling it.
During the conference, Trump probably thought it would be a good cover to tell Ramos that Hispanics "love" him. Obviously that's a complete lie.
You don't have to know anything about politics to know that's a lie. But here's the truth: A Gallup poll shows that Trump has a negative 51 approval rating among US Hispanics -- the highest out of all the 2016 Republican nominees.
Tell it. Trump.
"Telling it like it is" about Obama
At a speech in Phoenix, AZ, Trump told it like it is about the Affordable Care Act. He said the website, HealthCare.gov, cost $5 billion, "never worked" and "still doesn't work."
Politifact says that while there are some glitches on the website, the fact that millions of people have signed up for healthcare under Obamacare indicates that the site is, indeed, working.
Also, experts say Trump completely overestimated the amount of money spent on HealthCare.gov.
Oh well. Just Trump doin' some telling.
During his speech to announce his presidential campaign, he also told fellow Americans that what they know about unemployment is wrong.
"Our real unemployment is anywhere from 18 to 20 percent. Don't believe the 5.6. Don't believe it."
Politifact says this, too, is incorrect. The highest official unemployment statistic reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 10.8 percent, and that's just the rate of "labor underutilization."
And even when you include other definition of unemployed Americans in this statistic, the number nowhere near reaches the 18 to 20 percent mark Trump has been claiming.
Telling. It. Like. It. Is.
Trump talked more about unemployment rates before the first Republican presidential debate while on ABC’s "This Week." He was confronted about a tweet in which he said Obama did a "poor job" as president, and his response was:
"I think that he has set a very low bar, and I think it's a shame for the African-American people. And by the way, he has done nothing for African-Americans. You look at what's gone on with their income levels. You look at what's gone on with their youth. I thought that he would be a great cheerleader for this country. I thought he'd do a fabulous job for the African-American citizens of this country. He has done nothing. They are worse now than just about ever... They have problems now in terms of unemployment numbers. Look at their unemployment numbers… Here you have a black president who's done very poorly for the African-Americans of this country."
Politifact says every single thing about this is wrong. Literally everything.
Overall, African-American unemployment rates improved significantly during Obama's presidency, and any rates that remained the same or got worse are still better than they were in recent history.
So the idea that unemployment numbers are "worse now than just about ever" for African-Americans is also just very wrong.
But that's just Trump. Telling it like it telling it is like telling is is is is like telling it is it it telling like. Telling.