August 24, 2016

EDITORIAL: Cornell Republicans Must Renounce Donald Trump  

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The Cornell University College Republicans plan to “make an announcement” later this week and are likely preparing to endorse a presidential candidate. One particular candidate poses an imminent threat to the values of our country and our campus.

From its founding, Cornell has been a progressive institution, striving to foster an egalitarian and diverse campus. Although never perfectly implemented, the motto ‘any person, any study’ was and remains a radical notion: that every student should have an equal opportunity to receive an excellent education. Regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexual orientation or physical ability, every student is equal in the pursuit of higher education.

Donald Trump’s candidacy is antithetical to these ideals. In the past year, Trump has demonstrated a fundamental callousness and cruelty toward entire populations of the United States. He is the first presidential candidate in years not only to personally insult his opponents, but also to launch aggressive and bigoted attacks on various sectors of this country. The Republican nominee has called for a ban of Muslim immigrants entering the United States, mocked the disabled, insulted prisoners of war, called for and sparked violence against his opponents and validated the reintroduction of dog whistle racism in national political discourse.

These actions, and much else in Trump’s platform, defy the values of equality and diversity that are fundamental to both our collegiate and national values. There are countless reasons for members of the Cornell community, including the Cornell Republicans, to renounce Trump:

With Cornellians working together in classes and clubs and organizing around social issues, this campus is a testament to the collective strength and creativity of collaboration. A man who declares to the country that he “alone can fix it” has no place in our constitutional democracy, and we cannot support these authoritarian instincts on a campus devoted to collective progress.

As a diverse community that includes Muslim students, veterans, immigrants and people of color, we must promote respect and inclusion by disavowing a nominee who treats them with unabashed contempt. One of the greatest values of a Cornell education is the richness in learning that results from the collaboration and discourse of 14,000 unique individuals. Cornellians, who are more privileged than many American citizens for living in such a rich community, have a responsibility to defend the virtue of diversity.

As a research institution, Cornell is also a bastion of cutting edge academic study. Trump — who has called climate change a “pseudoscientific theory” and called the National Institutes of Health “terrible” — indulges in blatant anti-intellectualism that defies reason and fact. He is a man who is more likely to mock than applaud this campus’ efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

The Cornell community is served and strengthened by newspapers and other media organizations, including The Cornell Daily Sun. Trump’s threats to “loosen libel laws” and repeated revocation of press credentials flies in the face of the protections of the First Amendment. A free press is the lifeblood of democracy; to limit its reach is a betrayal of our founding document and a thinly veiled attempt to limit the agency and knowledge of American citizens.

The list of Trump’s policy weaknesses and character failings is endless. In the face of a clear and present danger to the American experiment, we as students and patriots must call for a higher standard of morality and devotion to our country’s creed. This summer, the Harvard Republicans Club took a bold step in this direction when they decided not to endorse their party’s nominee for the first time in 138 years. Labeling Trump’s “flirtations with fascism” a threat “unparalleled in the history of our democracy,” the Harvard students also called on other college Republicans to condemn Trump. We are optimistic that Cornell Republicans will prove as courageous and principled as their Harvard peers.

As a community that celebrates all differences, including differences of opinion, we encourage campus Republicans to continue a tradition of open and civil political discourse that will enrich all campus discussion and debate. But to either support Donald Trump or stand by silently as he marches toward the general election is a decision that transcends political differences and endangers the United States. By renouncing Trump, the Cornell Republicans would not only remain loyal to their conservative values, but also reaffirm the ideals of our University and country.

  • Concerned Alum ’11

    Renounce Donald Trump? How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate whose support for disastrous and corrupt teachers unions’ supported educational policies have condemned millions of black and Hispanic children to receiving an inferior education (this isn’t just TALK, but actions of a candidate/party that have had and that are having lasting impacts on a huge percentage of the population)?

    How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate who threatened national security (and lied multiple times to the country/Congress about what she did . . . as confirmed by the FBI director through his investigation) by the irresponsible use of storing, sending, and receiving highly classified information on a private, home-based email server, which went against Department of State and general federal policy? If the Russians hacked the DNC’s email database, which had greater security precautions than Hillary’s private server, is there any real question of whether Hillary’s irresponsibility exposed our national secrets unfriendly nations and actors?

    How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate who, on the one hand, calls for all rape victims to be believed, but who, on the other hand, trashes and tries to discredit her husband’s rape accusers (including Juanita Broadrrick) as liars and opportunists?

    How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate who, despite calling for gender pay parity, paid women Senate staffers 72 cents to the dollar that was paid to men, and whose charity similar “underpays” women?

    How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate who championed legislation signed by her husband that led to the mass and disproportionate incarceration of millions of blacks and Latinos, individuals the now-candidate referred to (and in a quite racist manner) as “super predators?”

    How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate who showed how out of touch she is with the American public when she claimed that she and Bill were “dead broke” upon leaving the White House?

    How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate who took part, along with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a racist joke regarding “CPT” (or “Colored People Time”)?

    How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate who, in criticizing Donald Trump, referred to Trump as being “off the reservation,” which was a racist, stereotypical comparison concerning Native Americans?

    How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate who made a racist joke about Mahatma Ghandi running a “gas station down in St. Louis?”

    How about calling on the Cornell Democrats to renounce a candidate whose campaign, back during the 2008 cycle, circulated a picture of Mr. Obama in Islamic garb, which was a blatantly racist and Islamaphobic attack on Obama.

    Its one thing to call out Mr. Trump for some of his statements. But, doing so while remaining silent and while even praising his primary opponent, who has her own history of disgusting, racist, and ethically-challenged behavior, is the height of hypocrisy. Shame on the Daily Sun Editorial Board, which is the last organization that should be preaching to the Cornell Republicans about remaining “loyal to [its] conservative values” and “reaffirming the ideals of our University and country.”

    If those things that Hillary has done show “progressive” qualities, I want none of it.

    • Abe ’14

      I came here to write something similar, but you captured it perfectly. Well done.

    • Daniel Rong

      Stop acting like the scope of what Clinton has done and what Trump has done are somehow equivalent to each other.

      Does Clinton lie? Absolutely. Does Trump lie? Absolutely. Have some of these lies by both people been outrageous? Absolutely.

      Has Clinton done bad things? Absolutely. Has Trump done bad things? Absolutely. Will Clinton do bad things as President? Absolutely. Will Trump do bad things as President? Absolutely.

      Has Clinton already explicitly promised to do bad things as President?
      Has Trump already explicitly promised to do bad things as President?

      As President, will Clinton attempt to pass policies that she explicitly intends ahead of time to be law-breaking and divisive?
      As President, will Trump attempt to pass policies that he explicitly intends ahead of time to be law-breaking and divisive?

      Have students intentionally harassed and threatened other students while chanting Clinton’s name?
      Have students intentionally harassed and threatened other students while chanting Trump’s name?

      • Abe ’14

        Has Trump violated federal law? No.
        Has Clinton violated federal law? Yes.

  • MCGA


    • paul brener


  • Alum ’14

    Both candidates are highly imperfect. The editorial outlines Trump’s many flaws and the comment above (Concerned Alum ’11) covers Clinton’s.

    It is disappointing to see a self-righteous student editorial board claim they are certain whose flaws are worse.

  • The following was posted to the Harvard Republican Club’s Facebook page on August 4. Cornell Republicans should follow their example.

    “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

  • The following open letter was signed by 121 GOP national security experts in March.

    We the undersigned, members of the Republican national security community, represent a broad spectrum of opinion on America’s role in the world and what is necessary to keep us safe and prosperous. We have disagreed with one another on many issues, including the Iraq war and intervention in Syria. But we are united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency. Recognizing as we do, the conditions in American politics that have contributed to his popularity, we nonetheless are obligated to state our core objections clearly:

    His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence.

    His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world.

    His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.

    His hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric undercuts the seriousness of combating Islamic radicalism by alienating partners in the Islamic world making significant contributions to the effort. Furthermore, it endangers the safety and Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of American Muslims.

    Controlling our border and preventing illegal immigration is a serious issue, but his insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border inflames unhelpful passions, and rests on an utter misreading of, and contempt for, our southern neighbor.

    Similarly, his insistence that close allies such as Japan must pay vast sums for protection is the sentiment of a racketeer, not the leader of the alliances that have served us so well since World War II.

    His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world’s greatest democracy.

    He is fundamentally dishonest. Evidence of this includes his attempts to deny positions he has unquestionably taken in the past, including on the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Libyan conflict. We accept that views evolve over time, but this is simply misrepresentation.

    His equation of business acumen with foreign policy experience is false. Not all lethal conflicts can be resolved as a real estate deal might, and there is no recourse to bankruptcy court in international affairs.

    Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.

    Ken Adelman
    David Adesnik
    Michael Auslin
    Mike Baker
    Christopher Barton
    Kevin W. Billings
    Robert D. Blackwill
    Daniel A. Blumenthal
    Max Boot
    Ellen Bork
    Anna Borshchevskaya
    Joseph A. Bosco
    Michael Chertoff
    Patrick Chovanec
    James Clad
    Eliot A. Cohen
    Gus Coldebella
    Carrie Cordero
    Michael Coulter
    Chester A. Crocker
    Patrick M. Cronin
    Seth Cropsey
    Tom Donnelly
    Daniel Drezner
    Colin Dueck
    Eric Edelman
    Joseph Esposito
    Charles Fairbanks
    Richard A. Falkenrath
    Peter D. Feaver
    Niall Ferguson
    Richard Fontaine
    Aaron Friedberg
    Dan Gabriel
    Greg Garcia
    Jana Chapman Gates
    Jeffrey Gedmin
    Reuel Marc Gerecht
    James K. Glassman
    David Gordon
    Christopher J. Griffin
    Mary R. Habeck
    Paul Haenle
    Melinda Haring
    Robert Hastings
    Rebeccah Heinrichs
    Francis Q. Hoang
    Rachel Hoff
    Jeffrey W. Hornung
    William C. Inboden
    Jamil N. Jaffer
    Ash Jain
    Marc C. Johnson
    Myriah Jordan
    Robert G. Joseph
    Tim Kane
    Kate Kidder
    Robert Kagan
    Rep. Jim Kolbe
    David Kramer
    Stephen Krasner

    Matthew Kroenig
    Frank Lavin
    Philip I. Levy
    Philip Lohaus
    Mary Beth Long
    Peter Mansoor
    John Maurer
    Matthew McCabe
    Bryan McGrath
    Richard G. Miles
    Paul D. Miller
    Charles Morrison
    Michael B. Mukasey
    Scott W. Muller
    Lester Munson
    Andrew S. Natsios
    Michael Noonan

    Tom Nichols
    John Noonan
    Roger F. Noriega
    Stephen E. Ockenden
    John Osborn
    Robert T. Osterhaler
    Mackubin T. Owens
    Daniel Pipes
    Everett Pyatt
    Martha T. Rainville
    Stephen Rodriguez
    Marc A. Ross
    Nicholas Rostow
    Michael Rubin
    Daniel F. Runde
    Benjamin Runkle
    Richard L. Russell
    Andrew Sagor
    Kori Schake
    Randy Scheunemann
    Gary J. Schmitt
    Gabriel Schoenfeld
    Russell Seitz
    Kalev I. Sepp
    Vance Serchuk
    David R. Shedd
    Gary Shiffman
    Kristen Silverberg
    Michael Singh
    Ray Takeyh
    Jeremy Teigen
    William H. Tobey
    Frances F. Townsend
    Jan Van Tol
    Daniel Vajdich
    Ruth Wedgwood
    Albert Wolf
    Julie Wood
    Dov S. Zakheim
    Roger Zakheim
    Sam Zega
    Philip Zelikow
    Robert B. Zoellick
    Laurence Zuriff

    Number of Signatories: 121

  • Do a Google search under “Donald Trump is an ‘abusive braggart’ unfit to lead our Armed Forces”. There you will see a letter by retired Four Star General Barry McCaffrey that states:

    “The shameful reaction by presidential candidate Donald Trump to the mother and father of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan prompts me to state publicly that Trump should never serve as our commander in chief. . . .

    Trump’s cruel cultural jab at Ghazala Kahn as a grieving Gold Star mother is simply the final straw. In my judgment, Trump, if elected, would provoke a political and constitutional crisis within a year. He has called for the illegal torture of enemy detainees. He has called for the deliberate targeting and murder of civilians as retribution. He has questioned whether the U.S. should actually fulfill our defense obligations under the NATO pact. These NATO obligations are a U.S. Senate-ratified treaty that Trump should know is the highest law of the land. . . .

    Trump sounds like a 12-year-old — a willful and abusive braggart. He is remarkably ignorant and uneducated about the world that we face and the means we may use to defend ourselves.”

    Trump may have lost the support of the Harvard Republican Club and many national security experts, but he can take solace in the fact that he has won the support of the American Nazi Party. Their leader, Rocky Suhayda, said, ““If Trump does win, it’s going to be a real opportunity for people like white nationalists, acting intelligently to build upon that.”

    Cornell Republicans–you are known by the company you keep. Would you rather be associated with the Harvard Republican Club or the American Nazi Party?

  • Todd Elliott Koger

    Donald Trump’s Meeting Today With Blacks

    In America’s black neighborhoods there is violence in the streets, anxiety among the elderly, aimlessness with the youth, and corruption (a rigged political system). Race conscious policies are needed . . .

    All economic indicators show black lives remain just as dire (and/or far worst) under the “political correct colorblindness” approach of the democrats. They use the votes of black citizens to get elected and once in office use the “colorblindness approach as an excuse” to do nothing and keep their corporate lobbyist and campaign contributors happy.

    The symbolic effort does nothing to address the need for full inclusion and the maldistribution of equality in the economic and educational spheres of black life. They want you to believe that America has reached a point of sophistication that race of a person is insignificant in determining his or her success.

    Donald Trump has promised a race conscious approach to focus on rights, fair procedures, and equality of opportunity as a commitment to the principle of nondiscrimination. He believes that blacks should be proud of their race and America must ascend to the level of collective consequences as it relates to responsibility for black neighborhoods. The social, economic, and gun violence situation in black communities is real.

    Mr. Trump wants the following:
    (1) More strident equal enforcement of laws and programs.
    (2) Humane and appropriate responses to poverty, hopelessness and gun violence (crime).
    (3) An agenda to establish partnerships and drive economic development to create pathways for enhancing education, employment, entrepreneurship, and home ownership.

  • George

    Anyone who supported Bernie Sanders cannot, if they have a shred of integrity, support Hillary Clinton. She is the polar opposite of Bernie. He was an advocate for transparency. Hillary seeks to obscure everything she does. He wanted the 1% to have less influence in our country. Hillary and the 1% are joined at the hip. Those voting for Hillary remind me of the union members who elect leaders that are in jail. Hillary panders to every special interest group known to mankind. She is truly disgusting.

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  • Alum

    I renounce the Cornell Daily Sun for showing no leadership regarding the murder of Anthony Nazaire on Cornell’s campus one month ago.