If there is one United States President over the past century that you could describe as polarizing, Donald Trump would have to take the top spot. Those that dislike him do so on a personal level to the point where they truly say that they ‘hate’ the man, while those in favor of him are borderline worshippers of Trump.
One of the reasons that Trump has been so polarizing both as President and as a United States citizen is that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind on some very divisive topics. Let’s take a look at some of the most controversial statements that Trump has made over the years, and what made them so polarizing in the public eye.
Statements on Mexicans
The statement: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you…They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re bringing r*pists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
What made it controversial: Trump has always been a major proponent of halting illegal immigration, but there have been times when people have said his policies are downright racist. This was certainly one of those times, as this became a quote that was used against Trump for much of his presidency, with many saying that he downright hated Hispanics, or anyone outside of the United States for that matter.
Seriousness of COVID-19
The statement: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.”
What made it controversial: The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most devastating things to happen to the world over the past 50 years. Many countries almost shut down entirely for months because of it, and the United States was politically divided on the seriousness of it all, with much of that coming from Trump himself.
Trump went back and forth about how serious he felt the COVID-19 pandemic was. In some instances, he would wear a mask, while in others, he would proudly take it off and mock people that were wearing them. When he admitted to downplaying the pandemic and holding off on testing so that positive results weren’t yielded, it send a strange message to the country.
The statement: “I think I could have stopped it because I have very tough illegal immigration policies, and people aren’t coming into this country unless they’re vetted and vetted properly.”
What made it controversial: The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, is one of the touchiest subjects possible for American citizens. Trump had already downplayed the attacks right after they happened that day. When the towers fell, Trump boasted about how his tower was the tallest in Manhattan, and this quote about being able to stop 9/11 did nothing but fan the flames for people who felt that Trump was always making things about himself, including the worst terrorist attack on United States soil.
The statement: “It’s like in golf…a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive…it’s weird. You see these great players with these really long putters because they can’t sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who are happy to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.”
What made it controversial: Gay marriage is one of the most divisive topics in the United States, and people obviously take it very seriously. When Trump compared gay marriage to something like switching to a longer putter for golf, many felt that Trump was trivializing something so important to so many people. This quote came several years before his candidacy for president, causing organizations like GLAAD to protest him when he was aiming to lead the United States.
The statement: “(Megyn Kelly) gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.”
What made it controversial: When Trump said this about then-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly during a 2015 Republic presidential debate, many immediately pointed out just how sexist it was. Though it might have been one of those slips where Trump was attempting to say something along the lines of “smoke coming out of her ears,” there weren’t many that were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.