Response to “In this election cycle, cast your vote for Hillary”

Brian Reinken

The Minnesota Daily’s Editorial Board endorsed Hillary Clinton for president earlier this week, citing their support for her positions on student loan reform, healthcare and taxation.

As I read their endorsement, its policy-based analysis struck me as rational and well-informed.

But then the article turned nasty. With no hint of irony, its final paragraph urged Donald Trump’s supporters to wake up from their “wicked slumber” or else mark themselves as “bigot[s].” In a move that I’ve tried and failed to understand, the Editorial Board even seemed to threaten its readers, promising that “we will not forget” anyone’s failure to spurn Trump.

To be absolutely clear, I can’t stand Trump and I’ve already cast my ballot for Clinton. But when it comes to persuading the man’s supporters to change their minds, the Editorial Board’s condescending tone is unhelpful, to say nothing of unprofessional.

There are perfectly legitimate reasons to support Trump in this election. Some workers feel threatened by the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Some families struggle to pay their healthcare premiums. Not every part of the country has benefitted from the Obama Administration’s economic reforms.

Choosing to tar all of Trump’s supporters as “bigots” is nothing more than a refusal to engage with the complex social and economic problems this country is facing. Trump’s brand of populism didn’t emerge out of thin air. Demonizing it does nothing to address it.

For the Editorial Board to speak of “crassly daft” Donald Trump sounds no better than it does for Trump himself to speak of “Crooked Hillary.” Calling names and fostering a narrative of “good versus evil” will only entrench voters in their positions.

I worked at the Minnesota Daily for three years, including two on the Editorial Board. I urge my former coworkers to reject the allure of ad hominem attacks, to focus on the issues and to conduct themselves with the same kind of dignity and respect that we demand of our politicians.

Brian Reinken

University alumnus