Making America follow politics again
Elisabeth Smith | Assistant News Editor
An already fascinating presidential race may have surprised University of San Diego students on Friday. In a Palm Beach, FL press conference, Dr. Ben Carson expressed his support for Donald Trump.
This endorsement may come as a shock to political followers since Trump has torn Carson down in debates and in the media, but Carson claimed that the two have since buried the hatchet.
Across the nation many people have expressed their opinions about Trump, and at the University of San Diego students and faculty also have something to say.
Senior Sofia Gonzalez expressed that Carson’s endorsement of Trump was predictable.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Carson has endorsed Trump, after all, Carson is the candidate who idiotically said All Lives Matter regarding the Black Lives Matter movement,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez finds Trump’s campaign unsettling, and is surprised that his supporters are open bigots.
“Donald Trump has proven to the country that he is a liar, a racist, and a misogynist,” Gonzalez said. “What is scarier is that those who agree with him finally have a platform to show their own prejudice and think, ‘This is fine, if the leading candidate for the Republican nomination says it, why shouldn’t I?’ His supporters have been bigoted all along, now they can finally show it, and that is truly horrific.”
As a daughter of a Mexican-American immigrant, Gonzalez expressed sympathy and fear for migrants under Trump’s vision.
“My dad came to the U.S. from Mexico, earned his citizenship and learned English, all because he wanted to provide for his future family,” Gonzalez said. “We are very proud of that, but it’s also terrifying and unsettling to think that if my dad came across the border today, the front runner for the Republican nomination and potential President of the United States thinks that he is a murderer or a rapist.”
Sophomore Max Pedrotti is a registered republican who supports John Kasich. Pedrotti does not think Carson’s endorsement is impactful.
“I do not think Ben Carson endorsing Donald Trump will have any effect whatsoever on his campaign,” Pedrotti said. “Ben Carson has been irrelevant in this election for over a month and he never did well with minority demographics anyway.”
Sophomore Ben White agreed that Carson’s endorsement will not have an effect on Trump’s campaign.
“I think Donald Trump has been so effective in alienating almost every minority voter in the country that an endorsement from Ben Carson, who did not have much minority support himself, will not have much of an impact,” White said.
White believes that Carson endorsed Trump to stay true to his position of going against career politicians.
“His policies do not really line up with Donald Trump’s, but in a field that now offers a governor and two senators, Trump is the only non-career politician left,” White said. “It looks like Ben Carson would rather stick to his guns and endorse an unconventional candidate than a capable one. To me, a redeeming quality of career politicians is that they are good at their jobs and can actually create policy, pass legislation, and govern effectively.”
Pedrotti expressed that Trump can appeal to Americans, but that he is not the candidate to enact the changes he has promised during his campaign.
“Trump’s messages of division, underlying tones and outspoken racism, and publicity stunts are not what the country needs to bring people together,” Pedrotti said. “Many in our society are feeling further and further apart from their neighbors and compatriots and Donald Trump will only create more division and hatred as he has already done inside the Republican party.”
Predicting that the Republican primary will stretch to the summer convention, Pedrotti hopes that the party will rally around a candidate who is not Trump.
Carson stated that there are two sides to Trump, the outlandish political character in the debates, and a more methodical, intellectual side who wants to solve problems.
“Some people have gotten the impression that Donald Trump is this person who is not malleable, who does not have the ability to listen, and to take information in and make wise decisions,” Carson said. “And that’s not true. He’s much more cerebral than that.”’
Political Science professor Casey Dominguez, PhD., explained how endorsements are significant in political campaigns.
“Endorsements are typically valuable to candidates for office because the endorser has supporters or listeners or members, for whom that endorsement is a meaningful signal,” Dominguez said. “An endorsement indicates that a candidate has some qualities that are appealing to the endorser and that endorsers’ followers.”
Dominguez explained that Carson’s endorsement may mean something to his supporters, but it is otherwise meaningless to the general public.
Political Science professor Del Dickson, PhD., shared his views about the presidential campaign.
“I have never seen such an amusing, appalling, worrying, unpredictable, and surreal primary campaign,” Dickson said. “I naively thought that presidential politics could not get weirder than it was in the 1960s. That is just another reason why politics is so interesting — there are always surprises.”
Dickson expressed that Trump needs to reach out to minority groups to have a successful campaign.
“At this point, Trump has little interest in reaching out to racial and ethnic minorities, although that will change if he gets the nomination and begins his general election campaign,” Dickson said. “He will want to trot out as broad a rainbow of supporters as he can, and you can bet that you will see Carson at some Trump events. Trump’s real work, however, will be to reach out to Latino and Asian voters, because those are groups that he will have to win over if he is going to have a chance to be elected president. So you can expect Trump to stop talking about that wall on our Southern border on July 22, the day after the Republican Convention ends.”
This endorsement comes just two weeks after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pledged his support for Trump. Both Christie and Carson have ended their campaigns for president, leaving Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich left in the running for the Republican nomination.
While some politicians have decided to stand behind Trump, the country as a whole is still divided on his candidacy. On Friday evening Trump was scheduled to speak in Chicago, but the rally was cancelled due to security concerns after fighting broke out between supporters and protesters.
Trump’s campaign released a statement regarding the cancelled rally.
“It would have been easier for Mr. Trump to have spoken, but he decided, in the interest of everyone’s safety, to postpone the event,” the statement read.
According to the New York Times, protesters clashed with Trump supporters before the rally had began. The Times reported that protesters are common for Trump events, but this rally drew a particularly angry crowd.
“Around the country, protesters have interrupted virtually every Trump rally, but his planned appearance here — in a city run for decades by Democrats and populated by nearly equal thirds of blacks, Latinos and whites — had drawn some particularly incensed responses since it was announced days ago,” the New York Times stated.
As a Changemaker campus, Toreros should keep a close eye on the elections and follow their civic duty to vote in the upcoming primary election, June 7, and on election day, Nov. 8.