In Response to: “Trump won, but his hate won’t”

To the Editors-in-Chief,

Trump won, but his hate won’t. Sure, I’ll bite. The man has said egregious things about women, about a gold star family, even a whole entire race; the list goes on. I do notice that this is filed under the opinion section of your website. What I seem to have missed, however, is the point at which your opinion entitles you to ignore fact. As aspiring journalists charged with informing our student body, you have done a wonderful job emulating the real-life media in America. This is no compliment.

I’ll go through this thing quote-by-quote.

“A man who has threatened an entire religious group to wear badges.” The only source cited for this is a video published by The Young Turks. In said video, Yahoo! News asks Trump if he would ever consider a database or some form of identification that noted their religion. He said he wouldn’t rule them out. An insensitive comment, sure, but hardly a threat.

“While agreeing that Clinton had her fair share of controversy and corruption, she was a candidate that called for inclusivity rather than hate (…)” One of the reasons Donald Trump won was because so many Americans were sick of being called racist, sexist, bigot, homophobes. Hillary Clinton was quick to call a large segment of Americans these names, placing them snugly in her basket of deplorables. That hardly qualifies as inclusivity. She did apologize for these comments though, citing in her apology that the Trump campaign really was based on bigotry alone, but that she was wrong to quantify that bigotry with her number, 50%.

“The Republican party, though conservative, has never in our lifetimes been based so heavily on a dislike of women and minority groups as it was throughout the Trump campaign.” I have little doubt that Trump is disrespectful towards women. In fact, I’m sure of it. However, to generalize the ideology as a whole and blame it for the actions of a single representative of that ideology is grossly unjust. The conservative ideology is based on individual liberties and freedoms that cannot be taken away by the government. It is not based on the oppression of women or minorities, it never has been. In fact, the Republican party has been split over Donald Trump over the past year, with many prominent figures agonizing for months over their vote. This signals a priority of ideology over individual. That, regardless of an ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to a candidate’s name, values matter. It’s why so many Republicans dropped Trump after the Access Hollywood tape dropped. If the Republican Party were based on the “dislike of women and minority groups” (read: misogyny and racism), Governor Sarah Palin and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would be Democrats.

There was a quick mention of Trump telling minors that “in a couple of years [he’ll] be dating [them].” This was a joke referencing the common criticism he receives for dating younger women. I won’t disparage the man for some self-deprecating humor. However, if you do wish to take this comment from a little under 14 years ago as an example of his misogynistic behavior, I look forward to your upcoming article about racist Hillary Clinton labelling black youth “superpredators” who have no conscience and no empathy just four years later.

“Women gained the right to vote in 1920, almost 100 years ago. Yet, in this election, the candidate who holds an early 1900s view of women was elected to the nation’s highest office.” We clearly have very different understandings of history. President-elect Trump has never said that women should not be allowed to vote. The evidence that exists suggests that Trump does not respect women. However, that alone does not put him back 100 years ideologically. With this logic, if I support voter ID laws, my view traces back to pre-1870. Trump has said plenty of nasty things about women, not being entitled to suffrage was not one of them.

The most polarizing and patently untrue statement in this article is that “[p]eople either hate Trump or hate the people Trump’s rhetoric is targeted against.” This hit my point earlier on the head. The logic here is as follows; you’re either on our side, or you’re a racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe. Unless you voted against Donald Trump, you hate minorities and women. It’s appalling.

“Trump even headed off his campaign last year saying that Mexican immigrants were not “[Mexico’s] best.” Trump was not talking about Mexican immigrants, he was talking about illegal immigrants from Mexico. Big difference there. It is wrong to characterize an entire ethnic group as criminal. Did he do that? No. Was it still in poor taste? Yep. However, when one starts grasping at straws for something Trump says to be racist and bigoted, it makes the real racism and real bigotry less believable by comparison. Fabrication discounts reality.

Donald Trump has said some polarizing, mean things. He isn’t polished. He has little self control. And, when he feels threatened, he punches back twice as hard. However, that doesn’t mean facts can be disregarded when we discuss the man. It doesn’t matter how you feel, it doesn’t matter if you’re afraid, facts still mean something. As President, Donald Trump has the potential to surprise all of us. He already surprised everybody twice. With that being said, I will be the first to criticize Trump for his actions in office, and will hold him to the highest level of scrutiny deserving of the highest office in the land. However, given that there is so much to criticize regarding our 45th president-elect, it is alarming to me that the gut instinct of those given a pen and platform is to practice conjecture.