Recently, during my daily jaunts around the internet, I have been running into something I find genuinely upsetting:
This article, Why I’m a College Student Voting for Donald Trump, was published to the Odyssey Online and has received 53,000 shares since July 13th. Before you continue reading, please take a moment to click the hyper linked title above and read Ms. DeWitt’s article.
The above article disturbs me, and not because I disagree with Ms. DeWitt’s point of view (though I do), it upsets me because Ms. DeWitt is so woefully misinformed and so very young.
It upsets me because Ms. DeWitt, and the portion of the 53,000 other people who took this article as fact, have power. They have the power to cast a vote that will help determine the future of our country and our world. So, since you have said your piece, Ms. DeWitt, allow me now to say mine. Here are 10 reason’s (in direct response to your 10 reasons, I have a lot more reason’s than 10) Why I’m a College Student and I’m not Voting for Donald Trump.
Before I go any further, I would like to express that in writing this article I by no means want to discourage young people from sharing their voices and opinions. But the beautiful thing about the internet is that it is an open forum for lively political debate, isn’t it?
So, Ms. DeWitt, let’s debate.
1. “Free college will never work.”
First off, the fact that you disagree with one of the platform points of Bernie Sanders’ (who is no longer in the race) is by no means grounds to vote for Donald Trump. Of all the platform points you could discuss, why choose this one?
Also, while we are pointing out plans that will never work, take a look at Donald Trump’s completely unviable economic plan, as analyzed by the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Furthermore, I agree with you (at least partially) that free college, though ideal in concept, is a far off dream. But to make college more affordable? That is a necessary goal. Students in this country are forced to choose careers not based on their dreams, but on salary, because otherwise they will spend their foreseeable after college future drowning in debt.
You say, the harder you work, the more affordable your college becomes. But, my misguided friend, this is not a question of hard work. Say you worked full time as a waiter, while still somehow making time for school (a virtually impossible task) you would make, on average, about $20,000 a year, which isn’t quite enough to pay for college, which requires about $23,410 a year in tuition at a state school, not to mention vital necessities like food and shelter.
For many, paying for school is not a matter of hard work, it is a matter of impossibility. Based on the fact that you had the time to write this article, my guess is your parents are, at least partially, paying for your school, as mine are. And that is fine.
But making college more affordable is not for you or me. It is for over half of American’s who cannot get a college degree, and therefore can never dream of moving up in the world. I would guess that you were born middle class, so obviously you don’t care about student loans, because you don’t have to.
While half of people from high-income families will get a college degree by age 25, just one in 10 people from low-income families do.
Student debt in the U.S. topped an absurd $1.29 trillion this year.
Check your privilege. Maybe watch this video.
2. “The American Dream will stay Alive.”
This one is almost too ridiculous to respond to, but I admit I just can’t help myself!!!! In this point, you use a James Truslow Adams quote: “Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement, regardless of social class or race.” Then you go on to say, “The American Dream is achievable according to a person’s ability and achievement, Donald Trump has accomplished this himself and will keep it alive if he’s elected president.”
If you read the full quote, it actually begins, “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone…” Key word: “should.” This quote is referring to an ideal, one of a post racial, post class, society. A society that does not exist in America today. There are massive achievement gaps that exist between races, genders and social stations in our country. I see that quote as a goal for the U.S., not a reality.
According to NeaToday, “The reason we’re either rich or poor is simple: We’re born that way. In fact, a Pew Charitable Trust report shows that a mere 4 percent of people born into low-income U.S. households will ever become high earners.”
Do you think every person born poor simply has less ability than those born rich? Do you think that, perhaps, opportunity doesn’t have something to do with it?
Additionally, you say “Donald Trump has accomplished this already,” This, I assume, meaning the American dream.
But let’s reflect on some facts shall we? Donald Trump’s father gave him ONE MILLION dollars to help him achieve the American dream. Trump is not exactly a rags to riches story. To say he actually worked for even a fraction of his “success” would be generous. In your next point, let’s consider what that “success” actually looks like.
3. “He’s very accomplished.”
Trump is, in truth, more of a reality TV show character than a business man. Let’s take a quick look at his “success”, as examined in Fortune magazine.
- Trump always comes first-In a 1996 deal to help save the failing Trump Hotels, The Rank group offered to purchase a 50% interest in the Trump Castle in Atlantic City. Trump rejected this deal entirely on the basis that the Rank group refused to allow the Trump name to remain on the hotel. Consequently, the stock price of Trump Hotels continued to fall. Trump told Fortune that he remembers nothing about any negotiations with Rank.”
- He’s not actually as rich as he likes to say he is– According to Fortune, “One of Trump’s favorite topics is his own net worth, and he’s not satisfied to let the numbers speak for themselves. Much has been made of his statement, under oath in a deposition some years ago, that his own calculation of his wealth changes depending on “how he feels” that day.”
- He sues wildly– Honestly, it’s not entirely absurd to think he might sue me for this article. To learn about some of the Donald’s most ridiculous law suits, read the Atlantic’s article The Lawsuits of Donald Trump.
- He piles on debt– Considering the amount of debt America already lives with, I can’t imagine what a Trump presidency would do for our country. According to Forbes, “From its IPO in 1995 through two separate bankruptcies in 2004 and 2009, Trump Hotels—and its successor, Trump Entertainment—never made money. Year after year its operating profits were decimated by gigantic interest costs. Over the almost 15 years that Trump served as chairman, the casino company posted net losses, excluding extraordinary items, totaling nearly $1.7 billion.”
Needless to say, Trump is, truthfully, not an exceptional business man, he is merely a famous one.
4. “Aren’t you tired of politicians?”
Aren’t you tired of politicians? Meaning aren’t we tired of people who work in politics, working in politics? What you’re saying is that you will vote for Donald Trump because he is not a politician?
That’s a little bit like saying, “I would prefer a brain surgeon who has never been to medical school.” Or, if you want to argue that running a corporation is not that dissimilar from running a country, that’s a lot like saying, “I would like an orthopedic surgeon to perform my brain surgery.”
You go on to say that it would be nice to have someone in the white house, who, “isn’t going to lie to us, has real plans, and will actually change something for the better in the white house.”
I’m sorry, are we talking about the same guy?
Let’s list just a few of Trumps nauseating lies:
- Trump claimed that thousands of people in New Jersey (with its “heavy Arab population”) cheered the destruction of the Twin Towers. There is no evidence to support this racist claim.
- “81 percent of white murder victims are killed by blacks.” Another fallacy.
- Trump lies that Wisconsin’s effective unemployment rate is 20%, saying, “What? Is it 20 percent? Effective or regular? I mean just effective unemployment rate, 20 percent. Hey, this is out of the big book.” According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, The U-3 official unemployment rate in Wisconsin was 4.6 percent in 2015; Wisconsin’s U-6 rate for 2015 was 8.3 percent.
- Trump alleged that when Michelle Fields “found out that there was a security camera, and that they had her on tape, all of a sudden that story changed.” Absolutely untrue.
- Trump claims Cruz bought the rights to the ad featuring a nude Melania Trump: Debunked.
- Trump on Fox News denied that he ever accused President George W. Bush of lying about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. “I didn’t say lie. I said he may have lied.” That’s false. Trumpsaid in a February that Bush “lied.”
- Trump, the expert economist: “GDP was zero essentially for the last two quarters.” GDP grew at an annual rate of 1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, and 2 percent in the third quarter,according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
- “Upstate New York I poll higher than anybody ever.” Hillary Clinton would slaughter Trump 56 percent to 33 percent in upstate New York,according to a Siena College poll.
- “We (Trump University) have an ‘A’ from the Better Business Bureau.” In reality, BBB received multiple consumer complaints about Trump university, which sank to a D-minus in 2010.
And those are just a few of my favorites! For more, check out the Daily Wire. As for “real plans”, that’s just laughable. Trump is gaining notoriety by the minute for refusing to state any concrete plans. Instead, he just spews buzz words and hateful rhetoric. If you don’t believe me, read the transcript of his 60 minutes article here: Donald Trump’s amazingly vague ’60 Minutes’ interview, annotated.
5. “He’s confident.”
You say “confident”, I say “foolishly arrogant.” For goodness sake when asked about his advisors he stated that he “consults himself.” That’s not confidence, that’s arrogance.
I might even say “laughably insecure” or “dangerously quick tempered” before I said “confident.” On March 3rd he opened the Republican debate by defending the size of his penis. That’s right, this is a man who is just a step away from leading the most powerful country in the world, and he felt so threatened by a passing comment on the size of his hands by Marco Rubio, that he bragged about the size of his genitals on national TV. How can we expect foreign leaders to take him seriously?
What does Trump even feel confident in? He told Wolf Blitzer in 2004 that, “In many cases, I probably identify more as Democrat, it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” Not only that, but he once supported Bill Clinton’s candidacy. So, yes, perhaps he is confident moment to moment, but his confidence bounces from one position to the next at light speed.
6. “His immigration policy just makes sense.”
Here you state that “Illegal immigrants are a nightmare for America; they take advantage of all the United States has to offer while not paying taxes.”
Actually, according to NewsWeek, “Other than their violation of immigration laws, these “illegals” commit far fewer crimes per capita than lesser educated, native-born Americans. They do take jobs, but they also create more jobs for Americans. They use some social services, but a lot of that is offset by how much they pump into the economy. The aggressive enforcement of U.S. immigration laws has given rise to an organized crime network that smuggles people across the border, often while subjecting them to rape, kidnapping and even murder. And as for the most popular, easy-sounding solutions, such as building walls and having mass deportations? They are ridiculous and would require spending hundreds of billions of dollars to accomplish virtually nothing, while upending the American economy.”
Additionally, it actually doesn’t make sense. At all. In fact, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, none of Trump’s plans make sense:
- The proposals on Mr. Trump’s website would increase the debt by $12.1 trillion by 2026.
- Debt would rise from 74% of GDP last year to 129% of GDP by 2026 (instead of 86% as projected)
- To balance the budget under this plan, spending would need to be cut 40% to 80%, or real economic growth would need to exceed 10% annually. If Medicare, Social Security, and defense were exempt from cuts, balance would be impossible.
7. “He’s self funded.”
This one’s easy, because it’s just false.
8. “Hillary and Bernie just aren’t the right people for the job.”
This one is so foolish I can hardly make an intelligent argument. You claim Hillary isn’t right for the job because she’s a liar. I just proved above Trump is the king of the liars. Yes, there are arguments to be made that do hold merit on why Hillary shouldn’t be president, but she has been a servant to the American people for decades and has consequently lived in a harsh spot light. She has expertise, experience, political savvy and for God sakes some common sense.
You say Bernie, “is a nice guy, but America should stay as far away from anything close to socialism as possible.” That’s it. You don’t follow up with why, or what socialism means to you, you just make an ignorant assertion likely based on what you learned about socialism in 8th grade social studies. Bernie Sanders is a DEMOCRATIC socialist, and it’s fine if you disagree with what that entails, but at least know what that is if you’re going to openly oppose it.
In fact, Democratic Socialism is defined by dictionary.com as “a form of socialism with a democratic government; the ownership and control of the means of production, capital, land, property, etc., by the community as a whole combined with a democratic government.”
If you’re basing this point entirely off your vague memory that Stalin was a socialist, let me tell you your candidate shares a lot more personality traits with Stalin than Bernie does.
9. “He’ll balance the Supreme Court.”
So I guess you only have selective memory of that 8th grade social studies class, huh? Justices of the supreme court are non-partisan. Sure, they’re considered to lean left or right ideologically, and the idea of a balanced supreme court is pretty widely accepted, but Donald Trump’s list of potential justices contains not merely conservatives, but extremists. For example, William Pryor (one of the 11 possible justices Trump named) fought for the Supreme court to uphold a Texas law banning gay sex. That’s right, not gay marriage, gay sex. He argued, “A constitutional right that protects ‘the choice of one’s partner’ and ‘whether and how to connect sexually’ must logically extend to activities like prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography, and even incest and pedophilia.” This is a man not merely opposed to gay marriage, but a man who sees homosexuality as an abomination and a sickness. That isn’t an opinion; that is prejudice. That is hate.
Another prime example of the kind of “balanced” ideology displayed by Trump’s candidates for the highest court in the land, is that of Don Willet. He is known professionally primarily for refusing to separate church and state. According to Reuters, “Before becoming a judge, Willett was part of Texas’ legal team that won a Supreme Court battle to display the Ten Commandments on a monument in the state Capitol despite opponents’ concerns that it amounted to government endorsement of a religion.”
Not only are Trumps potential SC picks terrifying, but your claim that Trump would “balance” the court is just false. The Supreme Court is now evenly divided with four conservative justices and four liberals. Scalia, who died in February, was one of the court’s most conservative justices. So, what you’re arguing for is not a balanced court, but a conservative court, and a not very diverse court at that, as every single person on Trump’s list is a white person, and the majority of them men. If you would like to read more about Trump’s all-star Supreme Court picks, read Reuter’s Trump’s Supreme Court list: all conservative, some provocative.
10. “He’ll make America great again.”
Now this is an opinion, so I can’t tell you you’re wrong, but I think our thoughts on what a “great America” looks like differ hugely. Your closing sentence of this inexplicably viral article is, “Let’s stick to our roots and make America great again with Donald Trump by our side.”
Our roots. Yes, I think Donald Trump would return us to our roots. The roots of America are steeped in racism, sexism, ableism and close mindedness, and I agree with you, those are exactly the kind of ideals we would return to with the Donald as our president.
Ms. Dewitt, I applaud you for voicing your opinion, and I do not mean to discourage you from doing so, but by putting your opinion on the web like you did, you leave yourself open to response and correction.
Donald Trump has shown this country time and time again that he is nothing but a loud voice, willing to do and say anything for attention, and for some reason people like you see that as a positive.
Some people see Trump’s vocalization of the same prejudiced, hateful thoughts that go through their own head as an indication that he must be a good candidate. If you can truthfully know all there is to know about Trump, if you are actually familiar with all the moments where he made his ignorance and hatred clear, and you still want to vote for him, then go ahead. But perhaps you should examine what that says about you, and the kind of world you want to live in.
What I think, Ms. DeWitt, is that you’re guilty merely of ignorance, not hate. I don’t think you realize the hate, misogyny, and racism that you’re supporting by supporting Donald Trump. I think you think it makes you different from your millennial peers, that it’s against the grain and maybe even a little rebellious. But this isn’t a band that your friends hate, so you support it all the more openly, this is people’s lives, this is your future.
So, Ms. Dewitt, I will not be voting for Donald Trump and I hope, that after a little research, you won’t be either.