Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, campaigns with Vice president Joe Biden during a rally at the Riverfront Sports Complex in Scranton, Pa.

Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

August 24, 2016

Cornell Democrats Endorse Clinton, Republicans to ‘Make Announcement’ This Week

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Cornell Democrats announced Tuesday night that they will endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president and “strongly support” her candidacy this fall. Cornell Republicans plan to make an announcement about the 2016 election by the end of this week, according to Chair Olivia Corn ’19.

Cornell Democrats President Kevin Kowalewski ’17 said the group plans to campaign aggressively for Clinton on campus this fall.

“The Cornell Democrats strongly support Hillary Clinton and we will be working hard to elect her in November,” Kowaleski said. “When the election gets closer, we will put out a voter guide with a full list of endorsements.”

Both groups spoke to The Sun this summer, sharing their reactions to their parties’ conventions hosted in Cleveland and Philadelphia, respectively.

Remembering the RNC

In July, Cornell Republican leadership diverged on whether Donald Trump’s law and order message at the Republican National Convention resonated with Americans or revealed an alarming authoritarian leaning in the candidate.

Corn said she believed the convention’s darker message managed to reach voters who “rightly have fears, given [that] random acts of terror that have been committed here in the United States, and around the world.”

However, Senior First Vice Chair Austin McLaughlin ’18, said he found the presidential nominees statements such as, “‘I alone can fix it,” concerning as they “make [Trump] out to be more of a strongman than a unifier.”

“Trump combines this language with language of law and order as if he alone can solve the gun violence and terrorism wrought upon the United States,” McLaughlin said. “In my opinion, the Republican Party inches closer and closer to authoritarianism with this law and order motif.”

First Vice Chair Irvin McCullough ’18 also criticized Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Tx) decision not to endorse Trump in Cleveland.

“If Donald Trump loses, Senator Cruz and the #NeverTrump movement may become the Ralph Nader of the 2016 election,” McCullough said. “Speaking out at the RNC may have been a poor decision for Senator Cruz in the long run.”

Despite these divergent opinions among members of its board, Cornell Republicans will issue an announcement about the election by the end of this week, according to Corn. She did not clarify whether the group would endorse a candidate.

Discussing the DNC

On the other hand, leaders of Cornell Democrats praised the display of party unity in Philadelphia this summer as different factions rallied around Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

Cornell Democrats Secretary Natalie Brown ’18 shared how, in particular, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) support of Clinton has helped to create a cohesive platform that reaches young Democratic supporters.

“Sanders has helped attract younger voters to the party and has encouraged them to be politically active,” she said. “Clinton has brought the voice of foreign and domestic experience and has helped set a mature tone for the party, a clear distinction from the RNC.”

Kowalewski also praised President Barack Obama’s speech at the convention, sharing his hope that his speech will “help to re-energize the coalition that turned out for Obama in 2008 and 2012” in this electoral cycle for Clinton.

Hooja praised First Lady Michelle Obama, whose speech, she said, will “undoubtedly go down as one of the best convention speeches of all time.”

“I believe Michelle Obama did a great job of explaining to voters exactly what was at stake this November and why they should vote for Clinton,” she said.

Several members of Cornell Democrats warned of the dangers of a Trump presidency in reflecting on both conventions, creating an atmosphere even tenser than in previous election years as the Cornell Republicans prepare their announcement.

Kowalewski stressed that one of the “most important points of this election” is that Donald Trump is not a normal candidate.

“We should be careful not to normalize his stunning ignorance, hateful views, authoritarian tendencies, and his vicious attacks against anyone who dares critique him,” he said. “I want to believe that the Republican Party is better than Trump — and I hope that more Republicans begin to speak out against the dangerous idea of electing such a man.”

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  • I hope the Cornell Republicans follow the lead of the Harvard Republican Club. The following is from their FaceBook page:
    “Dear Members and Alumni,

    In every presidential election since 1888, the members and Executive Board of the Harvard Republican Club have gathered to discuss, debate, and eventually endorse the standard-bearer of our party. But for the first time in 128 years, we, the oldest College Republicans chapter in the nation, will not be endorsing the Republican nominee.

    Donald Trump holds views that are antithetical to our values not only as Republicans, but as Americans. The rhetoric he espouses –from racist slander to misogynistic taunts– is not consistent with our conservative principles, and his repeated mocking of the disabled and belittling of the sacrifices made by prisoners of war, Gold Star families, and Purple Heart recipients is not only bad politics, but absurdly cruel.

    If enacted, Donald Trump’s platform would endanger our security both at home and abroad. Domestically, his protectionist trade policies and draconian immigration restrictions would enlarge our federal deficit, raise prices for consumers, and throw our economy back into recession. Trump’s global outlook, steeped in isolationism, is considerably out-of-step with the traditional Republican stance as well. The flippancy with which he is willing to abdicate the United States’ responsibility to lead is alarming. Calling for the US’ withdrawal from NATO and actively endorsing nuclear proliferation, Donald Trump’s foreign policy would wreak havoc on the established world order which has held aggressive foreign powers in check since World War II.

    Perhaps most importantly, however, Donald Trump simply does not possess the temperament and character necessary to lead the United States through an increasingly perilous world. The last week should have made obvious to all what has been obvious to most for more than a year. In response to any slight –perceived or real– Donald Trump lashes out viciously and irresponsibly. In Trump’s eyes, disagreement with his actions or his policies warrants incessant name calling and derision: stupid, lying, fat, ugly, weak, failing, idiot –and that’s just his “fellow” Republicans.

    He isn’t eschewing political correctness. He is eschewing basic human decency.

    Donald Trump, despite spending more than a year on the campaign trail, has either refused or been unable to educate himself on issues that matter most to Americans like us. He speaks only in platitudes, about greatness, success, and winning. Time and time again, Trump has demonstrated his complete lack of knowledge on critical matters, meandering from position to position over the course of the election. When confronted about these frequent reversals, Trump lies in a manner more brazen and shameless than anything politics has ever seen.
    Millions of people across the country are feeling despondent. Their hours have been cut, wages slashed, jobs even shipped overseas. But Donald Trump doesn’t have a plan to fix that. He has a plan to exploit that.

    Donald Trump is a threat to the survival of the Republic. His authoritarian tendencies and flirtations with fascism are unparalleled in the history of our democracy. He hopes to divide us by race, by class, and by religion, instilling enough fear and anxiety to propel himself to the White House. He is looking to to pit neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, American against American. We will not stand for this vitriolic rhetoric that is poisoning our country and our children.

    President Reagan called on us to maintain this, our shining city on a hill. He called on us to maintain freedom abroad by keeping a strong presence in the world. He called on us to maintain liberty at home by upholding the democratic process and respecting our opponents. He called on us to maintain decency in our hearts by loving our neighbor.

    He would be ashamed of Donald Trump. We are too.

    This fall, we will instead focus our efforts on reclaiming the Republican Party from those who have done it considerable harm, campaigning for candidates who will uphold the conservative principles that have defined the Republican Party for generations. We will work to ensure both chambers of Congress remain in Republican hands, continuing to protect against executive overreach regardless of who wins the election this November.

    We call on our party’s elected leaders to renounce their support of Donald Trump, and urge our fellow College Republicans to join us in condemning and withholding their endorsement from this dangerous man. The conservative movement in America should not and will not go quietly into the night.

    A longtime student of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville once said, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

    De Tocqueville believed in the United States. Americans are a decent people. We work hard, protect our own, and look out for one another in times of need, regardless of the color of our skin, the God we worship, or our party registration. Donald Trump may not believe in that America, but we do. And that America will never cease to be great.

    The Harvard Republican Club”

  • I have put together an annotated reading list of dozens of important articles about Trump. It isn’t complete—compiling a complete list of his outrages would be a full time job. But I think it will be useful to anyone who needs wants to show others just how unfit Trump is for President.


    Here is a small sample from my reading list.

    4. Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, July 25, 2016

    Tony Schwartz spent 18 months working very closely with Donald Trump as his ghostwriter for “Art of the Deal”. He started speaking out about his experience with Trumb because

    ————————-Begin quote from Mayer’s article——————
    . . . the prospect of President Trump terrified him. It wasn’t because of Trump’s ideology—Schwartz doubted that he had one. The problem was Trump’s personality, which he considered pathologically impulsive and self-centered. . . .

    “I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

    If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

    ————————-End quote from Mayer’s article——————

    See also this video of Tony Schwartz speaking about Trump.

    Compare what Tony Schwartz said about Trump with what Jack O’Donnell, a man who worked with him for 3 years said about him. (the next one on this list.)

    5. I know Trump, and he’s not fit to be president, by Jack O’Donnell, Tucsom.com/Arizona Daily Star, 8/13/16


    Compare what Jack O’Donnell, who worked for Trump for 3 years, said about him with what Tony Schwartz, who worked very closely with Trump for 18 months said about him (number 4 above).

    ————————-Begin Jack O’Donnell quote——————

    I will be upfront and begin this column by stating that I am not a Donald Trump fan. When I go the polls this November, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton.

    But unlike many pundits and average citizens , I have made my decision based on actually knowing Trump. I worked for him for three years in Atlantic City. From 1987 to 1990, I was senior executive at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. The last half of my time with Donald, I was the president and chief operating officer of the business. . . .

    I am horrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency. I know first-hand that he lacks the intelligence, nor does he have the attention span to process the complexities of running our great country. The vision of him sitting in the War Room during a national crisis should frighten every American. Sitting with the Joint Chiefs, secretary of defense, secretary of state and others, he would be forced to do something he is not capable of doing: listening to others.

    ————————-End Jack O’Donnell quote——————

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