People are always surprised to hear I’ve been to a Donald Trump rally. However, given the context [I’m interested in politics, I couldn’t believe he was serious, and it was a Wednesday night and I had nothing better to do] it was a relatively easy decision to make. Perhaps it was because the week before I’d been a Bernie Sanders rally — a man so far the other end of the political spectrum, he may as well have been on the moon — and wanted to take in the full scope of American politics.
What wasn’t easy however, was the two hours of anti-women / LGBT+ / minority / liberal rhetoric I had to sit through. About halfway through, Trump began discussing food stamps and a man rushed to the stage. Immediately he was seized upon by police officers in riot gear. As he was being dragged from the arena, the crowd around me erupted screaming: “Bet he’s a Mexican”, “Send him back”, “This is why we need a wall.” Several people spat in his face as he was dragged past, with others kicking him. At the time I remember calling my parents and asking them, “Why is no one taking this seriously? Why don’t we think of him as a real threat?”
So how did we end up here?
Two weeks ago I cast my vote for the first female President of the United States. It wasn’t even a question of who to vote for, not really. Sure I had voted for Bernie in the primaries, but I don’t belong to the fanatical “Bernie or Bust” section of American society that will mistakenly elect Donald Trump. No, Hillary isn’t perfect, but it’s a bit like going to a restaurant and having to pick between a mouldy piece of fruit or a slightly tepid burger. Sure, it might be a bit lukewarm, but compared with a maggot riddled banana, how is that even a question?
Plus, isn’t it about time that the supposed ‘greatest country on earth’ had a woman as President? It seems like stereotypical sexism that when the only qualified candidate is female — I don’t think spending Daddy’s money or running a reality show are the qualifications needed for President — everyone has remained fixated on Hillary’s husband’s affairs, or her incorrect use of emails.
We asked UEA for their opinion on the election (p.16). Over 81 percent of you agreed and stood with her, whilst a slightly alarming 11 percent backed the Donald. I hope that 11 percent was being ironic. In the words of one comment writer, “He is a behemoth of the media, a brash jingoistic pumpkin resplendent in shiny suits and an eternal inhabitant of leading the headlines.” (p.17)
We’ll be in the pub the night of the election liveblogging, so make sure to come find us and get involved. Whether you have enough opinions to fill a novella, or just want to someone to drown your sorrows with (which will be me if Massachusetts doesn’t go blue) we’ll be there from 10:30pm until the results come in. Bring snacks.
It seems that homophobes aren’t just confined to the United States, as James Arthur has been booked to play at the LCR on 6th March (p.3). Causing controversy over his comments towards rapper Mickey Worthless, this appears to directly contradict the SU bylaws, which state that acts should be none discriminatory. UEA students have a reputation for getting riled up about who is allowed to set foot on campus, but this outrage is haphazardly applied. If Ukip aren’t welcome, why is James Arthur? Perhaps the only difference here is the profit the SU looks to make from his performance.
As week seven panic sets in, Deputy Editor, Jessica Frank-Keyes takes an unflinching look at coping with university having lost a parent (p.11). It offers great advice, and perspective, particularly for those who are lucky enough to have not experienced something so heart-breaking. So read up and remember to call your parents (Hi Mum and Dad).
That’s all from me — not least of all because the radiatiors have been turned off and my hands are frozen to the keyboard. Happy November!