Hacker group challenges Trump, and why it matters

Donald Trump
Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump (Flickr / Gage Skidmore)

Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Last week, the hacker group Anonymous announced “total war” on Donald Trump’s campaign. The hacker group previously responsible for hacking into the Pentagon and the New York stock exchange, released a video detailing this new war.

In this video, a representative of Anonymous announced, “we have been watching you Donald Trump and what we see is deeply disturbing.” The video goes on to play clips of the Republican front-runner throughout his campaign. Many of the clips contain moments of controversy, such as Trump calling Mexican immigrants “rapists,” or seemingly mocking a reporter with a disability. The Anonymous representative then states, “You say what your current audience wants to hear but in reality you don’t stand for anything but personal greed and power.”

This accusation of Trump falsifying his stances could have some merit. Many of his supporters enjoy saying he is not afraid to admit the truth. However, the site Politifact checked seventy-seven of his statements and found that 76 percent of them were various degrees of false. In previous appearances on Fox and NBC, he has been pro-choice and pro-life, in favor and against assault weapon bans and has had an inconsistent view on health care.

The Anonymous member states that Trump has “shocked the world with (his) appalling actions and ideals.” Again, this claim does have substantial evidence to support it. Earlier this year, a petition was created by a citizen of the United Kingdom to ban Trump from entering the country. The petition was in response to Trump’s plan to temporarily ban all Muslim immigrants from entering the United States. Within months, the petition gained almost 600,000 supporters. There was so much support for the movement that Parliament actually debated the idea of a Trump ban. No significant action took place after the debate, but many members of Parliament voiced negative opinions of the candidate.

In a USA TODAY/ Suffolk University Poll, citizens were asked if certain candidates would scare them. Out of the three candidates tested, Trump had the majority of the votes for the scariest candidate. With 38 percent of the 1000 eligible voters surveyed, Trump obviously comes as a threat to some. The video ends with the Anonymous member calling hackers to support #OpTrump.

Unfortunately for Donald Trump, this was not the end of the war. Anonymous posted two more videos later the same week. The first of the videos is titled #opwhiterose. This seems to be a reference to the non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany that called for revolt against Adolf Hitler around the early 1940s. It’s clear Anonymous is persistently directing the comparison between fascist regimes and Donald J. Trump. The #opwhiterose video refers to their actions as a natural “right to resist,” therefore establishing that they believe that something dangerous is coming. An Anonymous representative then moves on to say that Donald Trump’s platform is built on “fascism and xenophobia,” and repentantly states their grievances with him.

The end of the video is where it becomes truly fascinating. The speaker, again, refers to the White Rose Society, and asks what would have happened if countries rose up against Hitler earlier. Delving deeper into the subject, the representative declares, “The White Rose Society has risen again in the United States.” In other words, a society tasked with destroying a tyrannical dictator has supposedly risen again. At the very end of the video, the Anonymous member says that they have attached a gift. The gift being Donald Trump’s personal information, including his social security number.

The last video is the end of the social experiment. In this video, titled #opwhiterose Round 2, the Anonymous member describes the results of their information leak. He states that the information they said they would release was already online since 2013. Thus, they did nothing illegal, but the Trump campaign released an incriminating response. Trump’s campaign announced, “Authorities are seeking the arrest of the people responsible for attempting to illegally hack Mr. Trump’s accounts and telephone information.” While the authorities acted as if a crime had been committed, the main idea was to spread that Trump is supposedly building a fascist regime around himself.

Donald Trump’s rhetoric has caused a social and political divide in the country. The query that I would try posing is this: Does this cultural divide matter? This divide has a real possibility to spiral out of control and move past the realm of mere politics, which seems just as dangerous as fascism. While this election season continues to move forward, all of us have the ability to make history or to repeat it.

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To contact News Editor Amanda Freuler, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com

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