Trump vs. Oliver
Srishti Sankaranarayanan, III Year B. A. History
Srishti Sankaranarayanan elucidates why Donald Trump’s extremism is unjustified, by contrasting his views on the ongoing refugee crisis, with those of an actual comedian with the talent to diplomatically verbalise his thoughts: Mr. John Oliver.
While some individuals believe in the conscious use of limited humour to create an indelible impression on the minds of an audience, others are involuntarily hilarious – on the grounds of certain highly irrational thoughts that they uphold. It is no news that Donald Trump, with respect to his ostentatious stunts, should be placed in the latter category. While many are skeptical of the migration of refugees to Europe and the United States of America (USA), he has clearly taken it to the next level. Trump can be compared to an avocado- beneath all that skin and flesh lies an insignificant nut. Fortunately, there exist kind souls who have made an effort to understand the ghastly issues faced by the refugees, and have taken a stand to accommodate them in a safer, more civil habitat. Out of this ocean of good will, John Oliver’s rhetoric method of retaliation towards the sceptics, according to the writer, serves as the best counter to the views expressed by Donald Trump.
Owing to the instability in their own countries, thousands of oblivious souls march towards neighbouring and even distant countries like USA in search of asylum and hope. Multifarious reasons – civil disruption and oppression to economic stagnation – have forced the populace to flee to unknown lands in search of a better life. An influx of refugees has put added pressure on global governments to accommodate them. However, instead of a warm welcome, several nations are turning refugees away to avoid a potential turmoil in their homeland by stating hateful and extremist causes that are unlikely to be true.
The genius in Trump created an outrage when he told CNN, “We cannot let them into this country. Our country has tremendous problems. We can’t have another problem.” Calling Syrian refugees such as President Barack Obama’s guest – Mr. Refaai Hamo – a “Trojan horse” he was apprehensive of the “destruction” they are likely to cause. Trump even lashed out against Angela Merkel for having initiated migration into Germany. Recently, the audacious Republican candidate for USA’s 2016 Presidential elections also went out of his way to make a shocking statement. He claimed that he could face Syrian refugee children and tell them that they cannot enter USA. The creation of safe zones in Syria to host the refugees was the most empathetic response that Donald Trump could formulate – obviously without considering the possibility of hindrance from ISIS in the process. Trump also supports France’s Interior Minister’s proposal of shutting mosques with radical leaders down and to begin surveillance of all mosques. With such extremist views, Donald Trump aims to win the hearts of his voters and “to make his country great again”
‘So much empathy that Aylan drowned.’
John Oliver, the host of the talk show ‘Last Week Tonight’, can be placed on the opposite end of the continuum. Using witty humour as a crucial element to convey necessary information, he hosted an episode on the refugee crisis. Pointing to the vast numbers matching ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ that cross borders on a regular basis, he emphasises the need to be careful while describing migrant populations. “A swarm of people”, used by the British Prime Minister David Cameron, provides a similar perception to that of a terrifying “swarm of kittens”. Further, he condemns the stereotype of branding all Muslim refugees as potential terrorists on national media when captions such as “some wear hats, others less so” could easily replace it. Even though it is surprising to see Germany – which has Hansel and Gretel (who end up in a witch’s lair) for a bedtime story – welcome refugees, Oliver requests all other nations to learn from similar initiatives. Apart from the humanitarian cause, from his perspective, Europe could also consider economic benefits of embracing refugees. John Oliver went beyond the call of duty to put a smile on the face of a 13-year-old refugee, Noujain Mustaffa, by reviving her favourite character from ‘Days of Our Lives’ and creating a special video for her. According to him, the fear of hosting potential ISIS members and bankrupting social systems is a reason to do more in the form of standardised entry procedures in all countries and the provision of funds to concerned organisations.
Extremism is a two-way process – one has to be rational to consider the impact of negativity on innocence. There is a need to realize that people like Trump, are not only wrong, but also make it difficult to erase the concept of extremism. John Oliver has just taken a major step to help the global community from getting ‘trump-ed,’ which, in the writer’s opinion, is a giant leap towards solving the refugee crisis.
[Sources for Images: Internet.]