Republican presidential candidate front-runner Donald Trump has had quite the weekend! It kicked off with the publication of his interview with Hunter Walker at Yahoo!, in which Trump talked not only about his “great relationships with Hispanics” and what he thinks about Taylor Swift (“terrific!”), but also about needing to drastically increase security measures in a post-Paris-terrorist-attack world, the details of which include a database for every Muslim in this country. Lest you think that’s all the Trump-related buffoonery that went down, he also tweeted out some virulently racist and highly inaccurate statistics about gun crime yesterday. It’s just a never-ending stream of hate speech with Trump! If it weren’t so vile and culturally damaging it would be impressive that any one man could so consistently represent everything that’s awful about this country.
But so, just as I was spending yet another weekend in despair over the state of things here in the good old US of A, I happened to finish one of the best things I’ve read in some time: “Unfollow,” Adrian Chen’s amazing profile in the New Yorker of Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Fred Phelps, the founder of notorious hate group the Westboro Baptist Church. In the article, Chen details Phelps-Roper’s defection from the church in which she grew up (it was all thanks to Twitter, and, in a weird and sad twist, Brittany Murphy’s death), and also includes plenty of the “teachings” of Fred Phelps, which basically consist of hate speech, promising eternal hellfire to, oh, literally everyone who isn’t in the Westboro Baptist Church.
Here’s the thing, though: Everything Phelps (who died in 2014) preached was full of hate, but much of it was also virtually indistinguishable from the kind of thing Donald Trump says or tweets every day. So here, then, is a brief quiz. Try and see if you can tell which quote was said by the founder of a recognized hate group who had his followers picket the funerals of American soldiers killed in battle and which was said by the Republican frontrunner. It’s harder than you’d think!
1) “I said the President of the United States gets his jollies masturbating horses!”
2) “Our great African American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!”
3) “Go have another helping of feces!”
4) “He reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain.”
5) “He was a wuss and he was an enabler of wusses.”
6) “He is a stiff. A total stiff.”
7) “I think he’s a communist. I think he’s actually a communist with a socialistic bent.”
8) “Thus, Bill O’Reilly is a blaspheming hell-bound hypocrite claiming to be fair and balanced and running a no-spin zone.”
9) “Sweden heads the list. You filthy Swedes. You filthy Swedes!”
10) “I beat China all the time. All the time.”
11) “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
12) “President Bush and thousands of others, politicians and preachers, are making speeches and lying in [sic] their teeth, all agreeing that they can’t explain such tragedies”
13) “He’s got a pathological temper. That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that … as an example: child molesting. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.”
14) “We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it… And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
15) “America is doomed.”
16) “Let’s make America great again.”
17) “The wall will go up and Mexico will start behaving.”
18) “There’s no freedom of speech in Canada. There’s no freedom of religion in Canada. It is against the law to read the Bible in Canada… You can determine for yourself about Canada, and keep as far away from them as you can.”
19) “We build a school, we build a road, they blow up the school, we build another school, we build another road they blow them up, we build again, in the meantime we can’t get a fucking school in Brooklyn.”
20) “One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.”
21) “Don’t you stupid Aussies get it? Australia is doomed!”
22) “I saw a report yesterday. There’s so much oil, all over the world, they don’t know where to dump it. And Saudi Arabia says, ‘Oh, there’s too much oil.’ Do you think they’re our friends? They’re not our friends.”
23) “We have a president who just can’t say a few words: ‘Put the flags at half-mast for the five Marines that were just killed.’ Why? Why? Why?'”
24) “This jackass of a president ought to proclaim pride month for decency, abstinence and chastity, not for the most abominable sins known to mankind… Remember, you ignorant Americans, you Obama-worshippers around the world, we warned you.”
25) “If Obama resigns from office NOW, thereby doing a great service to the country — I will give him free lifetime golf at any one of my courses!”
Answers: 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25 were all said by Donald Trump. The rest are Fred Phelps. Sources for the quotes can be found here, here, here, and here. America: What a country!
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen