An Open Letter to Trump Supporters
Real Talk |  Source:

An Open Letter to Trump Supporters

Explain to me how he's fit to be president.

I'm writing this from a place of genuine confusion. Trump's candidacy genuinely confuses the hell out of me: how he got where he is today, how he gained serious support, how anybody came to follow his policies.

Like me, Trump supporters probably thought he was joking when he announced his intentions to run for president. Nobody thought he was serious. Nobody thought he was fit to be president. But then the support poured in.

Free pass should be Donald Trump's middle name. No matter how many deeply offensive things he says, no matter how long he goes without paying federal income taxes, he is always given a free pass.

Trump supporters always have an excuse to justify his actions. Yet these are the same people who fiercely criticize every single thing that Hillary Clinton does, actions that don't even begin to compare to the astonishing, offensive, and just plain fucked up things that they excuse Trump for.

No matter what you think of her policies, Hillary Clinton is the prime example of how a woman can work hard, make it to the top of her field, and still have to compete against a highly unqualified man.

How many times does Donald Trump have to make demeaning, misogynistic comments about and towards women before his supporters realize there's a problem? How much evidence of his failure to pay taxes has to be uncovered before the excuses stop coming? How can anybody listen to him seriously talk about "grabbing women by the pussy" - an explicit comment promoting sexual assault - and still vote for him to become the leader of our country?

There is simply no denying that any candidate, especially a female candidate, who behaved the way Trump does, would immediately be disqualified. The entire country would speak out against them. Hillary Clinton faces this every day. So why does Trump get away with it? If his behavior is excusable to anybody, they need to check themselves.

If anybody can come up with an explanation for why Trump deserves the presidency that isn't a blatant half-hearted excuse, let me know.

Image Alt
Real Talk |  Source: FlockU,

How The 2016 Election Ruined My Freshman Year

When can we stop fighting?

Freshman year of college is a time to move out of the house, make new friends and share your views in an educated setting. My first semester of college in fall of 2016 was anything but.

I was able to move out of the house and make a few good friends. However, I found that within the college setting sharing opinions and views was not peaceful at all. It was more of yelling and provoking others from opposite political parties.

I figured there was nothing to be done; the 2016 presidential election was completely insane in every way. Scandals on both major sides resulted in mobs of people both defending and insulting each candidate.

I assumed once the election was over, people would eventually calm down. Obviously, I assumed wrong.

After Donald Trump won the Electoral College, but not the popular vote, protests broke out all over campus. It was hard to make any new friends, because it seemed as if instead of asking, "How are you?" people asked, "Who did you vote for?". No matter what you answered, people would be against you.

Many were terrified and upset while others were overjoyed. Protesters protested in the library mall of campus while others criticized them. Hillary supporters would yell at Trump supporters and vice versa.

Protests are a great way to express your opinion, but the tension was so high it made it hard to focus on what I was at college to do: study and learn. It was easy to ignore at first, but it became a distraction having to weave past protesters on my way to class.

Eventually, the crowds cleared but hostility remained. I was beyond frustrated. Acquaintances denounced potential friendships depending on who I voted for or who I didn't vote for.

I heard "I don't respect anyone who voted for ____" from both conservatives and liberals. I did not want to place myself in a category. Everyone was angry at everyone, and there was nothing to be done about it. It finally calmed down for a while but flared up again after Trump's Inauguration.

I honestly was excited for college to share ideas and learn about others' viewpoints, but now I can see that as long as Trump remains president, both sides will continue criticizing each other. If Trump serves all four years, I will be graduating college when he ends his term in office.

My college life started off rocky, and it seems I will not be able to share ideas and differing viewpoints with anyone during this experience in my life without people getting into a screaming match.

College is supposed to be a place where you can make new friends and learn new ideas while being respectful, but this election put a serious block on that in my opinion.

Image Alt
Real Talk |  Source:

Bernie Supporters React to Hillary Endorsement

What does this mean for Bernie fans?

Despite previously stating he would campaign through to the Democratic convention, Bernie Sanders finally threw in the towel yesterday and publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee.

In his thirty minute speech, Sanders pledged, "I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States."

As to be expected, given this raucous campaign year, Sanders' decision to back Clinton has been met with widespread, mixed responses.

For many, Bernie's eventual support for Hillary was to be expected. She was leading in delegates and has numerous credentials and experience to her name as former Secretary of State.

One sophomore I interviewed said she began supporting Hillary over Bernie after he lost the state of Ohio in the primaries. "It became clear to me that his chances of winning a general election weren't high enough, especially with an opponent as scary as Trump."


The push to defeat Trump was clearly at the forefront of Sanders' decision to join forces with Clinton. He repeatedly mentioned the need to join together as a party and celebrate the diversity of our country, values he feels Clinton would uphold.

"In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting Mexicans, Muslims, women, African Americans and veterans, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths."

However, this choice to form a coalition has left numerous Sanders' supporters feeling betrayed as they took to the Senator's Facebook Campaign Page to voice their concerns and distrust with the Hillary as the nominee.

The decision could potentially backfire on the Democratic party, as many have stated they would prefer to write in Sanders as their nominee rather than vote Trump or Hillary.

"I'm Bernie or Bust... I think people need to vote for something rather than against something," said Marie Clark, a New Hampshire Sanders' supporter.


The amount of time and dedication - both physical and emotional - that individuals had put into backing Sanders was clearly evident. As lamented by Jessica Watrous Boyer of Rhode Island, "You chose her over us.... Truly shocked and saddened by this."

The refusal to vote for Hillary among Democrats isn't universal. As stated by a senior at Oberlin, "I knew this was coming, but I'm still disappointed. I'll definitely vote for Hillary this fall, but I wish that I both trusted and connected with her as I did Sanders. I think doing more research will help."

Current events also play into the decision to research. As stated by another sophomore, "after some of the incidents this year related to gun violence, it became really important to me that my president took a stance for gun control."

As the saying goes, when one door closes another one opens. Now that it's been narrowed down to Trump and Clinton, it's the perfect time to learn more about their agendas and hold them accountable to the current pressing issues that matter most to us going into this election.


Image Alt
Real Talk |  Source:

Trump and Clinton Remind Us Why We're Over This Election

Karl Becker 4 Prez.

After the release of the explicit and disturbing #Trumptapes and an additional 2,000 emails linked to Hillary Clinton's scandalous "mistake", we all knew that this debate had the potential to be a dirty slugfest. That tone was immediately made very clear as both candidates avoided shaking hands before the start of the debate. Not a good look.

Moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz used questions written by the undecided voters in the town hall audience and at home to guide "the people's debate". One would hope that given the close proximity and interaction with the voters these candidates are trying to pull, there would've been more civility. NOPE, no such luck.

Instead of giving a full run down of the debate, I decided to do something a little less painful: focus on these two incidents specifically and how they were discussed last night by the candidates. The opening question asked by Patrice Brock in the audience dove right into the mess.

"The last debate could have been rated as MA, mature audiences, per TV parental guidelines. Knowing that educators assign viewing the presidential debates as students' homework, do you feel you're modeling appropriate and positive behavior for today's youth?"

She's right. Think about all the extremely vulgar language and the lack of model behavior these candidates have shown. As college students we may be used to hearing and seeing this in our unfiltered daily life, but it doesn't make it right or anything we should be aspiring for in our leadership.

Despite being a great question, both candidates' answers were pretty lackluster and clearly avoided any mentions of Brock's references, focusing instead on their campaign slogans of "stronger together" and "make America great again."

I know avoidance is the go-to tactic of politicians, but when the media blasts concerning new stories about the candidates every single day, you just can't ignore the elephant in the room.

Anderson Cooper had no qualms in trying to make Trump answer specifically about the tapes, stating: "The question from Patrice was about are you both modeling positive and appropriate behavior for today's youth.... You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?"

Trump's excuse for his lewd commentary?

"Just locker room talk" and that "it's just words folks," which to him means harmless. He then discussed Bill Clinton's scandals as "far worse" so as to avoid responsibility, minimize his statements, and take a dig at Hillary. In reality, Trump is a prime example of the rape culture we have created and accepted in society.

On the Democratic side, when asked specifically how she can reason that her email "mistake" was not "extremely careless," Hillary restated her apology and that she takes responsibility for her actions, but quickly shifted to discussing the lack of any evidence proving the "misleading accusations from critics".

It's important that she does continually apologize and take responsibility, but when she defers to telling people to "check the facts", it's hard to know what to believe and even what to check when there are thousands of emails missing.

Trump made this loud and clear and emphasized that if he takes office, he will have a special prosecutor on her case.

Are you thoroughly exhausted from this election? Because I sure am. The only bright spot came at the very end when audience member Karl Becker single-handedly won last night's debate by asking both candidates to name one positive thing about the other. Honestly our hero.

Image Alt
Real Talk |  Source:

A Response to the "I Don't Think What Trump Said Was That Bad" Video

Those arguments were crazy.

So I woke up this morning, had a nice wake n' bake, poured me a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and sat down to see what was going on in the world. I came across this video with a title that literally made my Spidey senses tingle - "Call Me Crazy, But I Don't Think What Trump Said Was That Bad".

Do I think this girl is crazy? Yes, she's totally batshit, and here's why.

I picked three points that I thought were super-duper oodles and noodles crazy - first, her main argument, was that Donald Trump telling George Dubya Bush's cousin, lil' Billy Bushy, that he loves to grab women by the pussy and move on married women is not really a big deal. While I agree that there are guys and gals moronic enough to say things like, or "locker room" talk as Trump calls it, you have to be extremely immature and childish to still think that way.

And it's not as though he doesn't have a history of saying things you just can't help but take as bigoted, misogynistic, or hateful.

But above all that, does this girl even know who we are talking about? Trump is running to be leader of the free world, not auditioning for a minor part as a frat boy in an Animal House remake.

Does she not find foreign affairs an issue at all? What do you think the rest of the world would see when we have a leader that thinks it's alright to say things like he'd bang his daughter if she wasn't his daughter?

Second, she goes on to argue the archaic mentality that "boys will be boys" and guys always talk like that. I won't begin to argue how ignorant it is to make a sweeping generalization like that about an entire gender; saying that is like saying all black people love fried chicken, and I'm black and I... love fried chicken. OK maybe she's onto something, but to be fair I don't think that's what she meant to say.

And finally, she argues that what he said was kind of funny and it's not like he really does that or hates women. I can agree to some extent with that.

But Trump is running for president, not doing a stand up set at the Comedy Cellar. This is not season umpteenth season of The Apprentice. He's running for president. OF AMERICA! The girl in this video and many voters that think like her don't really seem to think so but, uh, it's kind of a big deal.

I know I said in the beginning that she was crazy, but all jokes aside I thought her video was pretty entertaining and she seems like a smart cookie. But I think her argument is setting an extremely dangerous precedent. She doesn't make it clear if she's voting for him, but Trump supporters have managed to set the bar so damn low on how candidates should conduct themselves.

It is seriously like a race to the bottom with you people. He has somehow gotten to a point where he can pretty much say anything and voters are just like "Oh, that's our Donald!" It's like watching the worst sitcom in the history of time.

America was barely ready to have a black president and seems to struggle with the idea of having a female one. What makes this girl so sure that the country's ready to have a sociopathic one?

Image Alt
Real Talk |  Source:

Is Gary Johnson a Legit Option?

Don't waste your vote this election.

For many of us, the summer Olympics served as both a thrilling source of entertaining competition and a nice reprieve from the political campaign madness that has ensued throughout this summer. But somehow Donald Trump still messed up and made the headlines for making a lightweight Second Amendment threat against Hillary Clinton if she wins the election, but at this point I can't say I'm shocked.

I've heard far too many people say they won't vote because they're unhappy with both candidates. I get that people are frustrated (join the club), but with a voter turnout rate that's already abysmal, I shudder to think what could happen this November if too many citizens give up on our political system.

I'll be blunt: Not voting by choice is lazy and irresponsible. Not only are there other items to vote for on the ballot, but you don't have to vote for either Trump or Clinton. Legitimate third party candidates do exist!

Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson has recently emerged as one of the viable options, running as the Libertarian nominee. This self-proclaimed "fiscally conservative and socially liberal" candidate was unsuccessful running for the Republican Party in 2012, but has made a comeback polling at 10 percent against Hillary and Trump this campaign trail in only a few months' time.

If you haven't heard of Johnson, you can most likely blame our two-party system that has historically made third party candidates a lost cause. Most citizens are allowed to run for election in the U.S., but the convoluted "all or nothing" electoral college system has prevented third party candidates from having a real shot at success. This is why some people consider voting for third parties to be a wasted vote or "spoiler" that costs the election in close races, like Green Party's Ralph Nader in the 2000 election.

This is a valid argument, but ultimately it's important to ask yourself what's considered "a wasted vote." If you decide to stay home on Nov. 8, obviously that's a waste. But if you vote for someone who has minimal chance of winning, is that an equivalent?

For your peers dead set on Hillary or Trump's platform, yes. A vote for Johnson is a miserable choice. But as a citizen, you have a right to vote for someone who you feel aligns with your beliefs and would best lead the country rather than "the lesser of two evils," as is being described of this election. A spot in the White House for Johnson is slim, but if he continues to poll successfully, your vote for this third party candidate would serve to shape the interests and agendas of the two major parties.

But before jumping to Johnson, take a good look at his stances. Some key aspects of his platform that would interest students include: legalization of marijuana, removing the federal government from education, an undecided opinion on student loans, and expanding the free market.

The prospect of having to do more research on the candidates might seem agonizing, but if you have time to keep up with your Netflix, then you have time to keep up with the election. Plus, with two and a half months until the election there's ample time to do so.

No matter who you choose, don't sit at home and waste your vote.