Last week, the Minnesota Daily
officially endorsed Hillary Clinton for president — a move that would surprise
no regular reader of this paper’s editorial section.
railed against Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump, numerous times. For his
disgusting comments about women and immigrants, for his failure to recognize
transgender civil rights and for his
total lack of empathy for anyone with circumstances other than his own. All
these points were reaffirmed this weekend when Trump called for a black man in
attendance at one of his rallies to be kicked out — even though that man is (or,
perhaps, was) one of his supporters.
Some may say that calling Trump and
his vast swathe of supporters “bigots” is uncouth and that it’s an editorial
board’s role to solely evaluate a candidate’s policies. But what are we to do
when Trump has spent his entire campaign — and the majority of the debates —
condemning his opponent, offering little tangible reference to what his
policies as commander-in-chief would be? Trump’s comments during his campaign
and outside of it have normalized bigotry and physical violence against women —
we have an obligation to consider the pernicious impact that those words would
have if put to action.
presidential elections, America has often been pushed to decide what level of unpalatable
discourse we are willing to endure from the leaders of our country.
Trump’s malicious comments — whether he’s
calling the majority of Mexican immigrants rapists and thieves or saying that
he should be able to do whatever he wants with a woman’s body or that an entire
religion should be all but banned from this country — mark such a drastic
escalation of the institutional prejudices we’ve outlined. We don’t believe
this country can recover from his presidency. To us, that is disturbing.
these offenses is not groundless or unwarranted. In this election, we’ve come
to see the unsettling, deep-seated racism that is both implicit and explicit in
Trump’s campaign. Calling Trump a bigot is not a construction or artifice or a rhetorical
move — it’s the truth.
November, Americans can make a choice that has the potential to disenfranchise
millions of American citizens and residents of this country.
Many of us — in fact, the majority of
us — have something at stake in this election
whether we realize it or not. If Trump wins, it won’t just be a slap in the
face. It will be a fog that washes over our country, obscuring progress,
clarity and humanity.