Tag: Trump

OPINION: Republicans outraged at Pelosi for ripping speech clearly haven’t met Trump

Scott Young, News Editor

On Tuesday, February 4, Trump delivered the final State of the Union address of his first term in office. When Trump concluded his speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of Trump’s speech.

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Trump acquitted on impeachment charges

Madison BaileyCorrespondent

The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump came to a close when he was acquitted of two impeachment charges by the Senate on Wednesday, February 5. The two impeachment articles sent from the House were for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

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Young: Trump’s ‘national emergency’ is artificial and ignores the facts

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Scott Young, Staff Writer

Last Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency to unilaterally grant himself $8 billion to build a wall at the Southern border. The declaration opens up the possibility for future presidents to make more political declarations and abuse the powers granted to them.

The National Emergencies Act was passed in 1976 to allow the President to declare a national emergency in times of crisis and to allocate funds from other sectors of government. The Act is traditionally used for actual crises such as the September 11 attacks or sanctions against countries that pose a security risk to our country.

If Trump’s border wall is such a national emergency, why did he wait two years after his presidency began to start searching for border wall funds? Why wasn’t this a priority from day one? That’s because it’s not an emergency. Only in Trump’s alternate universe is it an emergency.

You’re probably asking me now: “But Scott, immigrants are POURING into this country at an alarming rate and bringing drugs into the United States. Why isn’t that a national emergency?”

Fair question. Let’s take a look at the facts:

1) Illegal border crossings are at an all time low. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of illegal border apprehensions have been on a downward trend for the past 19 years and has reached a whopping 46-year low. A ‘national emergency’ should indicate some sort of crisis that is out of control and getting worse, but the statistics from Trump’s own CBP show that it’s actually been improving for some time.


2) Most drugs come through ports of entry. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s 2018 Drug Threat Assessment found that the primary mode of entry for drug trafficking takes place at LEGAL ports of entry, not the large swaths of land that the proposed border wall would cover. If we want to tackle the issue of drug trafficking, then we need to invest in more drug detection technology at our ports of entry and toughen up searches, not build a wall.

3) Donald Trump himself said he didn’t need to declare an emergency. During Trump’s declaration statement, he said, “I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this.” This completely tears apart his entire argument that this is a national emergency. A real national emergency carries with it a sense of urgency and immediate danger, and in Trump’s own words, this declaration didn’t have to happen.

4) There are more effective ways to secure the border. There’s a reason that border apprehensions are so low. It’s because the border is already well defended. In 2013, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act was signed into law which doubled the amount of fencing, increased the number of border agents, created an employment verification system, and funded more surveillance technology at the border. We are living in the 21st century and I think Trump has missed that memo. There are more technological and modern solutions to the problems we face that we should take advantage of to secure the border.

This national emergency declaration proves that Donald Trump and many in his party are hypocrites. If you remember during Barack Obama’s presidency, the Republicans went after Obama feverishly for what they described as ‘presidential overreach’ when Obama granted legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

Even Trump criticized Obama for taking unilateral action. This tweet from 2014 hasn’t aged very well:


The ‘national emergency’ is just another example of Trump’s inability to connect with reality and comprehend fact-based evidence. Trump has normalized circus politics and spewing false information, so it’s more important now than ever to never take political issues at face value and if you feel strongly about a political issue, do your civic duty by making sure to do the research to back it up.

Carter: Blind factionalism must go, and discourse must return

(Alex Edelman/AFP)

Devin Carter, Staff Columnist

There is a tyrant in the White House. His name is Donald Trump, and we have to stop him.

I do not use the word, “tyrant”, lightly. Tyranny, after all, has led to the deaths of millions, and it was a response to what was perceived as tyranny that resulted in the American Revolution of 1776 and the formation of the United States.

I want to make something very clear: I do not care that Donald Trump identifies as a Republican, and I would be calling him a tyrant regardless of which party he claims to belong to. In fact, I won’t even criticize any of his particular policies, but will instead focus on his actions and mannerisms that I fear are putting us on the road to tyranny.

To begin, I want to give Trump some credit. His populist campaign, as theatrical and hateful as it often was, earned him a tremendous following of diehard supporters. He has done for far-right Republicans what many Democrats hoped Barack Obama could do for liberals. And, unlike Obama, Trump has stayed consistent with his political messages and actions throughout his presidency, which has allowed for the core of his voter base to continue to support him passionately.

But that is what makes him so dangerous. As he continues to throw America’s future into uncertainty, he continues to have passionate supporters.  As I promised, I am staying away from the specific policies, in an effort to show that this is far more important than party disagreements. We all, as Americans, need to open our eyes and see the disastrous reality that blind allegiance has left us with.

Donald Trump has broken our checks and balances system. Or, rather, he has helped us to see that the system is broken, and may have been for a long while. A natural stabilizer, checks and balances has acted as a safeguard against tyrannical action for the entirety of our nation’s history, and is one of the most underrated aspects of our government. It has paved the way for things we now see as vital parts governmental functions, such as judicial review, presidential veto power, senatorial review of presidential appointments, impeachment powers, among other things.

Out of all of Trump’s characteristics, perhaps the most dangerous thing about him is his unpredictability. From his twitter rants, to his obscene remarks, to his seemingly random hostilities towards Canada and his friendliness towards authoritarian leaders, Donald Trump holds a tremendous amount of power in his hands and uses it in unprecedented ways. There is no obvious way to deal with Trump’s twitter activity, or his impulsivity, but when it comes time to stand up and stop his irrational usage of power, our elected officials should do so. They have failed, time and time again.

I think this is the larger issue than just Trump himself. Our elected officials are not doing their jobs- they are not holding Trump accountable. And we, in turn, are not holding themaccountable. The reason for this is clear. There is a sharp divide between Republicans and Democrats, and two parties that used to be in many ways solid compliments of one another have morphed into what are seen as polar opposites, and due to this political discourse has died. To many liberals, Trump supporters are racists, bigots, and hateful white supremacists. Meanwhile, for many conservatives, liberals are socialists who are looking to strip them of their inalienable rights and hand unprecedented control over to the government. Both sides’ hatred of the other has reached an extreme, and it is only getting worse. Politics is no longer a discussion of ideas, but is more like supporting a sports team. And, like with sports, political parties have the blind support of their followers, and there is no middle ground to be found.

The most recent government shutdown is perhaps the most poignant example of factionalism crippling our country. President Trump refused to agree on a Congressional budget without adequate appropriations for his proposed border wall, and the Congressional Democrats would not approve for the wall’s $8 billion funding. As a result, the government was shut down for 35 days, the longest in history. The wall is not a Republican policy area, nor is it a part of the party’s platform. It is something that Donald Trump ran his campaign on, and it is because of him that it is relevant policy. Despite this, Republican congressmen did not rise with Democrats to oppose the shutdown. If 2/3 of each chamber of Congress had voted to end the shutdown, then they could have overridden a Trump veto and reopened the government. However, the Republicans stood firmly (or, at least, silently) with Trump and allowed for nearly one million people to be unemployed. They stood idly by while a single man essentially held the government of the United States hostage. For Congressional Republicans, standing behind their “R” was more important to them than stopping a tyrant. They allowed for our checks and balances system to fail.

I do not mean to pick on Republicans. Based on much of the rhetoric and factionalism I see among Democratic officials and supporters, I think they would have done the same thing had they been given the chance. In addition to this, their support of liberal policies seems to be more about beating Trump than about helping the country. This is an alarming sign of a lack of political discourse. Factionalism has always existed in this country, and always will. But the amount of hatred each side is showing one another is not sustainable. Eventually, something will burst. It burst in 1861, when eleven Southern states seceded from the Union in an act that led to the Civil War, and it will burst again unless we come together to stop it.

We live a Democratic Republic. In order for our system to work effectively, the general public has to be informed and educated, and our elected officials must exercise prudence when making decisions for the country. I am afraid that our increased factionalism has caused us to largely abandon our rationality, and our biases have often blinded us to reality. We live in a time where the least qualified person to ever be President can hold the government hostage and commit questionable actions while going largely unchallenged by his base. We as Americans, on all sides of the political spectrum, need to come together to challenge this threat. We have to look past our differences and instead see our similarities, bring to our political institutions a new, higher standard. For the sake of our country, we must. This is not a liberal vs. conservative outlook. Tyranny and abuses of power do not have a party affiliation. It can be found on all sides of the political spectrum. I will end with this.

After successfully constructing our Constitution in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin was leaving Independence Hall when a lady approached him and asked what sort of government the United States was to have. His answer was, “A republic, if you can keep it.” I am afraid that we are losing it, and we must fight every day to preserve it, no matter the cost.

Negotiations at impasse as Government Shutdown enters fifth week

ABC News

Scott Young, Staff Reporter

As of Tuesday, January 22, the United States Federal Government has been shutdown for 32 days, extending its record as the longest in U.S. history.

The shutdown is a result of opposition from congressional Democrats to providing $5.7 billion to President Trump to fund a border wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

At the end of each year, Congress approves a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and whenever there is a delay in passage of a new budget, the government shuts down. What that means is several government offices that are deemed “nonessential” are closed until a budget is passed, leaving many federal workers furloughed or working without pay. Some departments such as Defense, Homeland Security, Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, Energy, and Veterans Affairs are not affected by the shutdown.

“Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl,” said President Trump, in his address to the nation from the Oval Office earlier this month. “Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border.”

During his statement, the President indicated that he would be abandoning his idea for a concrete wall at the request of Democrats and advocate for a “steel barrier”.

“The President has chosen fear. We want to start with the facts. The fact is: On the very first day of this Congress, House Democrats passed Senate Republican legislation to re-open government and fund smart, effective border security solutions,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in response to the President’s address.

Last Saturday, President Trump proposed providing temporary protections for some undocumented immigrants in exchange for the $5.7 billion to fund a border wall, which the President called a “common-sense compromise”. The counteroffer was swiftly rejected by Democrats, with Speaker Pelosi deeming it a “non-starter” and “unacceptable”, as the offer does not permanently protect DACA recipients. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a statement condemned the offer as “not a compromise but more hostage taking.”

As the government remains shutdown, federal workers continue to struggle to make ends meet, routine small business loans have halted, and several areas of the government remain closed. With both parties digging their feet in the sand, an end to the government shutdown seems distant.