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A Republican’s right of reply

| Thursday, September 15, 2016

I recently read your publication of BridgeND’s article entitled “This Election is too Important” and I must say that while I have read some frightfully pitiful defenses of Secretary Clinton, this meagre effort makes the French defense of the Maginot Line in 1940 look positively formidable.

The author of this article is of the opinion that Secretary Clinton’s “greatest scandal seems to be moving confidential emails to her private email server” and defends Secretary Clinton by arguing “with a job as hectic as secretary of state, I cannot say I blame her for wanting to streamline her tasks and improve efficiency.” She goes on to argue that it is reasonable for a former first lady, senator and secretary of state to “not fully understand the pitfalls of their technology” because after all it’s “the same crime of which many people’s parents are guilty.”

This is nothing more than a heaving pile of totally nonsensical balderdash. Except balderdash doesn’t result in Americans coming home in body bags. What the author neglects in her flippancy is that Secretary Clinton’s use of an unsecured private server put American national security and lives at risk, a crime for which the “many parents” of whom she spoke would be thrown in jail.  What’s more, there actually are military members who have been demoted, fined and even imprisoned for this crime. The name Petraeus springs to mind. Even by her own words, she puts forth an argument supporting the notion that the former secretary should be behind bars as gross negligence is a crime in this instance, and it would appear that the secretary did “not fully understand the pitfalls” of a private server. I must apologize to the author for my indecorous bluntness, particularly in print, but it was her job to understand.

It should also be mentioned that at no point in her article does the author mention a single policy position put forward by Secretary Clinton. Given that she described this election as “too important,” one would hope that there would have been at least a modicum of policy analysis in an effort to swing the vote towards the secretary. Instead the focus is on persona, and even then there is no mention of the myriad of health problems rendering Secretary Clinton literally unfit for office.

The reason for this is simple: The policy positions put forward by Mr. Trump are vastly superior to those put forward by Secretary Clinton. While Mr. Trump would put this country on the path to energy independence and end the eco-socialistic war on coal instigated by this Democratic administration, Secretary Clinton vowed to double down and shamefully proclaimed to the harpies surrounding her that she would “put coal miners out of business.” Mr. Trump would protect our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms while Secretary Clinton would seek to write this amendment out of existence. Mr. Trump would construct trade deals that put the American worker first, while Secretary Clinton would continue to use the government of this country to construct trade deals that would advance the interests of those who donated to her “foundation.”

Need I continue? Mr. Trump would lower your taxes (because he believes in the radical idea that people should keep more of the money they earn, quelle horreur!) while Secretary Clinton would raise them to fund yet more government intervention into the economy, expanding the fraudulent waste that has come to define the Obama budgets. Mr. Trump would secure the border, while Secretary Clinton would continue to allow the influx of illegal immigrants to drive down the wages of the working American. The list goes on.

The author is correct that Donald “J.” Trump is a “Jackass,” and I would actually go further, asserting that he is living proof that money can’t buy class. Whether it is the gauche private jets emblazoned with his name or the fact that his New York apartment is dripping in the gold of the nouveau riche, Donald Trump is indeed a jackass. He may not have been my first choice, but given the options of a “jackass” with some sound policies or an unhealthy criminal whose policies are determined by a sick notion of leftist elitism designed solely to satiate her lifelong lust for power, the choice is clear. I am not with her, I never have been with her and I never will be with her. One year ago, I would never have guessed that I would utter this phrase, but I will vote to Make America Great Again. Looking at the policies of the options available, it should hardly be considered surprising.


Dylan Stevenson

Notre Dame College Republicans, vice president


Sept. 13

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • Daniel Esparza

    I’m a fan of this piece, as it points out the hypocrisy of many of Clinton’s supporters. The thing is, energy independence, worker’s rights (in addition to keeping what is earned), right to bear arms, and avoiding shady trade deals are things that I, a leftist, would advocate for. The problem is that Trump wishes to utilize what I believe to be an inherently broken system to carry out this platform. The same goes for Hillary.

    I want working members to be armed as they please. I also want homeless people to be armed as they please, and ethnic minorities as well. Neither party, not even the NRA, supports this idea.

    Shady trade deals are a turn-off as well. That’s why I don’t support US imperialism, like both parties do. There seems to be this notion that evil done out in the open is somehow more noble than the same done through loopholes.

    If either party cared about workers’ rights, they would advocate for worker control over the factors of production. That way, workers could earn the value of which their labor produced, instead of a portion being extracted for surplus value by an entrepreneur whose intention is to maximize profit through this accumulation.

    “Going Green” is not a attainable goal in a system that enables harmful practices. Both parties support this system, where such practices are encouraged through profit-motive…Maybe a political party will roll around that will advocate for a society that fits my criteria…it would surely have to be one formed out of response to the material conditions of the working class.

    The reason why I’m typing this is because much of your frustration about democrats dropping the ball on these issues sounds like my frustration as well. Believe me, the suppression of labor and civil rights movements in the 20th century have made me sour at the thought of democrats being hailed as “progressive” or of any interest to the working class. I just feel that you guys could do better than to support a candidate that’s only *marginally* better. That goes for the other club party as well.

    • Brendan

      I’m not sure if you’re trolling about the whole profit-sharing thing (If you’re not, I have something to tell you that you already know). Also, most Americans identify socialists and progressive liberals as progressive. We already dealt with your ideology and even China is through with these ideas. I’m also incredibly confused as to why people would be opposed to minorities owning guns and how you aren’t aware that countless African-Americans, HIspanics, and Asian-Americans own guns. And I’m only talking about regular gun owners who happen to be minorities.

      There is also a history of Black Panthers patrolling neighborhoods with guns and African-Americans buying guns to protect themselves from corrupt local governments, vigilantes, and individuals or groups who sought to harm them.

      • Daniel Esparza

        I’m aware that there are progressive liberals. While I personally think there’s a contradiction in that label, I was specifically referring to those that are hailed as progressive while aligning themselves with the democratic party. While I believe that socialism (worker control over the means of production and the abolition of private property) is progressive by design, even we have problems with “brocialists” who wish for nothing more than liberation by class, ignoring other social hierarchies that exist within race and gender. Using “progressive” as a relative term, especially in the US, can make anybody who supports legal marijuana and gay marriage fit this label. I believe that those are not sufficient (not enough), and are only seen as progressive because the laws here are relatively regressive.

        I would hope that you’re not implying that China ever had worker control over the means of production. Maoist China was an attempt to implement a form of Marxism-Leninism specific to the material conditions of China at the time, known as Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (that’s why Maoists sometime call themselves MLMs). Just like the USSR, the intended goal of establishing a classless, stateless, moneyless society was never achieved due to 1) revisionism within the parties, 2) forced intervention by other countries that feared the loss of economic interest in these areas, and 3) [this is what I believe] the fact that they tried to rid themselves of a state apparatus by forming a new one.

        My mentioning of a “perfect party” was tongue-in-cheek because I believe that no political party is capable of achieving what I believe to be the ideal society. Having a political party carry out the formalities of a social revolution always results in the formation of a new state that doesn’t simply “dissolve.”

        …For your next point, I’m well aware that there are minorities who own guns? My point was that much of the gun control that is implemented affects them in particular, poor people as well. Interesting that you brought up the BPP; they were a group that were snuffed out (with party support) for doing the EXACT thing that people in the NRA use to defend the necessity of arms.

        • Brendan

          Terms don’t seem to retain the same meaning over time. Progressive now can be applied to stances on a range of issues that have nothing (often they do have an economic aspect major or minor, but that isn’t the motivation of activists on each side) to do with economics such as gay “marriage”, foreign policy, abortion, etc. In this way, some libertarians could be identified as progressives despite their acceptance of 0% of progressive ideas on economics.

          As for the U.S.S.R. and the People’s Republic of China, their equality of outcome for the mast majority of the population had a number of exceptions that Communist societies will always have: a very wealthy bureaucracy and yes a government structure to defend it. Marx wrote, Lenin built, Stalin purged, and Mao slaughtered for their own benefit, as does everyone (Yes,I include religious people. They are in a way more altruistic in that they consider the needs of others before their own and so on, but they substitute material benefit for heavenly reward). No Communist state can emerge without a self-interested future bureaucracy to lead the (political) uprising and this has already failed spectacularly. Of course, I’m not sympathetic to Hillary Clinton, let alone Warren, Sanders, Lenin, or your system. I voted for Ted Cruz in the primary.

          Yes, the Black Panthers were persecuted for acting as a type of neighborhood watch. Parts of the nation were quite racist in the 50’s, 60’s, and perhaps the 70’s so the Black Panthers were an easy target for the gun grabbers. Hopefully, the NRA (not very powerful back then), would defend such groups if they were targeted for disarmament.

          • Daniel Esparza

            If self-interested bureaucracies don’t appeal, there’s always Anarcho-Communism, Democratic Confederalism, Mutualism, etc. The first advocates for a classless, stateless society that removes the central state first and foremost, rather then use it as a means to carry out the “transition state” that existed in the USSR. This would separate Communist states and parties (with a capital “C”) from the ideology (lowercase “c”) which advocates for and end to class, state, and money. Anarcho-Communism is cool because it also advocates for an end to all unjust social hierarchies and freedom of association.


          • Brendan

            I haven’t heard of Democratic Confederalism. I would find any of these difficult to maintain because they would need to begin on a very small scale and would require unanimous consent due to the lack of a central government to enforce the system. That unanimous consent would likely be destroyed by the next generation, especially if the were local liberal democracies to inspire jealousy in the next generation. Of course, there may be a tiny country or island that does this right now of which I am unaware. The Israeli Kibbutz is the closest practical example I can compare to any of these, but America still has little communes and a long tradition of communes in New England (some romanticized by Hawthorne I believe).

            If you look at our government history for the last fifty years or so, it seems that free market capitalism is the permanent economic system in the United States. We seem to have settled on a system that, despite its many regulations, allows the market to determine policy. Corporations have shown their power by placing incredible pressure on the Supreme Court (success), Indiana (Success), and North Carolina (pending) to change federal or state law on social issues. Ironically, you might have the best luck appealing to social conservatives who have decided that they can only save their communities by withdrawing from participation in the political/economic life of the country. They are typically very conservative on social issues and moderate to liberal on economic ones.

          • João Pedro Santos

            It’s funny that you think that Clinton, Warren and Sanders are communists.

          • Brendan

            Reading comprehension is not your strong point, but I’ll be patient. I put in “Hillary Clinton, let alone, Warren” to signify that I am unsympathetic to that economic system because I could not even embrace the (relatively) far less radical economic vision of Hillary Clinton. I then listed contemporary and past figures in the order of their closeness to “pure” Communism. Clinton (leftist supporter of a heavily regulated but mostly private economy and increased spending on social programs), Warren (same as Clinton, but without the corruption/limited crony capitalism), Sanders (confessed socialist with three homes), Lenin (Statist Communist), and finally the Communism the other person on this thread described.
            TL:DR: I can’t support pure communism because I don’t even support progressive liberalism, let alone socialism or Communism throughout history.

  • what no really

    If this weren’t Notre Dame, I would have assumed this was a rather excellent parody of what the rest of the world thinks of when they picture a college Republican. lol

  • warmupthediesel

    Great letter, Dylan! Don’t let the libs have their cake and eat it, too! “What difference does it make?” A heck of a lot!

  • João Pedro Santos

    I usually don’t like to argue with fascists, but since there may be non-fascists reading this…
    If you really think that lowering taxes automatically give more money to people, you don’t seem to understand much about Economics. Lowering taxes only gives more money to rich people. The rest of us will have to pay for stuff such as schools and healthcare out of our pockets.
    The “secure the border” bullshit is also absurd since the US border already has too much security and a wall higher than the Berlin wall won’t improve the lives of immigrants who came to the US because US foreign interventions significantly ruined their countries (search about Operation Condor and the US funding of military dictatorships in Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Argentina, etc.).
    It’s also funny that a Republican complains that undocumented immigrants lower wages. Maybe if those immigrants were given the opportunity to get a work visa, their employers would be required by law to pay them at least the minimum wage, as well as health insurance. And speaking about minimum wage, it’s curious that the Republican Party opposes any attempt to raise the minimum wage (even, Hillary Clinton, who used to oppose a $15/h nationwide minimum wage, now supports it).
    I also noticed that you complained about an “eco-socialist war on coal”. First, in socialism workers control the means of production. I’ve never seen Hillary talking about that. And Hillary is not even left-wing. At most you could call her center-left, but only according to the American political spectrum. In the rest of the world she would be center-right or even right-wing. Second, what’s the problem with the war on coal? Do you want global warming to get even worse that it already is?
    And no, your vote won’t “Make America Great Again”. It will make it even worse than it already is, in particular for poor people and ethnic minorities.
    PS: Donald Trump was accused of sexually assaulting a minor. For me that’s a way worse crime than e-mail related political incompetence

    • Brendan

      If only all liberals were so open about their hatred of America, its history, and its people. Their votes won’t make America great again, because America is already great and Trump has nothing to offer it.

      • João Pedro Santos

        Define “hatred of America”.

        • Brendan

          In a word: you

          However, I’ll be more specific. Deeply resenting the founding of our nation and regarding it as illegitimate, disrespecting our founding documents and the checks and balances they contain, Finding every possible flaw in Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison and using these to dismiss our revolution and our constitution and the philosophy that informed them (Lockean Liberalism, especially Natural Rights). Ignoring all our great achievements between the Civil War and WWII in favor of a collection of every grievance that could possibly be found. Routinely siding with America’s enemies throughout the entirety of the Cold War from Castro’s Cuba to North Vietnam and simultaneously blaming America for every difficultly Latin America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia experienced during this period. Reflecting on the 1960’s Civil Right’s movement, not as a triumph, but as a failure to accomplish the “important work” of groups like Black Lives Matter. I’ll cut the history part here, since there is far too much to say. Its a way of viewing history that always sides against America, always assumes the worst, sees the bad without the good, and exaggerates the bad beyond recognition. You appreciate nothing about what America was, nothing about what America is, and the inescapable conclusion of any work of history that embraces these views is that it would be better if America had never existed.

          • João Pedro Santos

            tl;dr: Strawman fallacy.

          • Brendan

            I put the tl;dr version at the top instead of the bottom. I’d be happy to find out that you do not promote most of these ideas (or even better that line of thought) although we have personally discussed at least half of them on various articles.

          • João Pedro Santos

            Oh sorry, I didn’t see you’re a Trump supporter. I was think about giving you an educated and impartial answer, but I don’t argue with fascists.

          • Brendan

            Also, I find it very entertaining that people like you have slandered every Republican and a great deal of Democrats since (and including) JFK by calling them Fascists, but now that an actual fascist seems increasingly likely to be elected, the media is ignoring the boy who cried wolf.

          • João Pedro Santos

            Can you explain what you mean by “people like me”? I don’t recall having ever called Democrats fascists. About Republicans… well, they have a lot in common with fascists. They advocate for repression of individual freedoms, they are puritanical and anti-healthcare. Trump is nothing more than the continuation of that.

          • Brendan

            Fascists expand government, increase regulation, reward their favorite companies as long as they tow the line, subsidize their favorite companies, restrict freedom of speech, seek to control competing sources of power such as churches and charitable institutions, and gain power through scapegoats. Have some Republicans done these things? Yes, crony capitalism through subsidies, earmarks (mostly discontinued now), and the failure of Republicans to protect the religious freedom of their constituents are the reasons that Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and the Freedom Caucus have risen up. The Democrats are not innocent on the subsidy issue, but they are far more guilty than the Republicans on all the rest. Only Trump embraces all of the above though.

          • João Pedro Santos

            One thing I agree with you: Republicans threaten religious freedom. They want to impose their religious dogmas on everybody else and they even want to ban an entire religion. Democrats at least know the meaning of religious freedom.

          • Brendan

            Only Trump and his core supporters want to ban Muslims from the country. Many are too cowardly to criticize him on this openly and some only do so weakly. Paul Ryan has criticized him on this very boldly.

            Democrats don’t even remotely understand religious freedom. They say they believe in freedom of worship (i.e. what you do inside your designated church building, although not what you do in your religious school, religious hospital, religious charity, or religious adoption agencies). The major Catholic adoption service in Massachusetts was forced to close because the state mandated that the agency place children with gay couples. Sweet Cakes by Melissa was fined for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding (The vast majority of liberals are far too stupid to understand the difference between refusing to bake a cake for a gay person and refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, so I’m not sure why I’m wasting my time typing this). A florist came under fire for the same reason. The HHS Mandate requires religious institutions to provide coverage for contraceptives and their “compromise” still requires the facilitation of the coverage by those who religiously object to it (Presumably, Obama concluded that the root of the objection was not religion but money). Recent developments concerning bathrooms will certainly effect religious institutions in the near future.

          • Brendan

            JFK and Johnson were labelled Fascists for supporting South Vietnam and waging the Vietnam War respectively. I have no idea if you have labelled them or any other Democrat in this way, but it seems to be a very common reference for Sanders supporters and the internet leftists who are too radical to find any candidate for the general election (or vote for Jill Stein although they find her too conservative).

          • João Pedro Santos

            Sanders and Jill Stein radical? Oh gosh, you really live in a bubble. Is advocating for free college and universal healthcare radical? Is ending the war “on drugs” radical? In a lot of 1st world countries that isn’t “radical”, it’s the norm. However, the fascist ideologies you seem to support would be considered reactionary in most other countries.
            PS: The Vietnam War was opposed by both democrats and republicans back then. But back then the Republican Party wasn’t an extremist party as it is today.

          • Brendan

            Opposed by Democrats like JFK (took every step necessary to prepare us to defend our ally South Vietnam), LBJ (began and waged the war)? There is no such thing as free college and universal healthcare has to be paid for. Those are absolutely radical. The fact that an industrialized modern nation tried Nazism for over a decade does not make it any less radical.

            Back then the Democratic Party didn’t support gay marriage, let alone abortion, forcing religious schools to insure contraceptives, men in women’s restrooms, and forcing florists and bakers to violate their consciences for gay weddings. One of the parties has moved quite a bit and some of their candidates moved as recently as 2013.

          • João Pedro Santos

            Godwin law! Bingo!

          • João Pedro Santos

            Homophobia, misogyny and transphobia, 3 in 1! How much more of an idiot can you show yourself to be?

          • Brendan

            3-5 years late so far evidently, depending on the candidate (Kaine, Clinton, Obama)

        • Brendan

          Presumably, some people with this completely opposite view of history believe that they love America because of what it will become and the work they are doing to achieve that. I don’t believe you can appreciate America without any respect for its history, constitution, institutions, achievements, heroes, and flag.

  • Brendan
    • João Pedro Santos

      “Logical” and “Trump” in the name sentence. What’s next? “Homeopathy” and “medicine” in the same sentence?