The VU Forum held an event in which a select panel of faculty and students discussed the ups and downs of the first year of the Trump Administration on Jan. 7, 2018
The panel was comprised of seniors Frank Enriquez, Kristin Klancar and Tess Kellogg, the Editor-in-Chief of The Voice. They were joined by history professor, Kristin Lashua, and Political Science professor, Dr. Kevin Walker. The co-presidents of the Forum, Jillian Pascua and Erica Shannon, guided the discussion through asking the panelists questions.
All panelists concurred that the number of presidential candidates from the Republican party greatly contributed to Trump’s victory.
“It allowed Trump to overwhelm them with his presence, his style. That’s what generated so much of his support early on,” Walker said.
Lashua also believes his lack of political correctness played a large role in his nomination and win.
“His victory shows that people were tired with politics as usual,” Lashua said.
One critique of President Trump was his use of social media.
“I love Twitter as much as the next person, but our president is our president. If I were president I would delete my Twitter and start over… [He should] log out, take a deep breath, turn off the cable news, focus on the folders on [his] desk,” Kellogg said.
She was not alone in this perception, as Enriquez noted Trump’s tendency to respond immediately to developing issues.
“It would be much better if he didn’t react as fast as he does, especially on Twitter,” Enriquez said.
The entirety of the panel agreed that they were dissatisfied with the way the president represents the nation, and they condemned his usage of the term fake news.
“One of his jobs is to be our chief diplomat, and he is not doing that very well. More people feel scared to be living in this country than before and the biggest threat to our nation, fake news…dismissing something you don’t want to engage with is problematic. One of my hopes is that you as a student at Vanguard know how to search for real truth,” Lashua said.
Much of the panel was still stuck on the fact that Trump became president in the first place.
“I didn’t think Trump was going to make it…but then experienced politicians were pulling out and I thought, wow, he might actually have it. He was able to secure states that Obama had previously won,” Enriquez said.
Enriquez believes he is doing great things for American business.
“He has brought Toyota back from overseas because of his tax cuts. Our economy is back on the rise because of him,” Enriquez said.
Klancar openly admitted her loyalty to Trump.
“He is our president. Therefore, as an American citizen, I support him. He won the presidency,” Klancar said.
Walker expressed his feelings regarding the way Trump has been wrongly blamed for much of what US citizens are currently angry about.
“Our founding fathers created checks and balances for a reason. This isn’t North Korea, we don’t elect a national leader…I don’t understand why people were so upset over his victory,” Walker said.
As for the future election, panelists were divided as to whether President Trump has a chance for re-election in 2020.
Overall, the panel concluded that the best course for the upcoming election will be to take the time to listen to one another rather than condemn people with differing opinion.