The editorial leadership of National Review isn’t the only organization coalescing around the cause of preventing GOP 2016 front-runner Donald Trump from ascending to the nomination. Several members of the Hollywood community are signing on to a campaign to defeat the real estate mogul, too.
Trump, who is the first candidate with a background in the entertainment industry to have a real shot at seizing a major party nomination for president since Ronald Reagan over 30 years ago, has alienated much of the progressive community in Hollywood with his controversial rhetoric on Muslims, immigration and a host of other hot-button issues.
Stars like Harry Belafonte, Jane Fonda, Danny Glover, Lily Tomlin, Kerry Washington and Trump’s longtime nemesis Rosie O’Donnell have decided to demonstrate their disapproval by signing onto a #StopHateDumpTrump online petition. The petition, which has so far gathered over 14,000 signature, seeks to “call out Donald Trump for his hatred, misogyny, Islamaphobia, and racism and to give platform for the voices of the silent majority of Americas who do not and will not stand for it.”
“We have witnessed Trump inciting hatred against Muslims, immigrants, women, the disabled. We have seen him evidencing dangerous tendencies that threaten the bedrock of democracy: unleashing a lynch mob mentality against protesters, calling for the expulsion of Muslims from the country, bullying, and fear-mongering,” reads the petition’s website. “History has shown us what happens when people refuse to stand against hate-filled leaders.”
The fact that Hollywood artists would rally to defeat Trump may not be a surprise to anyone, since the industry is infamously liberal and so many prominent figures have already made their preference for Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders well known.
What is striking, however, is the personal nature of many of Trump’s public spats with his celebrity opponents. Since he announced his whirlwind candidacy last summer, Trump has launched attacks or counter-measures against: Ronda Rousey, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Samuel L. Jackson and Heidi Klum, just to name a few.
His typical tactic is to either question whether someone was ever talented to begin win, or suggest that their best days are behind them. In the case of actor Robert De NIro, who took Trump to task in 2011 for questioning whether President Obama was an American citizen, Trump managed to both compliment and insult him within the space of a single sentence: “Well he’s not the brightest bulb on the planet …. I’ve been watching him over the years and I like his acting, but you know in terms of when I watch him doing interviews and various other things, we’re not dealing with Albert Einstein.”
And Trump’s celebrity haters haven’t hurt him; they’ve arguably only helped his cause. When Trump gets into a high-profile war of words with someone like pop icon Cher, it only keeps him in the public eye and increases his chances of getting free media coverage. Despite being vastly outspent by his primary opponents, Trump has managed to stay at the top of GOP primary polls for nearly six months now.