By Jackie Sussman ’17, Inklings Whip
In the style of the eminent Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of political events, it becomes necessary for one party to dissolve the political bands which have connected it with its presidential nominee, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature entitle them, a decent respect to the mores of true Republicanism requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation and endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
We hold the axioms of our nation to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they inherently possess unalienable rights, that the most necessary of these include Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. As Republicans, we argue and implement in policy the ideal that Governments are instituted among mankind to secure these rights, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. We also argue that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for transient causes; and as a party that loves America and everything for which it stands, we should by no means abolish the government. But when a long train of abuses of power within the current government, pursuing invariably the same Object of pocketing Wall Street money while implementing liberal policies of borderline-socialist economics and gun-control measures, evinces a design to reduce the people under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of Republicans during Obama’s terms; and such is now the necessity which constrains us to alter the current System of Government. However, Donald Trump, though a vote against the establishment, is not the solution. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world:
Trump has refused his Assent to basic decency, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. According to a detailed account of his actions published by Mother Jones, Trump has thus far allegedly assaulted 19 women, 17 of whom went public following a New York Times article that published a detailed account of the first two women who were allegedly assaulted, on October 12. He has likewise used crude language in describing women, mimicked a disabled reporter, bullied his opponents and more; all in an attempt to seem anti-establishment. This behavior is not anti-establishment. This behavior is anti-humanitarian and anti-American.
Trump has refused to give his workers their just compensation, and manipulates laws to avoid lawsuits about such actions; and when there have been lawsuits, he has utterly neglected to attend to and legitimize them. Forbes interviewed architect Andrew Tesoro, who designed a clubhouse for a Trump golf course and did not receive payment from the Trump organization. “His organization does that to everybody,” Tesoro said. To be clear: money is the greatest human invention, a manifestation of the foundational economic principle that trade creates value, a tool to voluntarily exchange a person’s greatest productive achievements with what they deem to be their productive equal. Money is the highest moral code, and Republicans should and will defend corporations and wealthy individuals to the nth degree. Establishment liberals do not understand nor agree with this moral. Yet when an individual or corporation, regardless of partisan affiliation, violates this ideally capitalistic exchange of money for a good or service, we Republicans must condemn, we must denounce, we must retaliate.
Trump has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners. Strong borders are necessary. After all, the Constitution does not apply to the entire world but to Americans. And, in a time of quasi-war against radical islamic terrorists, vetting should be naturally increased. Yet, as Washington Post reporter Greg Sargent stated, “[Trump’s plan] is not ideological heterodoxy. It’s a smorgasbord of policy ignorance and indifference, opportunism,…and of course, good old fashioned flim-flammery.” Trump urges to create a barrier between the United States and its enemies when, in reality, he advocates for a barrier between races, between religions, between families and between corporations. To even consider strengthening the border via an American Great Wall with such an inhumane purpose is, frankly, frightening.
Trump has insulted the American Judiciary and has picked Supreme Court nominees that will tear at the fabric of this great nation. According to the famed June 2 article from the Wall Street Journal, Trump said that Judge Gonzalo Curiel has an “absolute conflict” in litigating his Trump University case due to his “Mexican heritage” and his membership of a Latino lawyers’ association. While we Republicans have acknowledged that his comments were racist, it is not the comments themselves that should infuriate the party: it is the complete and utter lack of respect towards the general judiciary branch. This is evident in not only his treatment of individual judges, but his historically commonplace manipulation of the judicial system and his SCOTUS nominee picks; such nominees will only create a more polarized court and nation. Republicanism is not just conservatism; to pick far ‘right’ judges can call them appropriate representatives for the moral values of both the American people and the Republican party is insulting and inaccurate.
There is the argument amongst Republicans that Trump is the lesser of two evils. Clinton has obstructed the Administration of Justice through her email scandal. Clinton has protected herself, by a mock Trial of sorts, from punishment for these scandals or for any Murders which she committed as a result of her lackadaisical actions during the Benghazi crisis. Clinton has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction intolerant of differing political viewpoints. Clinton has attempted to put forth trade plans inconsistent with her true belief of a worldwide open market, as seen with the Wikileaks email containing her speech to Banco Itau, a large Brazilian Bank. Clinton has attempted to elucidate tax plans that, in typical liberal manner, force wealthy individuals to pay more than the middle class in a corrupt attempt to make society’s most productive pay their “fair share.” It is clear that Clinton would mean serious problems for Republicans and for this nation.
Yet, when discussing the lesser of two evils, it is better to disagree with the policies of a reasonable candidate than to elect one whose temperament and actions are so inappropriate that he has incited domestic insurrections through hyperpolarization amongst us Americans. It is necessary to elect someone, even though different-minded, competent to the highest office within the nation.
In every stage of these Oppressions, We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury through the nomination of Donald Trump by popular vote. Someone whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. We must, therefore, not acquiesce, denounces our connections with Trump, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in the War of election year, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, Republicans of the United States of America, should, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That Donald Trump has lost in his ascent to absolutist power; that we are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Trump organization, and that all political connection between us and the Trumps ought to be totally dissolved. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
By Anna Rhoads ’19
It cannot be denied that the 2016 presidential election process is chaotic. The reason for this is one candidate had no political experience and the other candidate was in the middle of an FBI investigation. There has never been so much to report. It has all been made worse, however, because the media has interfered and become part of the story of the election instead of just reporting the facts about it.
The media is a necessary part of our democratic system, which makes the system work by providing the public with the true, unbiased facts. The system may be in the process of breaking down because the media is presenting the opinions of biased commentators and, alarmingly, becoming part of the story.
The news outlets provide extensive commentary after the debates, many times lasting much longer than the debates themselves. The media has adopted a practice of presenting the views of commentators who are attached to a certain candidate or party. Many times these speakers are more persuasive than their counterparts on the other side and thus the press may use them to inject their opinions into the discussion, very different from just presenting the facts and the candidates’ views. For example in an article about “Journalistic Bias” during the 2016 election PBS states, “An analysis of news coverage from the 2016 primary races found that mainstream media outlets engaged in ‘journalistic bias’ that led to over-coverage of the Donald Trump campaign and under-coverage of Democratic candidates, in particular Sen. Bernie Sanders.” This shows that news outlets purposely covered with bias and presented commentators who were more slanted to one candidate, possibly directing the election in the way they wanted.
Thankfully the public has been clear that they do not condone this bias coming from the media. The Political Insider publication reported that “Fox News, largely thanks to their biased treatment of conservative businessman Donald J. Trump and ignoring Dr. Ben Carson in the GOP debates, has now seen a dramatic dip in their ‘perception’ with the Republican Party’s base.” I hope that the public will continue to catch on to the misconduct coming from the press, like they did when Fox News covered the primaries with bias and lost viewership and trust.
The TV show, “Access Hollywood,” recorded a conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush more than 11 years ago. In context, it is obvious from their discussion that the two participants to the conversation did not know they were being recorded and would not have agreed to it. It was a “private moment, with no audience beyond Bush and a few others on the bus” according to The Washington Post. Although the conversation during the video was disgusting and demeaning towards women, The Washington Post released it, becoming part of the news instead of just reporting it. California Penal Code 632 makes it a crime to record conversations “without the consent of all parties,” showing the great lengths the media will go to create a story and not just report it.
The media may believe that we, the public, are not intelligent enough to listen to the candidates and come to our own correct conclusions. Thus, they are willing to attempt to guide us and even become part of the news themselves. This breaks down the trust the public has for the media, and therefore weakens our democracy. Ultimately, the media must become less biased and the people of the nation must recognize the problem.
Fritz Schemel ’17, Editor in Chief
After the last showdown of the 2016 presidential race, Inklings declares the winners and losers of the debate:
Hillary Clinton: The former Secretary of State was able to let her experience and policy expertise shine through on the debate stage. She highlighted her experience, saying, “I’ve been privileged to see the presidency up close.” She spoke to her involvement as Secretary of State in the killing of Osama Bin Laden, saying that while she was protecting Americans, Trump was busy working on “The Apprentice” television show. Clinton was able to jab at Trump throughout the debate, and eventually got under his skin towards the end of debate with comments about, for example, his business start from a loan from his father.
The Issues: The debate was the most policy-oriented debate of the cycle thus far. Topics included national security, the Supreme Court and the national debt and entitlements. For the first half of the debate especially, both candidates displayed better temperament than they had in previous debates. While (see the second loser of the debate below) the issues fell off as the debate went on, the opening 45 minutes of the debate illustrated the issues each candidate cared about.
Chris Wallace: As debate moderator, the Fox News anchor shined in the national spotlight. He held both candidates to the facts in regards to their plans, specifically citing the amount of debt each candidate would create should they be elected President. At numerous instances, Wallace ensured the crowd in the Thomas and Mack Center was silent and would not impact the perception of viewers at home. He held candidates to time limits, at one point telling Trump, “no, we need to move on to the final segment,” and not allowing a response over the time limit.
Democracy: Trump showed absolutely no regard for the sanctity of the American democratic political process in his statement that he may not accept the results of the election. “I will look at it at the time,” Trump said. “It’s rigged.” This utter lack of confidence in the process undermines democracy and the authority that the winner of the election will have to govern. Come Nov. 9, the nation is going to have to repair divisions created during the debate, and Trump’s comments Wednesday night did nothing to ameliorate these divisions.
Trump’s Second Half of Debate: While he showed a poised temperament during the first 45 minutes, Trump took the bait of Clinton’s jabs in the second half. Instead of talking about the issues, Trump talked about how he “should’ve gotten’ it (an Emmy)” for his work on “The Apprentice.” He continued to broadcast repeatedly debunked claims that he was against the war in Iraq. He called immigrants “bad hombres” and called Clinton “such a nasty woman.” Trump lost his focus in the second half of the debate, ultimately leading to a debate loss, with CNN reporting a 52 percent to 39 percent win for Clinton.
By Lulu Stracher ’17, News Editor
In no particular order.
This nightmare of an election culminated on Sunday night with the second presidential debate at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, featuring Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The debate came two days after partial-transcripts of Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street and an audio tape revealing Trump bragging to Billy Bush, cousin of George H.W. Bush and host of Access Hollywood, about sexually assaulting women, were both leaked. It was the nastiest 90 minutes that I have ever witnessed in American politics. These are the moments that made me cringe the most.
- No handshake
Despite how nasty the attacks were leading up to the first presidential debate on Sept. 28, the candidates still managed to show some level of mutual respect for each other by shaking hands. This debate was different. When moderators Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper introduced the two candidates, they walked on stage, awkwardly glanced at one another and then kept their distance. It was an unprecedented moment in debate history and one that set the tone for the rest of the cringeworthy night.
- Trump looming behind Clinton like a predator
While Clinton was answering a question from an undecided Muslim voter about the rise of Islamophobia in this country, Trump stood behind his opponent menacingly instead of returning to his seat. His aggressive body language seemed like an attempt to intimidate Clinton, but she didn’t take the bait and instead remained calm and collected throughout her response.
- When Trump called sexual assault ‘locker room talk’
The second question of the night came from Anderson Cooper, who pressed Trump on comments he made 11 years ago about grabbing women’s genitals and kissing them without their consent. Donald Trump half-heartedly apologized and defended these remarks as ‘locker room banter.’ There is such a thing as ‘locker room banter’ that is unpleasant but not intrinsically harmful. This was one of the only parts of the election that I could not try to make light of. What Trump described in the leaked tapes from 2005 is sexual assault, and should be acknowledged as such.
- When Trump complained about getting equal time
As Trump realizes that he will probably not win this election, one of his strategies has become to claim the election will be rigged against him. This conspiracy theory continued Sunday night, as he stated that “[Hillary Clinton] went a minute over [her response time] and you don’t stop her. When I go one second over, it’s like a big deal.” However, Donald Trump spoke for about a minute longer than Hillary Clinton did, according to CNN’s tracker. His attempt to distract Americans is another example of his unwillingness to debate actual policy, and how he instead wants to throw insults and conspiracy theories into the political discourse.
- Trump bringing up Bill Clinton
Ninety minutes before the debate began, Trump held a surprise news conference with three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault and one woman who accused Hillary Clinton of sympathizing with a rapist after she was appointed to be his public defender in 1975. After Hillary criticized Trump for his treatment of women, he fired back with the accusation that what Bill Clinton did to women was much worse than anything Trump ever said. Although the alleged acts committed by Bill Clinton are despicable, it was bizarre to see a presidential candidate bring up the spouse of their opponent. It’s hard to imagine Hillary doing the same thing to Donald.
By Colette Lippman ’17, Opinions Editor
If you thought that a presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton couldn’t get any worse, it just did. In an extremely dramatic R rated performance, Trump and Clinton spent most of the night confronting each other about their sex scandals — like the audio that was leaked on October 7th, 2016 which includes Trump bragging about grabbing women by their genitals non-consensually, and rape accusations made toward Clinton’s husband.
In fact, the very first question asked to the candidates was by an audience member and high school teacher, who uncomfortably stated how “the last presidential debate could’ve been rated as MA—mature audiences—per TV parental guidelines.” Following this, the high school teacher asked, “Knowing that educators are tying the presidential debates to student homework, do you feel you are modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today’s youth?”
In response, both candidates steered completely away from the question, and to be fair, that’s something pretty awkward to answer on the spot. But if you’re a candidate running for president, you should be able to answer a few uncomfortable questions here and there. According to a transcript of the election on the Times Magazine website, Clinton responded to this question with, “I think it is very important for us to make clear to our children that our country really is great because we’re good.” Okay Hillary, that’s great, but what does that have to do with the question?
Trump also failed to answer any question directly, go figure. When asked about his leaked audio tape, Trump stated, “It’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS. We’re going to defeat ISIS,” he said.
Do I even have to explain why this response is so unsettling? First of all, what does ISIS have to do with sexual assault? And, if Trump is using ISIS as some way to lessen his gross comments made in his leaked audio, he’s basically saying that rape isn’t really a problem in comparison to the threats of ISIS. I think I can speak for the general public when I say that we all puked a little bit when we heard that comment.
While Trump may have been on thin ice with the American public before this most recent debate, he still had the support of many highly respected Republican politicians, which seemed to be one of the few things keeping him from falling through the cracks. However, after Trump’s vulgar audio was released, Republicans who had once secured their endorsement of Trump dropped it immediately.
According to the Washington Post, “Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy,” Senator John McCain of Arizona said.
Despite this, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, announced in an emergency call this past Monday that the RNC has officially decided to stand with candidate Donald Trump despite the leaked audio and revoked endorsements. According to Politico, “Over the last 24 to 48 hours there have been a lot of false rumors that we didn’t want to engage in,” Priebus said.“Nothing has changed in terms of our support for the nominee.”
While this debate may have proved to include even less politics than the first, I hope to see the candidates amp up their political knowledge in the future. While dramatic scandals involving potential candidates is not unusual to bring up during a Presidential debate, they should not take over the entire discussion, because let’s face it, politicians having cat fights is only funny until a certain point.
By Ellie Kravetz ’18, Assistant Creative Director
Whether you are a CEO for a major company or a janitor of a local high school, you have no right to someone else’s body. The Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, has once again found a way to disgrace himself by boastfully stating that, due to his status, consent is not a priority.
Eleven years ago in conversation Trump was taped by Access Hollywood speaking about “beautiful women,” saying, “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” Later in the tapes, he was recorded saying, “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.” Proudly claiming that the woman’s consent is not important due to his being Donald Trump is highly unacceptable. How can we elect a leader who does not abide by the unspoken understanding of consent? How can we elect a leader who is supposed to educate the next generation on this imperative issue when he has yet to learn about it himself?
Consent has been a booming topic amongst high school settings, colleges, workplaces, and other environments. As a country, it is vital that our next leader acknowledges the seriousness of this problem.It is estimated that the percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in higher educational institutions may be between 20% and 25% over the course of a college career. (NSVRC) To provide prevention a president should take action by implementing programs in schools, setting a positive example in his or her own personal life, and clearly expressing that the behavior demonstrated by Trump is inexcusable. The next president should have solutions instead of perpetuating the problem.
On an infamous occasion Trump’s first wife, Ivana, accused him of rape, a charge that was widely covered at the time and which she later retracted. In a 2015 column, Tim Mak of The Daily Beast cites Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III saying, “Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault,” Hurt writes. “According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, ‘he raped me.’ She later said she felt ‘violated’ by the experience.’” This incident shows Trump’s disregard for his wife’s consent and his belief that his forceful actions will go unpunished due to his being a husband. Trump’s loud statements could easily erode the importance of consent for all audiences, specifically children.
Rape culture, which Trump calls “locker room talk,” should in no way be seen as appropriate. The potential president of the United States should not be impacting how our children view consent by speaking about how he is able to grab women by their genitalia. We cannot have the next generation consider behavior like Trump’s permissible. It is our duty as a country to make sure that everyone feels safe from assault.
In order to achieve security we must destroy the mindset that consent is optional. For America to be “great again” we must treat people as if they are great by honoring their voice, opinion, and choice.