It is obvious, and often stated by political analysts, that Don’t mess with me I have a crazy Grandma shirt, Trump is making a calculated political move by playing on the legitimate fears and insecurities Americans feel after the attacks in Paris and San Bernadino. Because the problem of Islamic terrorism–or terrorism by those who claim to profess the tenets of Islam but really do not–is so complicated and in ways impossible to solve, only manageable, the easiest thing to do is to turn Islam and those who practice it into the enemy, and then use fear and hatred to gain support in the polls.
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Trump has been extraordinarily successful at this. Although his positions are anathema to the majority of Don’t mess with me I have a crazy Grandma shirt, he does appeal to that segment of the electorate that has been beaten down by the economy, has little hope of ever achieving “the American Dream,” is terribly worried–disproportionately so–by the threat of terrorism, and is looking toward the appeal of a strongman in the same way Italians and Germans did in the 1930s. Muslims make a scapegoat now in the same way that Jews did then. So whatever Trump really believes is impossible to know–he may personally be against Islam and Muslims as much as his policy positions are, or he may not. My guess is that all of his venomous rhetoric is unfounded on any real beliefs or principles, just a matter of pure political opportunism in a very dangerous time.