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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Dealing With President Trump

<vember 8th, millions of civic-minded Americans will make their way to their local polling stations, faithfully casting their votes for candidates they believe to be most fit to occupy a variety of offices, from President of the United States to town treasurer. In the minds and hearts of our engaged citizenry, voting amounts to nothing less than a fulfillment of a paramount patriotic duty, a task that is of such great significance that failing to partake in it amounts to a neglect of this country’s democratic principles. I myself do not share this same degree of fiery compulsion, and those that have engaged in political discussion with me are well-aware of my reservations towards viewing democracy as an end onto itself, rather than as a mechanism via which personal liberty can be best protected. Yet, that is beside the point. The reality is that voting remains a crucial cornerstone of our system of representative government, and I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from partaking in that process.

The results of that future November Tuesday, however, will merely be the culmination of a series of events that matter far more than the specific number of electors won by each candidate. What makes every election cycle special is the collective mosaic that it creates, composed of snapshots of debate and discourse. Many of us on this campus have been a part of this to some degree, whether it be through amicable late-night conversations with dorm mates or via tense and uncomfortable argument with a seemingly stubborn relative. These experiences are too diverse and multi-layered to discuss in full detail, but I am sure that at some point a common question, based around a common man, has been raised: What if Donald Trump wins the race to the White House?

If I had been asked this question six months ago, I would’ve insisted that a Trump victory was a superficially entertaining and humorous idea, but not one based on substantial reality. However, with the Republican National Convention in Cleveland only three months away, it almost seems certain that Donald Trump will be the GOP’s nominee, with Hillary Clinton as his most likely opponent. Such a possibility has led to a sizable share of Americans declaring their intent to emigrate, with Canada being among the most popular potential destinations. I can assure you that the vast majority of those individuals will remain here for the foreseeable future.

To be absolutely clear, I detest the idea of Donald Trump becoming this nation’s 45th commander-in-chief. His protectionist economic policy proposals are short-sighted and detrimental to future American prosperity, and his history of egregious use of eminent domain serves to remind me of the dangers of cronyism and big government. I can’t help but cringe when I remember that in the eyes of Mr. Trump, simply carpet-bombing areas held by the Islamic State, while ignoring the potential carnage inflicted on helpless civilians, is viable foreign-policy. Keeping all of this in mind, I still don’t see any reason for leaving this country. On the contrary, I feel an added sense of urgency to stay here and preserve what makes this nation so special in the first place.

There is a great deal to admire about the United States, contrary to what some of us may think at the moment. We have the most robust protection of freedom of speech and expression in the world, free of the well-intentioned but detrimental regulations put in place by various European governments. Such an atmosphere allows us to engage in comprehensive and often controversial dialogue where we may frequently feel uncomfortable, but it is through this discomfort that we can begin to arrive at some level of truth and understanding. The relatively free-market economy of the United States has allowed this country to become the most prosperous society in the history of humanity, attracting millions of ambitious and hard-working immigrants who want a taste of the American Dream. Government restrictions on the right of same-sex couples to marry are finally becoming a relic of the past, and citizens of this country are more secure and protected in their ability to be truly individual.
If anything, the rise of Donald Trump should serve as a wake-up call for all of us to remain eternally vigilant and wary of the rise of the power wielded by the state. Whoever is sitting in the Oval Office shouldn’t matter; we should always remain confident that our liberties will be protected, so long as we never turn complacent. After all is said and done, however, I am confident that our nation will survive whatever may come. No demagogue, no matter how loud and boisterous, will erode the progress we have made. I can assure you that on Wednesday, November 9th, regardless of the election results, millions of Americans will wake up, greet and kiss their loved ones, and prepare to make the most of the new day. This country is already great, and it can only become greater.

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