Trump Doesn’t Trust Blindly

As surely everyone in the developed world knows at this point, Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States in an upset on Tuesday, leading to a series of protests (and riots) in retaliation. Now that Trump is imminently headed toward Pennsylvanian Avenue, some are questioning how he will handle his business.

Currently, there is no formal legislation dictating how the president’s previous business interests are handled upon inauguration. Some elects choose to continue to play an active role in their outside ventures while in office, such as Barack Obama and his book royalties and LBJ with his broadcasting corporations. Others choose to relinquish their assets to a blind trust, or an individual/firm that takes responsibility for executive actions of the enterprises for the duration of tenure. When control is given to a blind trust, the owner who surrendered power of has no knowledge or say of the actions taken.

It seems that Donald Trump has taken the latter of these two options; Trump Inc. will be handed to his children Don, Ivanka, and Eric. This seems to be a smart idea on the president-to-be’s part, for many have noted that maintaining control would lead to serious conflicts of interest, and his ability to separate himself from the business that he treasures so much helps to solidify the narrative that he is all in for the presidency. Some, however, are still dissatisfied with the measures being taken, claiming that there are not nearly enough degrees of separation between him and trustees (as they’re his children) and that some of his properties (namely his luxury D.C. Hotel) lease from the government, making him the head of both sides of the transaction.

From a rhetorical standpoint, Trump’s soft attempt at separation supports the liberal narrative that he is in office for selfish gain and could drive the preexisting gap between the parties further apart (which is hard to imagine), but also manages to support the conservative claim that he is willing to part with his business in order to focus on the presidency. The fact of the matter is, however, that nothing illegal occurs even if Trump plays a hand in his business while in office. Trump hasn’t had any problems with upsetting the liberal population even during the candidacy, and now that he’s elected, I doubt he will start.


On a side note: wow what a roller coaster of an election, right?


Definitively Legitimizing Islamophobia

As previously noted, the Obama and Clinton camps worked diligently to avoid associating Muslims with terrorism and “radical Islam,” by avoiding the phrase almost entirely. But by calling for complete Muslim bans, calling for mosque surveillance, and liberally employing the phrase “radical Islam” in association with Muslim-Americans, Trump has managed to change the definition of Islam, and has legitimized an Islamophobic association that, just days after the election, has many Muslim-Americans feeling unsafe.

The power of the president to define issues equates to, as Zarefksy suggests, being able to plead a cause. Particularly on the subject of Muslim-Americans, Donald Trump effectively took the status quo social definitions of the Obama/Clinton years and changed what “Muslim” and “Islam” meant for many Americans, effectively associating Muslims with terrorism. Throughout his campaign, Trump subtlety (or, at times, blatantly) advanced the case that Muslim-Americans are dangerous and radical by nature of their religion.

And while Trump’s rhetoric might seem like it would be convincing for only a small percentage of the population, now that he will officially ascend to the presidency, his language will be much more powerful and have a much more legitimizing effect. As Zarefsky puts it, “The presidential claim is offered as if it were natural and uncontroversial, rather than chosen and contestable.” Trump’s election to the presidency truly validates his definitions for many of his supporters. These definitions will become a widespread school of thought because they have been legitimized.

No longer does the president say that Muslims should be treated with respect and without fear; this president says the citizenry should be leery and suspicious of Muslims. Muslim-Americans across the country are reporting of the immediate results of Trump’s de-facto, definitional validation:

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-8-40-08-amAnd the results won’t end there; Trump’s newly legitimized definitions are likely to pervade, at least on some level, for generations to come. Muslim-Americans have been weary of Trump’s rhetoric from the beginning, but now his words carry an unmatched validation which could cause irreparable damage to the image and treatment of newly terrorism-linked Muslims across the country.

Law and Order Candidate

donaldtrumpbigsmileAfter the shooting in Charlotte that happened recently, North Carolina has been the location of many speeches regarding the second amendment and law and order.  Recently, Donald Trump hosted a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina where he gave a speech about the second amendment, in which he used the phrase “restore law and order” three times in three sentences. Trump used short, persuasive messages to convince the people that he is the law and order candidate who will do what it takes to restore law and order to the country. Trump relied on using short sentences that would capture the attention of the audience. He used repetition to convey the idea that if he is elected into office, he truly will do what he says he will: restore law and order. He has effectively labeled himself the “law and order” candidate, but he has done little to explain what he will do if he is elected into office besides “restore law and order.”

In his speech, Trump began making statements about restoring order and how he will make changes with the police, but he failed to actually say what he would do. Trump could barely finish his thought when he said, “And the police are going to be careful and they’re going to be studied and they’re going to be — but we have to restore law and order.” Although he failed to back up his statements with evidence, Trump passionately declared that he would restore law and order to America. Trump said, “What happened in Dallas, where all of those people were shot down. Absolutely, absolutely for no reason. Viciously shot down, and so many others.” He tapped into the audience’s anxiety by referencing other shootings that have happened in America, and set himself up as the candidate for change. Rhetorically, Trump shaped his message and delivered it in a way that was exciting for the audience and made them feel that if he was elected, he really would do something to change the current state of America.

The Profit of Trade

Shady is as Shady Does

Now closing in on the 2016 presidential election, October has been anything but boring. With less than twenty-four hours until our future president delivers their acceptance speech, voters have been thrown for a loop with the latest October surprises. Conspiracy has risen in a statement proposed by Senior Economic Advisor, Peter Navarro of Clinton’s involvement with media oligopolies and trade with China.


In this conspiracy Navarro explains how big media heads have been skewing the information they feed to the public to essencially fill their pockets. Evidence has suggested that, “Clinton megaphone MSNBC,were once owned by General Electric, a leader in offshoring factories to China. Now NBC has been bought by Comcast, which is specifically targeting the Chinese market – even as Comcast’s anchors and reporters at MSNBC engage in their Never Trump tactics.” Trump’s campaign has targeted trade to bring light on the situation at hand – trade with China is taking away from the United State’s economy and it’s citizens.

Your Career for Their Millions

Trump is “connecting the dots” and voters are seeing a side of the media and Hillary Clinton’s campaign that is shady at best. The statement referred to Clinton by being the candidate of the multinational ruling elite. She has earned this title since the same corporations that profit off of shipping American jobs offshore are pushing Clinton’s agenda. With this new situation people are now going to question big media heads and the Clinton campaign.

This could severely hurt Hilary’s campaign. She is already under the pressure of breaking laws and now voters may think she’s involved with even more scandals. The fact that news channels like NBC are bashing all of  Trump’s trade tactics and promoting Clinton will appear dishonest now that Navarro has linked their involvement with trade. Has Clinton and MSNBC been profiting off of America’s declining economy and rising unemployment this whole time? How do we know what the media is telling us is true? Election day is near and the final shots have been fired.


Arizona & ‘Ballot Harvesting’


The Case in Arizona

The Supreme Court recently confirmed that Arizona must enforce its ban on the collection of early voting ballots by campaigners which means that ‘ballot harvesting’ will be illegal up until Tuesday’s election. The law was originally not in tact, but as of November 5th, the ban will be in tact.


Republican Rhetoric of ‘Ballot Harvesting’

The law was approved earlier this year by the Republican-controlled legislature amid claims that allowing anyone to deliver anyone else’s ballot creates an opportunity for fraud (Arizona Capital Times).

“Critics, mostly Republicans, call the practice “ballot harvesting” and say it invites voter fraud. Republican lawmakers tried to halt it by passing a state law that made it a felony to turn in someone else’s ballot, with an exception for relatives, caregivers and roommates (KJZZ Radio).“ Since ballot harvesting primarily concerns those who cannot physically get out to vote, Republicans believe that these voters are primarily minority and underprivileged households, whose votes would not be overwhelmingly in their favor, hence why they want to make it illegal. Republicans used fear in order to persuade people that ballot harvesting invites voter fraud, that ballot collections do nothing but allow those who are not supposed to vote the allowance to vote.


Democrat Rhetoric of Ballot Collection

“Democrats sued, saying ballot collection is key way to get out the vote, especially from minority households. They argued the law violated the Voting Rights Act (KJZZ Radio).” Democrats believe that ballot collection is a key way to get their own supporters votes, as many are often minorities so it would clearly support their votes. Their rhetoric ensues that all people are allowed to vote and results in a more welcoming and open-minded view of voting in our country, as they dismiss voter intimidation.



With the election approaching in a few short days, it is important to consider what laws are being put forth and to whom they will benefit. The overturning of this law occurred in a matter of one day and is important because voting laws should not be altered with this little time before the election. Manipulation of voter laws this late in the election could influence party support.

Get on Your Game Hillary

When the word “terrorism” is mentioned, pictures and moments in time from 9/11 are often the first things that come to mind.  Accompanying the mental imagery is all kinds of other associations and perceptions on terrorism that may in fact not always be accurate.

A Little Bit of Background

“Terrorism” is defined as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence…through fear.” Americans tend to subconsciously add to that definition and say that acts of terrorism are performed by foreigners who’ve received admittance into this country “by mistake.”  However, according to Peter Bergen, a CNN National Security Analyst, the majority of the acts of terror in the U.S. have been committed by our very own citizens.  In fact, he says that, “every lethal terrorist attack in the United States in the past decade and a half has been carried out by American citizens or legal permanent residents” who do not have direct contact with outside terrorist forces or organizations.

My Question: Why isn’t Hilary focusing on this in the 2016 Election?

I believe that the Clinton campaign has not capitalized on this prime piece of knowledge.  It would not only strengthen Hillary’s current policies on immigration and terrorism, but would also benefit the liberal message as a whole, if it were emphasized that all acts of terror since the destruction of the Twin Towers have come from internal sources. 

The idea that terrorism is a war from within, is exactly what people on the left want to hear and should be preaching to reinforce their arguments.  In other words, this opens up the doors for them to write laws that give more control to the government and less control to the people all in the name of “freedom” and “safety”.  This enforces the argument of the need to monitor emails, phone calls, text messages, and web browsing.  Just think about it, if American citizens and legal documented people are the ones committing the acts of terror, then these people need to be more closely watched for the good of all people, according to the liberal narrative.  It is a mystery why Hillary has not chosen to focus on this issue at hand.

Supreme Court Rhetoric

What Has Been Said So Far

Although the question of who the new Supreme Court appointee will be is an immensely important issue in the upcoming election, it has received relatively little attention from the media and the candidates themselves. In the first debate, it was not brought up at all. In the second presidential debate, it was brought up but due to time constraints in the rhetorical situation of a town hall debate, not a whole lot was or could be said by either candidate. Clinton attempted to use the rhetorical strategy of identification by saying she wants people in the Supreme Court who “who understand the way the world really works, who have real-life experience.” However, she was probably identifying with too large of audience because it is highly doubtful many people want someone who does not have “real life experiences” on the supreme court. Trump on the other hand, also used the identification strategy but a little more effectively than his opponent in this case. He said he already has a list of 20 candidates he would consider, compared to Clintons 0, but more importantly he identified with audience members who have strong opinions about the 2nd amendment by saying that the right was “under siege by people like Hillary.”


What To Expect On Wednesday

Hopefully Wednesdays debate will allow this, and other important policy issues, to be discussed in further detail while minimizing the amount of bantering between the candidates about unimportant issues. We can at least conclude that the lack of attention on the topic of the Supreme Court nomination in the previous debates will open the floor up on Wednesday night for Trump and Clinton to really get their perspectives out there. Trump was a strong supporter of Justice Scalia who was considered to have a very “strict” viewpoint on the Constitution. Trump will probably look to reinforce his position on 2nd amendment rights and will say he wants to appoint a Justice that will follow in Scalia’s footsteps. However, this will continue to negatively impact the LGBT community’s stance on Trump as Scalia was opposed to same-sex marriage. Although I think that Trump realizes the LGBT community is not necessarily his target audience, I believe he will try to downplay the fact that Scalia was against same sex marriage if it brought up. Also, he will probably name some of his considerations that support same-sex marriage, and are not as strict on the constitution as Scalia in an attempt to appeal to more undecided voters, namely heterosexuals that support same-sex marriage.

Clinton also talked about protecting rights when the question of the Supreme Court nominations was brought up in the last debate, but her argument was directed more towards protecting voting rights for minorities and lower class individuals and supporting the decision made in Roe v. Wade. While protecting these rights is very important to many people, Clinton might have made a mistake by pushing to hard left on the Supreme Court nominee. To conservatives who are not necessarily on the “Trump Train” she unintentionally reinforced one of the few reasons that they consider to be an important factor in the decision to vote for the less than ideal candidate. Some even to the point where Friday’s tape of Trump’s lude comments has become forgivable. However, polls show Hillary with a decent lead and her stance on the Supreme Court may prove to have no impact on her overall campaign. On Wednesday expect to see Clinton stick to her guns about voting rights, same-sex marriage, firearms and continue to push for a left sided Supreme Court.

Tug of War

It’s that time:


We have been hearing about emails since a year and a half ago so is this an ‘October Surprise’? Although this is ‘new’ information out, is this an effective surprise? More emails found on Anthony Weiner’s computer allegedly along with texts between him and a 15-year-old is an interesting take on the emails and there are some affects in the GOP’s favor, this is not enough.

In an article by the Washington Post, Steve Schmidt, a GOP strategist says, “It’s just really unlikely that there is an undecided bloc of voters still weighing Hillary Clinton’s emails. I think everyone made up their minds a long time ago on that subject,” and I agree.

I don’t understand why these emails, found on Anthony Weiner’s computer no less which adds to the media value of her emails, is what is used against Clinton. Many citizens are using their early voting option and have already voted. Surprises should be let out now in order to influence the most voters. Surprises held until a less than a week out from the Election Day will be used to deter voters from going to the polls at all.

The only plus to releasing a large amount of emails with a week until Election Day is the FBI can’t analyze the emails and possibly dismiss them before the election (even though they are trying their best).

USA Today included an interesting take claiming that these emails being released plays to Secretary Clinton’s benefit showing the election is not ‘rigged’ in her favor and she has had major hurdles to cross.

This tug of war between undecideds between two ‘less-than-desirable’ candidates is not a war where someone win will the undecideds over, but will end in a tie where undecideds decide not to vote at all.


Pushing the Envelope

Constantly Challenging the Social Norm:

Trump’s political campaign this election has forever changed the face of politics when it comes to what is standard and what is acceptable. His campaign has pushed the envelope in many different ways, but even more so with his surrogate speakers. A surrogate speaker in past times would be used as an avenue for saying things that were typically not acceptable for the presidential candidate to say. While taking that into consideration, there is still a part those speakers played in trying to maintain that candidates image. Their purpose is to support and enhance their candidates image. When it comes to Trump’s surrogate speakers however, there has been very little spoken in moderation and little put into self preservation. They have been extremely vocal about their thoughts and opinions and have done very little to hold back.

For example, recently when Donald Trump spoke at a rally, one of the rally speakers, Wayne Root appeared first and spoke about Hillary Clinton and how she should be put in the firing lane for committing treason. Even in elections past, you would not hear a surrogate speaker openly talk about how he thinks a candidate should be killed for committing treason. Trump and his speakers have constantly challenged the social norm of politics through stating things so off the wall that people don’t know how to respond.

Overall, Trump’s campaign strategy has drastically impacted the political world. He is not a typical politician nor has he conducted himself as one. His surrogate speakers, as a result, have followed in his footsteps. They have been bolder and more outspoken and gotten away with it because they are a part of Trump’s campaign. Overall, I think Trump’s boldness and political incorrectness, regardless of the outcome of this election will impact election campaigns to come and what our view of normal is when it comes to politics. He has held a campaign unlike any other and it will not go without impact in the political world. It has caused candidates to be pushed to have a more radical position in politics and has very little gray area.



“Gun Violence”: The Background of the Statistics

As we fall subject to the myriad of statistics that come pouring from news sources and politicians, we must stop and think about more than just the numbers and percentages. What is the framing of the fact really saying and is it really generating the true meaning of the number? Am I really absorbing the entire context behind a statistic or simply the surface-level rhetorically-aimed information that a politician or campaign wants me to believe?

A New York Times article posted June 2016, “Compare These Gun Death Rates: The US Is in A Different World”, covers the homicide rates in the United States in relation to other countries around the world. Blogger for Mises Wire Ryan McMaken describes this “tactic” of gun control advocates to incorrectly frame data in a way that can create a false stance in regards to the issue of gun rights in the country.

The New York Times graph, depicting the death toll rate in the US compared to other Western democracies.
The New York Times graph, depicting the death toll rate in the US compared to other Western democracies.

The Times article depicts a scale in which a number of countries are plotted on an axis in relation to their respective number of homicides by firearms. The US is in fact demonstrated as a far outlier with a high number. Though, McMaken attempts to debunk this depiction in demonstrating what a graph would show if instead countries were compared against overall homicide rates. He argues, that while the countries with increased legal ownership of firearms definitely has increased homicides due to firearms, they do not necessarily have overall increased general homicides. His point is that firearms also prevent homicides.

Here, McMaken demonstrates the actual low homicide rates of the states relative to other countries globally.
Here, McMaken demonstrates the actual low homicide rates of the states relative to other countries globally.

Through his research and efforts, McMaken attempts to describe the powerful phenomenon of the way that media rhetoric can impact our perception of these statistics and graphs. As a flippant reader and less context-aware reader of the New York Times, a simple gloss of the article would lead one to think of the “loose” gun control of the US as an incredibly dangerous and lethal component of our laws. In another frame, an opinion could drastically change. The persuasive ability of our definition of “gun homicides” vs. “homicides” in its very simple distinction has a powerful effect on the way that we as citizens can comprehend our belief in the issue and current state of the country. This raises even more interesting questions about the way that we intentionally listen to the policies describes by our candidates amidst this coming election which greatly points to a gun control clash.