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Monday, May 21, 2018

Columns

Arpaio’s Senate candidacy indicative of a larger problem


Tamor Khan | Daily Cougar

Joe Arpaio, the infamous Arizona sheriff, has decided to take it upon himself to run for Senate this year. The comments he’s made so far indicate he has been motivated to help uplift the president, who pardoned him, with his Make America Great Again campaign.

Arpaio was removed from his post as sheriff in 2016 after a series of complaints about his profiling of Latinos. He continued this bigoted passion, defying the court order he received in the process. President Donald Trump didn’t find this to merit any jail time and pardoned him.

The statements released so far by the Arpaio show his blatant support of not the Republican Party, but rather just Trump. He has stated that he has “one unwavering reason” for this candidacy, and that is to support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump in his mission.” This lack of support for an overarching ideology leads to polarization. 

When candidates for political offices devote all their support to one individual, as opposed to an idea or party, it shows the true implications of these fringe political parties. Not only does this push away generational voters, such as millenials, it shows the general populace how little party aligment has come to mean.

This trend of our president doing favors for support in return parallels Jacksonian Democracy to an alarming proximity.

The actions of this racist sheriff won’t exactly merit the attention of the American people for too long, especially considering the high probability that he won’t be elected to Senate when his opponents Martha McSally and Kelli Ward are the preferences for Republicans.

The party has done little to claim this man who falls more in line with neo nationalists and supremacists, as opposed to the right wing party. The line between these two has begun to meld as a result of Trump’s many inflammatory remarks, but Republicans refuse to accept Arpaio in their ranks for office. 

The relevance of this story lies in his motivations to return the favor of the man who pardoned him.

Not only does Arpaio only intend to run for this office to support Trump, there’s no degree of subtly or an attempt to conceal this fact. He carries his intentions on his sleeve with pride. 

His campaign makes very little sense, effectively defying logic, and his open and fervent bigotry is on full display for a nation to witness. Sound familiar? The Trump phenomenon is this precedent. Our nation’s leader has set off the trend of running for offices you’re absolutely unqualified for.

This phenomena demands no proper qualifications nor experience, but rather attention-getting reality star behavior. It landed Trump in the White House and is now paving the path for his many supporters and admirers to follow him to Washington and to power. 

Trump has stocked his administration with supporters and friends. It’s time he redecorated the Senate as well. 

The supposed political outsider got voted in on the premise of draining the swamp, and I suppose bringing in completely clueless and obviously biased individuals is one way of doing that. 

The disconcerting aspect to this campaign run by Arpaio is that he doesn’t even bother to express any devotion or alignment with the Republican Party. While other laughably unqualified nominees to positions by Trump may have attempted to put on a facade, the ex sheriff feels very little need to pretend his campaign is anything other than a blatant repayment of the enormous favor the President dealt him. 

This expression of absolute commitment to one leader on a mission, as opposed to an ideology as a whole, is alarmingly similar to the relationships politicians have had with many tyrants in the past.

We, as a nation, bear both the culpability and implications of the Trump phenomenon. The longer we allow it to perpetuate itself, the more inundated Congress and Senate will grow with politicians devoted to the whims and needs of this manipulative man.

The Trump phenomena is not only one of comically inexperienced individuals landing themselves in positions they cannot fathom to understand. It is also of the environment that is fostered by such devotion to not political parties nor the people, but rather one man and his very small hands.

Anusheh Siddique is a Finance freshman and opinion editor and can be reached at [email protected]

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