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Monday, April 23, 2018

Opinion

The Octogenarian: This political rhetoric sounds familiar


trump podium talk

Trump using rhetoric that paints entire cultures in a bad light isn’t anything new when put into historical context. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

We are in a presidential election year, and though all presidential elections are special, this one is unique. Many of these candidates, like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, are unique in the number of new voters they are bringing out.

Whenever I come across these new voters, I always ask them one question for which I generally get the same answer from both camps: “If your candidate doesn’t win the nomination, who will you vote for?”

They usually tell me that if their candidate doesn’t win, they “ain’t gonna vote!”

Back when I was young, two political parties emerged on the world scene.  One was led by a man named Adolph Hitler and the other was Benito Mussolini.

These two men came to power by telling half-truths, using deceitful rhetoric on their people and gathering the less-educated demographic in their countries who had feelings of hopelessness and of not being part of the system.

Hitler eventually had his people gathering while wearing distinctive black shirts, and Mussolini had his people wearing brown shirts.

So, what color shirt will you wear?

Today, we have a phenomenon called Donald Trump.  He preaches prejudice against whole groups of people just as the eventual dictators of the 1930s did. He tells of the danger of the Hispanics “pouring across our southern border” when actually, according to the Pew Research Center, immigration is statistically way down.

He speaks of protecting us from an entire religion, Islam, when our problem is with radicals of all religions. And what is the demographic of his followers? Persons with a high school diploma or less who feel deprived. Look at the ethnicity of his crowds — they’re pure white.

One of our major problems is a great lack of knowledge by the greater part of our population of the real history of our nation and the potential actual ramifications of their actions.

This year, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are doing much to bring potentially new voters into their respective political parties. If these new people actually vote and caucus, this will be good for our democracy.  But we know that the average American voter is lazy, so we do not know if these new people will show up to actually vote.

Please vote this year. But do so after collecting information and becoming knowledgeable. Then you can vote with your mind and your heart.

Opinion columnist Ken Levin is a political science senior and may be reached at [email protected]

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