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.”
Ty Wright / The New York Times