We all have our differences. We all continue to operate in high-tension, very-partisan times as we near the finals days of the 2020 election where either Donald Trump will win 4 more years of the Presidency or Joe Biden will pull off a victory against the incumbent nominee and reclaim the White House for the Democratic party.
It’s really that simple. All that will happen is 1 party will win and another will lose. Too bad this can’t be thought of in these simple terms and it seems like everyone is treating this election as an existential threat to the future of the country and our democracy.
Is that threat real? Maybe, but I don’t know. I’m not one to say.
Will I allow the outcome of this election, regardless of who wins, impact how I operate in my daily life trying to be as respectful and successful as possible in everything that I do and every person I come in contact with? No shot.
It’s important to remember that not everyone is radical. Moderate, independent, and undecided voters (a big portion of the electorate) are people who have views that would fall into place in both parties and when/if they decide to vote they weigh out those options and choose the candidate they think is most qualified (or least unqualified) to run the executive branch of our country for the next 4 years. It’s not a black or white issue and trying to frame it as such is a gross over simplification of the problems at stake that it leads to furthering the incredible divide we continue to witness throughout our daily discourse.
So, when I saw the Indiana Daily Student, the IU 153 year old student run newspaper, publish an opinion piece this Monday titled “What you need to remember next time you talk to a Trump supporter” I was interested to hear what the writer had to say. I’m not sure exactly what I expected to read but once I found out that this student was basically accusing every Trump supporter of having Stockholm Syndrome, a mental state in which a hostage falsely establishes an affinity for their captor, I took a second and asked what is really going on with this piece? Stockholm syndrome isn’t a mental disorder, like I wrongfully thought, but it’s still a condition that implies these people are generically unwell. It insinuates they are delusional and/or not smart enough to comprehend what is going on with themselves, the country, and this election. It’s an extremely unfair and ridiculous attack that holds very little evidence or grounds for argument. It’s an irresponsible and blatant pursuit to show contempt for about 50% of the country who will be voting for Donald Trump in this election.
Now, the IDS Opinion page might be the most liberally partisan, 1-sided opinion page of almost any news source I’ve ever been exposed to. Just take a look for yourself. It’s so imbalanced that I am honestly curious about the process of writing for them and what would happen if a conservative journalist or commentator published a column in their paper. I think we’d have another New York Times x Tom Cotton situation on our hands. Because truthfully, I have been looking for the past 3 days and haven’t seen a published conservative viewpoint. I’ve scrolled back months. If I missed one feel free to send it my way.
And really the only time I could find that they had a balanced output of opinion pieces was when they countered their attempted smear at retiring IU President Michael McRobbie with a reader sent in letter to the editor in defense of the 13 year University President.
This isn’t me saying I disagree with everything that they post, and they have the liberty to publish anything they want. But, to see accusations as baseless as this opinion column posted Monday was a huge out-of-touch interpretation of what is going on in the country.
First, the concept for this article is copied. It may not necessarily be plagiarized, considering the author did cite the Yale professor who first claimed that Trump supporters suffer from Stockholm syndrome, but she did not really add anything to this piece. Her primary source of evidence literally was another opinion. This IDS columnist herself uses shoddy and minimal external data or evidence to further drive home her argument and even cited fake, taken out of context news to help her point.
She pretty much implies that Trump supporters are racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, and basically whatever else goes into that “basket of deplorables“. Her quote verbatim was: “Trump supporters could easily follow suit and throw your gender, race, sexuality or any personal fact about you in a negative light as a defense of their views.”
The author states that if someone finds themselves in an argument with a Trump supporter, they should expect these personal attacks. That’s rich considering she is simultaneously claiming that Trump supporters, “falsely believe that their kidnapper is doing something for their own good”.
It goes back to the age old idea that whatever they accuse you of they are actually doing themselves.
Normally I wouldn’t respond or speak out against a post like this. Not many read the IDS anyways and I usually ignore it. But, this hypocrisy is so blatant. She is admitting that she looks down on every person who disagrees with her. She thinks that Trump supporters are hypnotized and unable to operate in reality. The only problem is the reality she is referring to is just her own.
She must be so blind to the facade of mainstream cable news and her own personal bubble that she actually stated the only other reason someone could vote for Trump was because they agree with his economic policies. Talk about lack of nuance. I don’t think I’ll be breaking any news with this next statement: Humans are complex.
Yes, Trump is strong on the economy. Look at the encouraging numbers that came out today. But, to act like his policies regarding criminal justice reform, originalist judges, HBCU funding, immigration, rising wages, (many) foreign policy achievements, trade, energy, and other achievements aren’t valid reasons to vote for the incumbent is just living in an echo chamber of left-wing ideologies where everything the Orange Man does is bad.
I guess it’s not allowed to discuss Joe Biden’s divisive language, pro-globalist trade policies, refusal to answer questions based on policy, apparent mental decline and fitness for office, or family’s very real and potentially corrupt ties to foreign officials and governments. Also the fact that he is open to shutting and locking down the economy even though the science says otherwise.
Are there problems that Trump doesn’t prioritize that supporters wish he did? Yes. Are there instances where they think he could use less divisive rhetoric? Of course. Do they think that any one person or party is going to solve some of our very real problems that are facing us, both domestic and abroad in just the next 4 years? Probably not. Acting like anyone who is President has the mandate of heaven and will fix every problem in existence is the real false reality. That’s undisputed. We may disagree on policy, but let’s not pretend a snap of the government’s fingers will create a utopia.
And yea, there are valid reasons to vote for Joe Biden as well. Bernie Sanders endorsed him and said that he will be the most progressive President since FDR. For the progressive left, that’s appealing. He has announced his Buy American Plan. Even voting for him simply because he isn’t Trump is understandable and fair in my opinion.
Either way I won’t look at someone and judge them differently just because of who they vote for next week. One of the main reasons is because I don’t really care. I don’t expect them to judge me either for whoever I vote for. Even if her article suggests otherwise. I may disagree with some of their views and try to use my own knowledge and experiences to persuade them on a variety of issues if they are willing to have the conversation, though. I’d hope they do the same to me in giving me evidence to support their side. I wouldn’t resort to a personal attack, nor would I necessarily expect them to.
Respectful, constructive conversation is a good thing.
This idea that everyone is out to get the other side needs to end. The idea of cancel culture and suppression of speech is not based in American values and this notion needs to end. We need more speech, not less.
The editor-in-chief of the IDS claims that “opinion journalism is still journalism“. That’s what worries me about the publishing of this piece that does so little research about the actual issues going on here. Speaking in generalities is dangerous and exposes a shallow understanding of the state of our country. It’s a sad rhetoric masked as virtue signaling.
I reached out, publicly, to the IDS via twitter for comment and they have not gotten back to me. I’m not sure if this will spark a response but I think it’s dangerous that they publish garbage like this without a single counter point balancing out the paper. I also don’t really want to dwell on the fact that the IDS publishing team thinks it’s okay to label pretty much 1/2 of the country as victims to Stockholm syndrome. It’s the explicit and obvious hypocrisy, disdain, and contempt toward their fellow classmates and citizens that is heartbreaking.
The IDS may be independent from Indiana University, but that shouldn’t mean they are independent from fair and balanced journalism.