Mailbag: A College Senior Thinks That College Freshman Who’s Voting For Trump Is An Idiot

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Earlier today, I posted a college freshman’s reasoning for why he is voting for Trump. A college senior, who is a poli sci major, read this frosh’s take and was not pleased.

Here is what he sent me in response, in its entirety.

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As a college senior preparing to write my political science thesis, I thought I would take a second to dismantle the college freshman’s reasoning for supporting trump. Just to clarify, I am not an avid Hillary supporter. She is one of the most secretive, scheming, power hungry candidates we have ever seen, and based on her public approval ratings, the country realizes this. Her carelessness has caused serious breaches of confidentiality and her predisposition for choosing self-preservation over public good is something that every American should be seriously worried about. However, while I may not be #WithHer, I am an avid supporter of facts and the truth. What was written by this freshman, ignoring the grammatical and stylistic errors, was riddled with falsities that have been disseminated by the Trump campaign and internalized by his supporters. If we ever want to have a productive conversation on ideological differences in governance philosophy, the truth must prevail. Therefore, I wanted to take the time to dismantle this argument statement-by-statement to hopefully provide some clarity in an election that has been anything but transparent.

Obama’s administration literally represents the establishment and Hillary has stated more than 100 times that she supports all of Obama’s decisions and will basically do everything exactly how he did.

It seems to me that the author has greatly confused “the establishment” with “the administration”. “The establishment” is not partisan nor does it solely reside in the Presidential administration, rather it is meant to represent the people who have made a life-long career in sectors that wield power and influence. The establishment doesn’t necessarily refer to just people in the political arena, it’s a title that is ascribed to business leaders, media giants, and anyone who has a vested interest in maintain the traditional networks of power. While President Obama is no doubt part of the establishment, as is Clinton, this does not mean that they solely represent the American power establishment.

Trump’s administration directly opposes the Obama administration and is therefore anti establishment. Therefore if you don’t agree with Obama obviously your only choice is to vote for Trump.

Reince Prebius opposes the Obama administration. Paul Ryan opposes the Obama administration. Mitch McConnell opposes the Obama Administration. The Bush Family opposes the Obama administration. The Koch Brothers oppose the Obama administration. All of these leaders are in deep opposition of the Obama administration, yet they are all apart of the establishment. Just because you oppose the current administration does not make you anti-establishment. Trump is running an anti-establishment campaign, but he is also deeply reliant on establishment support, contrary to what he preaches. By aligning himself with the GOP and utilizing their vast networks of grassroots organizing and party funds, he has vindicated the self-appointed title of anti-establishment. Further, we don’t exist in a binary world of one or the other. Gary Johnson and Evan Macmullin are both candidates who oppose the policies of the Obama administration; Trump is not the only choice.

Under the Obama administration racial tensions and rioting has steadily increased to levels near that of the 1960s where there have been mass shootings and violent race riots nationwide, under the clinton administration race relations would continue to increase it is 2016 why on earth is racial conflict even a thing?

I have to admit that this statement isn’t necessarily false. We have seen a rise in outwardly public racial tension since Obama took office. However, this answer is incredibly one-dimensional. Political science largely concerns itself with understanding the root of an issue rather than the surface level conflict that we tend to see. Yes, racial tensions have seemed to boil to the surface during the tenure of President Obama, but is the cause of his administration or an effect? From what I have seen, these issues arose as a response to his administration, not due to his administration. While I am not here to defend anyone’s record, I think that this is an important thing to note.

Who the hell wants to vote for a president who causes conflict?

Using this as an argument for a Trump Presidency is overtly contradictive to the previous reasoning employed. Not only is an anti-establishment campaign inherently conflicting, but Trump has deliberately and consciously caused and encouraged conflict as a tactic to gain populist support. It is your right to support Trump as a candidate, but if you don’t want to vote for a candidate because they will cause conflict, you are voting for the wrong candidate.

A common criticism of Trump is the fact that he makes wild comments which is true, but at the sametime everyone makes those kinds of comments but rather than say them in public they keep them to themselves.

The argument that “everyone makes these kind of comments in private” is not grounded rationale for supporting a candidate. On the surface, it may seem like something that is a positive, but when you actually start to think about the implications of someone who has no filter, it becomes less and less appealing. Disregarding the need for a president to maintain decorum and self-restraint when engaging in diplomatic meetings or policy debates, no person in the history of humanity would enjoy being in the presence of someone who has no filter. Part of being a productive member of society is knowing when to keep thoughts to yourself and knowing when to speak your mind. Trump has demonstrated time after time that he does not understand this basic part of human interaction, which in turn has caused him to be a wildly polarizing figure. Imagine you were sitting around the dinner table at Thanksgiving and your Aunt voiced every thought that came to mind. By the end of the dinner, she would be completely alienated from everyone else and the tension would be so unbearable that your family dynamic would never be the same. Apply that same principle to the office of the presidency, and it is easy to see why this is a flaw rather than a positive.

Trump is a very confident man who does not hold his feelings back which is a strong quality of an honest person. Trump is clearly a very honest person he always expresses his opinion the way he truly feels rather than is very untruthful opponent Hillary who has lied countless times.

False. Categorically and unequivocally false. Confidence and outspokenness in no way is congruent with honesty. In fact, Politifact, a non-partisan Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking organization has proven that 69% of what Trump has said has been anywhere from “mostly false” to “pants on fire”, compared to Hillary Clinton, who has a 24% lie rating under the same evaluation standards. I understand that we have a propensity to believe something that is said with confidence, especially when we are angry or feel disenfranchised, but regarding blatant lies as truths is incredibly dangerous to public discourse and the democratic process. Further, Trump deals more in ‘feelings’ than in truth. WE have made the grave mistake of substituting feelings for facts, and the outcome of the presidential election may hinge on this disturbing falsity.
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Shots fired! Regardless of your allegiance, it’s at least nice to see political discourse coming about from our generation.

Image via mikeledray / Shutterstock.com

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