Donald Trump waves to the crowd during a campaign rally in Charleston on May 5.

Ty Wright / The New York Times

Donald Trump waves to the crowd during a campaign rally in Charleston on May 5.

May 10, 2016

Cornell Republicans Flock to Trump, Fearing Clinton

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Many members of Cornell Republicans have said they plan to rally behind ‘presumptive’ presidential nominee Donald Trump, citing the urgency of barring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the White House.

Olivia Corn ’19, chair of Cornell Republicans, said that while she does not agree with all of Trump’s stances, she plans to vote for him as the lesser of two evils, stressing the damage that would result if Clinton were to assume the presidency.

“I cannot speak for every individual in the organization, but for me at this point, I will be voting for Donald Trump,” Corn said. “While he is a flawed candidate, his values more closely align with mine than Hillary Clinton’s. Voting third party is not an option for me because a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Hillary Clinton, and this election is too important for that to happen.”

David Navadeh ’19, second vice chair of Cornell Republicans, agreed with Corn, saying that although Trump is not his ideal nominee, both parties must band together to block Clinton.

“Many Republicans, myself included, are dismayed to see Donald Trump become our nominee,” Navadeh said. “However, the worst case scenario is Hillary Clinton becoming President, with Republicans and many Democrats alike wanting to make sure that never happens.”

Corn added that, despite her reservations, she feels she has “no choice” but to vote for Trump, who she pointed out “is not currently being investigated by the FBI.”

“Although Trump has said some things I disagree with, so has Hillary Clinton,” Corn said. “Hillary Clinton lies through her teeth, puts down women and would be a horrible representation of this country. I am unable to vote for the third and fourth terms of Obama, which is why I feel I have no choice but to back my establishment candidate.” Navadeh said that although he prefers Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to Trump, if either ran a third party campaign, it would guarantee a Clinton presidency.

“A third party victory from Cruz or Rubio would be ideal, but we know this would just split the Republican vote and hand the election to Clinton” Navadeh said.

As many Cornell Republicans members voted for Cruz in the New York primary, they may choose to vote for a third party libertarian candidate instead of Trump, according to Irvin McCullough, first vice chair of Cornell Republicans.

“While I’ve supported Donald Trump for some time, almost all of the Cornell Republicans supported Ted Cruz in the primary fight,” McCullough said. “That makes sense given our slightly libertarian bent. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our members, regardless of Mr. Trump’s attempts to unify the Party, voted libertarian in November. I have yet to see many members cross party lines to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

Corn also said Republicans must consider the stakes in this election, stressing that she would not feel comfortable with Clinton choosing members of the Supreme Court.

“The next president will have the ability to control possibly three nominees to the Supreme Court, and I do not feel comforteable letting Hillary Clinton decide who those people are,” Corn said.

Corn added that the country “needs to recover from the wreckage left by [Obama’s] presidency” and said Clinton would continue many of his administrative policies.

“The Iran Deal needs fixing, Obamacare needs to be gutted and rebuilt, the national debt needs to stop growing at alarming rates and these are things Hillary Clinton will not fix,” Corn said.

McCullough urged Republicans to “unite behind Donald Trump,” expressing a belief that the businessman would not pursue radical polcies.

“I firmly believe that Mr. Trump, if elected, will be one of the most moderate presidents in recent history,” he said.

The “political landscape” will look very different in November, so Republicans should not make their decision about who to vote for prematurally, according to McCullough.

“Whether it’s Donald Trump coming to the center, Hillary Clinton facing an indictment or Ted Cruz appearing as a SCOTUS nominee, it’s a bit too early for every Republican to have made up their mind about Donald Trump,” he said.

McCullough advised other Republicans is to “have an open mind, not a closed heart.”


  • SO Frustrated.

    It is seriously laughable, but also incredibly disturbing, that Olivia Corn claims that she cannot vote for Clinton because she “puts down women and would be a horrible representation of this country.” Because obviously Donald Trump has never said anything negative about women in his entire life and is not racist, homophobic, or certifiably insane, right? I wouldn’t trust him to run a lemonade stand, let alone run an entire country. Ms. Corn is delusional if she finds Trump to be the lesser of two evils.

    • Abe ’14

      He runs great businesses — I think he could handle the lemonade stand.

      Just saying.

      • uhhh

        If you think running great business means accumulating huge amounts of debt and repeatedly driving his enterprises into the ground, then sure.

        • HillNo

          Oh please. I’m not even a Trump supporter, but there are legitimate reasons for bankruptcy and accumulating debt. He’s a pretty solid marketer and strategist if nothing else.

      • B

        Eh, does he? Everything he’s touched has turned to crap. Sure, he had a successful reality show (so does Kim Kardashian) and has made money as a developer. But your average chicken could make money in NYC real estate if they inherit $200MM and his dad’s connections. He’s succeeded largely out of luck, bullying, and leveraging his father’s legacy.

        I mean the guy bet on Atlantic City. Trump Taj may be the worst real estate investment of the last 50 years.

  • Anon

    Honestly, people need to get over freaking out about Hillary Clinton. At her worst, Hillary Clinton is a panderer who’s flip flopped on political decisions after realizing her errors. But she’s no fool, and she’s learned from her mistakes. However, when it comes to Donald Trump, not only is he a panderer with unfeasible plans but he is also either a racist or one who panders to racists and xenophobes. We have to keep in mind that electing him as president will validate the feelings of a lot of bigots in this country (how can we elect someone who’s willing to pin the blame for ISIS on all Muslims? How can we elect someone who dehumanizes illegal immigrants? How can we elect someone who thinks attacking ISIS family members isn’t a war crime? What sort of message does that send to the people who live in this nation and outside of it?). When you elect a president you’re simultaneously picking a leader to make decisions for this nation and a representative of what America stands for, and Donald Trump is way worse a candidate than Hillary Clinton for either position. Also it’s laughable that Hillary got brought up for putting down women; is Trump the alternative you’re looking for? What exactly has shown that he respects women other than some nonsensical over-rehearsed “I love women” drivel that he’s been spewing in interviews? There’s way more evidence for him objectifying women and not showing them the respect they deserve.

  • Anonymous

    “The country ‘needs to recover from the wreckage left by [Obama’s] presidency,'” says person who was 11 years old the last time somebody else was president.

    • Older Than You

      While Obama has had opposite rhetoric and narrative of G.W. Bush, on the major issues, he has been largely a continuation. Obama did do some good things, but let’s not kid ourselves here.

      Still screwing up the middle east? Check.
      Still helping corporations set record profits while making income and standard of living for the rest of us stagnate? Check.
      Still not properly regulating wall street? Check.
      Unbalanced federal budget? Check.
      Healthcare still outrageously expensive? Check.
      Triple health insurance company profits since enacting ACA? Check.
      NSA and other organizations dramatically expanding their abuse of our privacy? Check.
      Still doing little to increase the use of renewable energy? Check.
      Still being soft on environmental damage from energy extraction and consumption? Worse than before.
      Still enabling the exponential increase in college tuition as offerings are cut? Check.
      Still have money controlling politics? Worse than before.
      Washington still dysfunctional? At record setting levels.
      Using wedge issues to distract from the real problems? We’re move divided than ever (in the lifetime of anybody currently alive).

  • Sahara Byrne

    I am grateful and proud that these students shared their political opinions with us. All views need to be respected here at Cornell and we should listen to each other throughout this process.

    • anon

      I mean, they’re supporting someone whose views are clearly going to hurt millions of Americans if we endorse them. The article doesn’t present strong reasons for supporting Trump (“boo hoo Hillary Clinton and her emails” is not a reason) and more importantly they fail to address the harm that he will do, and somehow believe that his bullshit is the “lesser of the evils”. Even if none of his far flung policies get implemented, he’s going to make people of color in this country feel uncomfortable being here, and that totally goes against the mission of this country. It’s hard for me to be respectful of people who are okay with that.

      • another anon

        You disagree with these people. We get it. Thinking that you shouldn’t have to be respectful of people you disagree with because you think their ideas are harmful should not be considered acceptable behavior, let alone at a university of all places. And while you complain that they didn’t provide strong arguments for Trump over Hillary (and yes, her criminal behavior is a big deal, even as a Sanders refugee), you have been equally devoid of arguments as to why Hillary is actually better for their desires. Have you ever considered that possibility that maybe the things you want are bad for other people without resorting to calling everybody that opposes you a racist or a bigot?

        • anon

          I think I phrased the whole thing about respect poorly; of course I’ll hear what anyone has to say about this election, and I read the article because I wanted to know what people thought. I meant that it’s good to hear what people have to say rather than just reading a bunch of stuff that supports one’s views, but I wanted to express my personal opinion that condoning Trump as a candidate is equivalent to thinking his immigration policies and his ideas for thwarting ISIS are representative of American values when in my opinion they aren’t. So I want people to feel free to express themselves and I respect everyone’s right to do that but I question their logic here.

          Also regarding arguments for Clinton (or lack thereof), yeah that’s true, I didn’t really write a substantial defense of her or anything, because that wasn’t really what I sought to convey. Defenses for her are her experience as a politician and my personal belief in what she stands for, so that’s pretty standard stuff I didn’t find worth discussing. I basically just wanted to address the lesser-of-evils mentality which seems to be a pretty big theme going into this election (Clinton supporters saying she’s the lesser of the two, and Trump supporters saying the opposite). And yes, though I believe the good she can do will outweigh the email scandal, I shouldn’t trivialize the email scandal. With that said, I find it hard to believe that Hillary’s email scandal is an indicator that she’ll make the nation unsafe for people trying to live here whereas Trump policies seem like they’re more likely to do that. So for that reason, even though there are your obvious ideological Republican/Democrat ideological differences, I think the racism/sexism/etc should be a dealbreaker more so than the emails should be a dealbreaker.

          I will say that I don’t think I’m just throwing around the words racist or bigot nonchalantly at all; having a ban on Muslims does in fact pin blame on a large group of which only a subset is involved with ISIS, and treating illegal immigrants like cattle to be walled in is dehumanizing. Those types of policies are scapegoating and oppressing large groups based on an ethnic / religious basis, so they’re reinforcing racist beliefs even if Donald Trump himself doesn’t have an ounce of racism in him (which may or may not be the case). Trump’s rhetoric leads me to believe that he is at best insensitive about the struggles that women/POC face here, and at worst he’s a racist.

      • Sahara Byrne

        Well, Anon, they at least had the courage to put their name to what they say. As a Prof here at Cornell, I expect all views to be respected and heard as students work through issues and ideas, we are all teaching each other on this campus. If you have something to say, educate them respectfully. And then I would expect them to listen to you too.

        • anon

          You’re right that we should hear all viewpoints. I agree students like myself should listen to others’ viewpoints because there’s no such thing as discourse otherwise, and I could’ve phrased my argument more carefully / in a more polite manner.

          But I can’t just say “hey that’s cool, it’s just your opinion” to people who support policies that actually are going to hurt people who deserve to live here free from harassment/xenophobia. That’s more along the lines of what I meant when I spoke about respect.

          • Sahara Byrne

            Nicely said. This is indeed a tough time for our country and you’re so right that not only do we need to listen and be respectful, but we have to stand up (maybe loudly) for what we believe is right and wrong. It’s going to be really difficult.

    • Kai Mast

      So you are saying political discourse has no limits?

      I always pictures Cornell as a community that tires to create a safe space for all it’s members. I don’t think racism, xenophobia, or sexism have a place here.

      • Mike Rotch

        It’s pretty hilarious when someone is criticized for their extreme views, and they start complaining that their right to free speech is being infringed.

        Trump supporter: “I support stopping Muslims from entering the United States”

        Anyone else: “Umm no that is disgusting and racist, not to mention unconstitutional”

        Trump supporter: “Whoa are you attacking my freedom of speech there, friend?”

  • Bruce Whine

    Trump should give any reasonable Republican pause. This is when you decide Republicans, if you value your country more than you party.

    I always love an old fashioned Republican meltdown over Hillary Clinton, they’ve never gotten any of their smears against her to stick, and they’ve tried for almost 25 years now. Thanks for nominating a xenophobe sexist by the way, Republicans, that just handed us a landslide.

  • Pingback: Cornell Student: I Was Assaulted on Campus, Called a 'Racist Bitch' for Being Republican | Heat Street()

  • student

    There was a time when Americans believed in freedom.

    The US is dying from a million cuts. Part of the reason the USA is a nanny police state now is that whenever there is a problem, the kneejerk reaction in the US is to call for a new law.

    Nanny state laws are not the best solution, however. Nanny state laws lead to more laws, higher fines, and tougher sentences. Thirty years ago, DWI laws were enacted that led to DWI checkpoints and lower DWI levels. Seatbelt laws led to backseat seatbelt laws, childseat laws, and pet seatbelt laws. Car liability insurance laws led to health insurance laws and gun liability laws. Smoking laws that banned smoking in buildings led to laws against smoking in parks and then bans against smoking in entire cities. Sex offender registration laws led to sex offender restriction laws and violent offender registration laws.

    Nanny state laws don’t make us safer, either. Nanny state laws lead people to be careless since they don’t need to have personal responsibility anymore. People don’t need to be careful crossing the street now because drunk-driving has been outlawed and driving while using a cellphone is illegal. People don’t investigate companies or carry out due diligence because businesses must have business licenses now.

    The main point of nanny state laws is not safety. The main purposes of more laws are control and revenue generation for the state.

    Another reason laws are enacted is because corporations give donations to lawmakers to stifle competition or increase sales.

    Many laws are contradictory, too. Some laws say watering lawns is required, while other laws say watering lawns is illegal.

    Many nanny state laws that aim to solve a problem can be fixed by using existing laws. If assault is already illegal, why do we need a new law that outlaws hitting umpires?

    Nanny state laws are not even necessary. If everything was legal would you steal, murder, and use crack cocaine? Aren’t there other ways to solve problems besides calling the police? Couldn’t people educate or talk to people who bother them? Couldn’t people be sued for annoying behavior? Couldn’t people just move away? Even if assault was legal, wouldn’t attackers risk being killed or injured, too? Do people have consciences? Having no laws doesn’t mean actions have no consequences.

    If there is no victim, there is no crime.

    We don’t need thousands of laws when we only need 10.

    Freedom is not just a one way street. You can only have freedom for yourself if you allow others to have it.

    Should swimming pools be banned because they are dangerous? Hammers? Bottles? Rocks? Energy drinks? Pillows?

    Control freaks might get angry when a neighbor owns three indoor cats, but what did the neighbor take from them? Why should this be illegal? Is outlawing cats something a free country should do? Doesn’t banning everything sound like the opposite of freedom?

    Instead of getting mad at people who like freedom, why don’t people realize that freedom is a two way street?

    If you allow others to paint their house purple then you can, too.

    If you allow others to own a gun then you can, too.

    If you allow others to swear then you can, too.

    If you allow others to gamble then you can, too.

    Who wants to live in a prison?

    Think. Question everything.