LETTER TO THE EDITOR | The Tears I Shed Allow Me to Debate

To the editor:

Amidst all the criticism of elite university students being fragile liberals, a letter to the editor was submitted to The Sun, which claims that students who were hurt to the point of tears ought not to be taken seriously. Frankly, after reading that letter I was painfully frustrated with the notion that students who cried were simply stubborn, disappointed toddlers. While I cannot speak for the students who organized the Ho Plaza “Cry-In,” I can speak for myself. I was utterly devastated by Donald Trump’s victory. So I, too, have a confession: I’m an undocumented student with DACA and I cannot vote.

DAVIES | Trumped Up and Let Down

Despite a week passing, Donald Trump’s performance at the presidential debate remains seared into my mind. That he consistently failed to meet the absurdly low expectations facing him was astounding. In contrast, Hillary Clinton did what she needed to, working like an assembly line robot to slot pre-rolled phrases together. They were so catchy (“trumped up, trickle down”) that even her stilted, android-esque delivery, with its slightly-too-long pauses and forced smile-grimace couldn’t sink her chances. However, most eyes were on Trump (they certainly stayed glued in his direction thanks to his odd, shifting facial expressions and constant sniffing).

MALPASS | Laugh About it, Shout About it

I love Lester Holt. Sure, he may not be Brian Williams, with all his ineffable charm and Clooney-esque eye sparkle, but I trust him to deliver me the nightly news in the bland and middle-of-the-road fashion I’ve come to expect from NBC. His nightly news segment is analogous to mashed potatoes, comforting and not the worst thing for you, but certainly lacking in a lot of key nutrients. Will NBC Nightly news tell you about the current situation in Mosul? Perhaps, but they will also give equal if not greater airtime to an old woman who’s dedicating her time to painting a mural at the local YMCA. Does it touch my heart and make me feel good inside?

GROSKAUFMANIS | Policy and Pageantry

Tonight’s presidential debate is estimated to have 100 million viewers — a size comparable to that of the Super Bowl, and a testament to the way that debates have become something of a spectator sport. While the televised debate seems like a staple of the American election process, the tradition is relatively new, and has changed the way that voters view and evaluate their candidates. The first televised presidential debate took place in 1960, with a match-off between incumbent vice president Richard Nixon and lesser known senator John F. Kennedy. Because there was no precedent regarding how important body language and optics would be to the viewers, Nixon’s appearance was unpolished, and his lead eroded as he was outshone by the personable JFK. Nixon looked sweaty and “unpresidential” next to a handsome, composed Kennedy, and voters integrated those visual cues into their evaluations of both candidates.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Liberty’s Plantations

To the editor:

This is one of the few times it is socially advantageous to be a plant freak.  We normally get absent stares when we open our mouths but we finally have one thing in demand: perspective on Liberty Hyde Bailey.  I know him from my plant genetics class as a disciple of Mendel and from my agricultural history class as the seminal agrarian writer. To horticulture he was a master taxonomist who coined the term “cultivar,” that’s a plant variety bred for cultivation.  To Cornell he was CALS’ first dean and the man who hired Anna Comstock, Martha Van Rensselaer and Flora Rose.