For decades to come, we’ll remember April 18 as a day of infamy: the day that the Mueller report dropped. The Mueller report will be memorialized for being as important to American political history as Watergate and as shocking as the Lewinsky-Clinton scandal. Just kidding. In a few months — and definitely by the 2020 election — I doubt anyone is going to care. But it shouldn’t be that way.
Maybe Jean Baudrillard was right, and the system is accelerating toward implosion. Information in the 21st century is easily dispersed and produced, but at what cost? I’m a long-time politics junkie, binging political information like new episodes of a TV show. But I kept this spring break relatively information-free, and it has done wonders for my stress levels and mental health. Instead of keeping up with hour-by-hour updates, I limited myself to skimming the occasional article and glancing at news notifications.
Time and time again, centrist media pundits have used their platforms to bemoan President Donald Trump’s crudity. They wax nostalgic about the good old days of “respectable Republicans,” harking back to a fictional recent past in which “honorable men” from both parties ruled the country. Such venerable men include the likes of war criminal former president George W. Bush, America’s Butcher of Baghdad. At least this good Christian man didn’t spew vulgarities and tweet-storms while authorizing massacres in the Middle East, right? When the Cornell Republicans announced their intent to invite former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to campus, we can’t say that we were surprised.
Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a new dueling columns feature. In this feature, Michael Johns ’20 and Giancarlo Valdetaro ’21 debate, “Forty years after the Iranian Revolution, what posture should the U.S. take on the Islamic Republic?” Read the counterpart column here. A nation of over 80 million people, Iran has been a belligerent boogeyman for U.S. politicians to rail against ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and ensuing Iran Hostage Crisis. In the four decades since, the response to this initial attack on U.S. citizens and its continuing rhetorical accompaniments has ranged from aiding Iraq in a war against their Farsi-speaking neighbors to sending humanitarian aid to those same neighbors in the wake of a December 2003 earthquake. Today, as President Trump meets in Vietnam for a summit with the totalitarian leader of North Korea, another oppressive regime posing a nuclear threat to the U.S. and its allies across the globe, he and the U.S. foreign policy establishment should recognize that protecting Americans and liberating Iranians are not mutually exclusive aims. In fact, by rejoining the Iran deal, the U.S. can not only reduce the threat of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, but can drastically improve the chances of Iran’s population achieving the democracy they have so long deserved.
Cornell Hillel invited Haberman to campus, where she will speak to about her “remarkably informed perspective on President Trump,” and “examine his influence on key issues affecting all Americans and his battles with the American press.”
Haberman, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist widely recognized for her coverage of President Donald Trump, was scheduled to speak on Nov. 28 in an event sponsored by Cornell Hillel, but the talk has been postponed to next semester.
I get it. You want Trump out of office. You find him despicable, a security threat, the embodiment of racism and most of all unfit for the presidency. But even in light of last week’s political firestorm that found two members of the president’s staff guilty on criminal charges, we should put faith in democracy and wait before passing judgement. Presidents can be impeached and removed for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” according to Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.