The growing political unrest and increase in terrorist attacks has made many United States citizens focus on new priorities in the upcoming 2016 presidential election. Instead of focusing on candidates’ positions on social issues, many people want a president who will be able to keep the nation safe with a strong foreign policy. Donald Trump managed to play to these fears by promising his followers that he would build walls across the nation’s borders and limit the intake of Middle Eastern refugees. However, the recent attack on New York City shows just how many people do not believe Trump’s claims.
On Saturday night, a bomb was detonated that ended up injuring 29 different people. Fortunately, no one was killed, but this type of attack still creates a lot of worry in local communities. At first, no one knew the source behind the attack, but a widespread manhunt across several states eventually resulted in the suspect’s capture. He was turned in by a Sikh man who said that “any Jewish, Christian, Sikh, Muslim would have done the same thing” by turning the suspect over to the police.
After it was discovered that the person responsible for the attack was an Islamic extremist, Trump’s campaign was quick to use this as an opportunity for more hateful, xenophobic rhetoric. When it was revealed that an Islamic person planted the bomb, Trump started talking about how his strict anti-immigration policies could have prevented this bombing. The people who actually live in the area where the bomb went off make it clear that they are not falling for Trump’s claims. One woman in Chelsea put it very succinctly when she said “[Trump] knows nothing.”
When Chelsea residents were interviewed on the subject, it was impossible to find a single person who was deciding to vote for Trump after the attack. Most of the people interviewed made it clear that they were trying to focus on moving on with their lives instead of turning to hatred. No one seemed to believe Trump’s claims that “These attacks, and many others, were made possible because of our extremely open immigration system.” Instead, there were worries that a hateful and close minded response like Trump’s could just cause more issues.
In contrast to Trump’s antagonistic statements, Clinton had a more levelheaded response. She said, “They are looking to make this into a war against Islam, rather than a war against jihadists, violent terrorist. The kinds of rhetoric and language Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.” When people give in to hate and start violently reacting to all Muslims, they just push levelheaded and compassionate Muslims towards the extremists who tell them that they can never fit in with the Western world.
Chelsea resident and worker, Matthew Swope mirrored the opinions of many others when he said “I feel that [Clinton] can do a better job of protecting us. She has a much more level-headed personality.” Other people in Chelsea also expressed their belief that Clinton’s reaction to the attack was more in line with how they saw the situation. Many worried that Trump’s personality and extreme political views would just cause more terrorist attacks. The people in Chelsea want to focus on recovering from the attack instead of starting a witch hunt against all Islamic people like Trump seems to be pushing for.