November 18, 2016

GUEST ROOM | Four Ridiculous Opinions About Trump

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In these ridiculous times, it’s tempting to take ridiculous positions; after all, we have a ridiculous President-elect. From his golden hair to his stubby fingers, Trump is a caricature of American wealth, power and superficiality. Of course he’ll lead us into outlandish positions.

These are a few such positions. Regardless of your political beliefs, don’t let yourself fall into any of these traps, and you’ll be an island of sanity in the ocean of weirdness that political debate has become.

Donald Trump should be assassinated. I shouldn’t even have to include this, but I’ve heard more assassination talk bandied about by my friends on the left than I’d have guessed, and #AssassinateTrump even trended on Twitter. Even as a joke, language like this is dangerous and stupid, and to even sorta halfway believe in it is morally bankrupt. Violence shouldn’t be part of the political process; that Trump himself has violated that norm doesn’t excuse anyone else doing it.

Donald Trump is striking a blow against entrenched Washington interests. Not so far he’s not. Trump has spent the first days of his presidency naming prominent lobbyists and political operatives to all sorts of important roles. Marc Short, who until recently ran the billion-dollar Freedom Partners lobbying network, is now a close advisor to Mike Pence. Michael Catanzaro, the head of Trump’s energy transition team, was a partner at a lobbying firm whose clients included the petroleum giant Koch Industries. Trump’s chief of staff is the former head of the RNC.

Barack Obama called Trump a “con man”; Marco Rubio called him a “con artist.” If politicians as far apart as those two agree on something, it’s probably true. In fact, Trump is a con man and he’s always been one, an unwitting vehicle for establishment conservatism who became a populist because he loves the roar of the crowd. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell don’t even think that Trump is a real conservative, they just know that he has no real ideology or personal convictions. They bet — wisely, it seems — that they could use his Saturn-sized ego and complete disinterest in policy to pass their program of tax cuts, reduced social spending, pro-life legislation and opposition to gun control and environmental protection.

Whatever his differences with Republican orthodoxy may be, Trump lacks the personal ideals and political savvy required to translate them into policy. If you voted for Trump, you voted for establishment conservatism. If that’s what you supported anyway, you made the right move. If not, you got conned.

Donald Trump is not my president. Yes, he is. If Donald Trump issues an executive order, it will apply to you. If Donald Trump starts a war and, with Congress’ help, initiates the draft, you will be drafted and either go to war or jail. If Donald Trump’s new Supreme Court justices overturn Roe v. Wade and you accidentally get pregnant in Texas, you’ll either start shopping for strollers or make a trip east — assuming you can afford to.

#NotMyPresident is self-absorbed, petty, entitled liberalism at its worst. We’re one country with a system we’ve collectively agreed upon to choose our leaders. According to that system, Trump won the election fair and square. Therefore, after he’s inaugurated, he will be your president.

If you think that Trump is an unqualified fraud who fell ass-backwards into a job he doesn’t even understand, then the best thing you can do is oppose him on principle, not abandon your civic responsibility and run to Canada, or cover your eyes and pretend he’s not there.

Donald Trump can be supported without, at least indirectly, supporting racism. Trump’s campaign was openly based on racial animus. His remarks about Hispanics, Muslims and blacks — Paul Ryan himself called his attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel “the textbook definition of a racist comment” — have made him a hero to white nationalists across the country. His political profile was built in the first place on baseless accusations that the first black President was an illegitimate, foreign-born Kenyan. He’s named Steve Bannon, head of Breitbart News, as his chief strategist; former Ku Klux Klan Grandmaster David Duke said Bannon is “basically creating the ideological aspects of where we’re going.”

Not all Donald Trump supporters are racists; in fact, implying that they are only strengthens him. But racially charged language was an essential part of Trump’s appeal. So if you supported him, you have, regardless of your personal feelings towards people of any color, indirectly supported racism.

Max Van Zile is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences and writes for the Arts and Entertainment Department. He can be reached at mvanzile@cornellsun.com. Guest Room appears periodically this semester.

20 thoughts on “GUEST ROOM | Four Ridiculous Opinions About Trump

  1. Old sport, your opinion is the most ridiculous. Had a shrill corrupt deplorable reprobabte criminal like sHrillary been elected, that would have been ridiculous. Get over your stupidity old sport. The majority of America thinks you and your kind are acting childish by not accepting Trump as your next president.

    • Lol he literally said “Yes, he is” in response to people saying Trump is not their president. He proceeded to call them “self-absorbed, petty, entitled liberalism.” Please learn to read, Bob.

      • what did I miss old sport? This was a Trump bashing article for all the gentle snowflakes feeling so upset that you dont always win, paticularly when your marxist ideology flies in the the fact of American values. Tell me what I didnt “read” old sport.

        • He says “#NotMyPresident is self-absorbed, petty, entitled liberalism at its worst. We’re one country with a system we’ve collectively agreed upon to choose our leaders. According to that system, Trump won the election fair and square. Therefore, after he’s inaugurated, he will be your president.” It’s an even-handed piece that recognizes Trump’s faults, but also the faults of people protesting him.

          Also, how many “old sports” can you shove into one comment?

          • Old sport, I can spot a disingenuous comment from the start. The writer starts by referring to President Trump as ridiculous. If he is referring to all these anti-Trimp protestors as delusional whinny cry baby assholes, then I can concur with that part if his rant, old sport.

        • You do realize that actual marxists hated Hillary, right? They loathed her wit every inch of their being. If you want to know why, read Das Kapital. You will find that the only thing democrats share with Socialist thought is a hatred of fascists like Trump

          • Old sport, sHrillary practices a form of marxism known as extreme crony capitalism. As for fascism, we have just suffered through 8 years of the facist obama regime.

  2. When Trump said that some of the immigrants from Mexico are rapists and criminals, that undoubtedly was true. He went on to say that some are good people. Also true. I fail to see the racism. Last time I checked, Mexicans are not a race. If he said that some people in New York are rapists and criminals, which is true, is that a racist statement? Who else is not a race- Muslims. He said he wants to vet Muslims entering the country to keep out terrorists. And that is a bad thing? Any sane country does that. With respect to the judge, he was saying that the judge might be biased against him because of his desire to build the wall. He did not say that judges of Hispanic descent are inherently incompetent. He never sought the endorsement of any white supremacist group and disavowed it when he got it. I believe the US communist party endorsed Hillary. She did not disavow the endorsement. So, by your logic, Hillary built her campaign around communism. The title of the article is so ironic, as this entire racism narrative is sorely lacking a factual basis and is built on hyperbole.

    • So ideally you would’ve been ok if Trump said some immigrants from Italy are rapists and criminals? That wouldn’t have been problematic to you?

      Also you’re missing the point. While both are not races, they are ultimately tied to race and ethnicity based on stereotypes. When you think of muslims you think of someone from the middle east, not for example Australia. Race and ethnicity is tied to both. Banning a whole religious group based on the actions of a few was the reasoning behind Japanese internment camps ans so many other atrocious violations of human rights.

      • I personally did not have a problem with his immigration statement. Many people coming over the border are criminals. Prisons in Arizona, California and Texas are loaded with them. Trump haters essentially claim that he said that “inherently, all Hispanics are criminals.” He did not say that. The basket of deplorables statement made by Hillary was far worse than anything that Trump said.

  3. My only issue is with the phrase “establishment conservatism.” You would typically say that establishment Republicans are distinct from the Conservative Republicans. And most conservatives would not argue that Trump is a conservative – they would agree with the contention that he is a populist and that they voted for him because he is to the right of Hillary Clinton.

    I guess the “indirectly supporting racism” thing is true. But by supporting any politician, you “indirectly support” all sorts of egregious behavior. Like, support for Hillary Clinton was “indirectly supporting” communism if you want to base it on things she has said and people who have supported her.

  4. So ideally you would’ve been ok if Trump said some immigrants from Italy are rapists and criminals? That wouldn’t have been problematic to you?
    Also you’re missing the point. While both are not races, they are ultimately tied to race and ethnicity based on stereotypes. When you think of muslims you think of someone from the middle east, not for example Australia. Race and ethnicity is tied to both. Banning a whole religious group based on the actions of a few was the reasoning behind Japanese internment camps ans so many other atrocious violations of human rights.
    Reply ↓

    • so glad we vanquished those nasty democruds from DC. With their support of slavery, their opposition to the civil rights act, and their internment of Japanese, Italians and Germans during WW 2 those democruds have proven themselves to be a racist bigoted nasty political party.

      • Have you opened a history text book? The democratic and republican parties of the 1860’s were completely different from today. Lincoln was a republican, but today would be much more aligned with the democratic party. After the civil war, the two parties flipped completely on issues. Old sport.

        • You are completely daft old sport. SO if they flipped on issues after the civil war how do you explain the democrud opposition to the civil rights act of 1965, old sport? Did they flip again and then re-fli[p when they were flipping again. Old sport, the only one flippng around here is you old sport. As I said old sport, the democruds are nasty racist miscreants.

  5. President Obama and Senator Rubio sharing apprehension about Donald Trump is not proof that he won’t shake up Washington. It is proof that he will. Or will try anyway. Neither of them nor the poles they represent have ever been confronted with a movement like the one Trump represents. The usual postures, ideologies and demagoguery, of both sides, roll off of him like water off a duck’s back (to coin a phrase). They didn’t stick in the primaries and they didn’t stick in the election.

    As for staffing, Trump could select the twelve Apostles and the criticism would not be diminished one bit. The criticism is an obvious strategy to hobble Mr. Trump even before day one. The critics have dossiers that they have laboriously compiled, containing every utterance, story, picture, assertion, and grade school test result for every possible and impossible candidate that exists.

    All the assertions of racism, xenophobia, y-phobia and z-phobia have be hashed, rehashed, bashed, smashed, and ground into the finest dust. To me, it is whatever you seek and you will find. Racism is the 21st century’s witchcraft: proven by accusation regardless of the accuser’s motivation or reputation. Some of President Obama’s associates and appointments, and Mrs. Clinton’s, too, were as bad or worse than any that have been associated with Mr. Trump.

  6. After reading the articles about Trump in this newspaper, it is clear that Cornell suffers from a lack of understanding of who Trump is, and how he won the election. This is the expected result of having professors and teachers who have failed to provide the diversity of ideas necessary to understand the political landscape of our country. This is like listening to upper class white students talking about growing up black and in the projects. All the major universities understand the importance of providing racial diversity in the makeup of their staff and students, unfortunately they fail to understand the importance of a diversity of ideas and viewpoints in that same makeup.

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