Henry Olsen criticizes Clinton's "pathetic appeal to undecided voters."
Clinton started the race as the most unpopular candidate ever to receive a major party nomination — except Trump. While she quickly unified her party, Trump struggled to unify his. That gave her a massive opportunity to reach out to disaffected Republicans and GOP-leaning moderates and convince them she was an acceptable alternative. She not only did not succeed in doing so: She never even really tried.As always happens, the third party candidates lost support the closer we got to the election. And Hillary kept up her attacks on Trump without a positive reason for choosing her. But Trump didn't make that mistake. And, as Olsen points out, the Democratic Party seems set to make similar errors.
Instead, she ran ad after ad demonizing Trump the man rather than contrasting her views with his. This served to reinforce the public’s negative view of him, but it did nothing to convince people who held negative views of both candidates to prefer her to him.
The prestigious GW/Battleground Poll showed this clearly. In both September and October, this poll — conducted by respected Republican pollster Ed Goaes and respected Democratic pollster Celinda Lake — showed that the election would be decided by the 18 percent of Americans who held a negative view of both candidates. These voters were disproportionally male, college-educated and either Republicans or Republican-leaning independents.
Nearly 60 percent of these voters preferred neither candidate. This was the primary source of votes for Gary Johnson, Evan McMullin, or the undecided bloc.
Clinton’s challenge was clear. If she couldn’t move them into her camp, they were susceptible to last-minute changes of heart to return to the party they preferred. Indeed, this is a common and well-recognized pattern in elections. Voters will tell pollsters up to the very last minute they plan to vote for a hopeless third-party candidate, but revert to their partisan behavior when the actual choice becomes real in the voting booth.
She could have talked about issues these voters cared about — taxes or national security. The latter might have been a fruitful path of contrast as Trump had called into question over 70 years of American security policy with his loose talk about NATO and our bilateral defense treaties. But she never chose to emphasize these rather obvious lines of attack.
It was always about women with Clinton. Over and over again we heard about Trump’s admittedly deplorable remarks about women and his vulgar behavior in general. But we never heard why his policies would be a bad fit for the Oval Office.
This approach is typified by an ad her campaign ran in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. That ad ran on sports talk radio, about as male-dominated a venue as one will find. In it, a male voice explained why Trump should be opposed — because men have daughters, too. Even when trying to appeal to men, the Clinton campaign made it about women.
Trump may have been a political novice, but he alone saw this possibility. His efforts in the final two weeks emphasized points that were designed to reassure wavering Republicans, like alleged Clinton corruption, the Supreme Court, fighting ISIS and repealing ObamaCare. He never persuaded these voters to like him, but he did persuade them to look at the issues they cared about.
It paid off. The exit poll showed 18 percent of voters still did not like either candidate, but now those people backed Trump over Clinton by a 49-29 margin. Their votes put The Donald in the White House.
For pundits, this is a sober reminder that polls are only snapshots in time.
The lesson for Democrats is much harsher. They had a chance to broaden their party’s appeal and win over a group of people who clearly found Trump and his populism unappealing. But to do so, they needed to give these voters a reason to think they could call the Democratic Party home. They just couldn’t bring themselves to do that even when the White House was there for the taking.
Clinton’s events were focused on early voting. She talked about themes that energized progressives and party activists, but held little appeal to the voters who would actually decide the election.
Now leading Democrats look set to double down on Clinton’s failed strategy. The race for the new DNC chair is between progressive Rep. Keith Ellison and former DNC chair and progressive favorite Howard Dean. Neither man is likely to embrace reaching out to less-progressive voters uncomfortable with Trump.
The Democratic Party is choosing to end 2016 the way it started it, facing America with eyes wide shut. That will give Trump a chance to surprise the pundits again and reunify a very fractured nation under the Republican umbrella.
You knew, as surely as night follows day, that the results of the election would lead to demands that we get rid of the Electoral College with simultaneous assertions that Clinton is the legitimate winner because she won the popular vote. David French refutes this nonsense.
My more pressing concern is the absurd notion that Hillary is more legitimate because she won a game that neither candidate was playing. Both sides campaigned, strategized, and spent money to win not a popular-vote plurality but 270 electoral votes. If Hillary had reached 270 and without winning the popular vote, not a single left-wing protester would be demanding that electors switch their votes to Trump. Indeed, some of the same people who are decrying the “white supremacy” baked into our constitutional system would be relishing the sweet irony that the sexist Founders helped clinch victory for our first female president.
Here’s a fact: We don’t know who would have won the 2016 (or 2000) presidential races if the president was elected by popular vote because the race would have been run completely differently. Forget the millions of dollars spent squeezing a few-thousand votes out of New Hampshire precincts. Forget the micro-targeting of Iowa voters. Who really cares how Hamilton County, Ohio, turnout changed from 2012? After all, that’s just noise in the great race to, say, 65 million or 70 million votes.
Vote-rich secure red states like Texas would be blanketed with get out the vote efforts. The solid-red South, where states are individually small players in the Electoral College but collectively represent tens of millions of voters, would become ground zero for GOP turnout. Safe blue states such as California and New York would be the scene of a frenzy of activity, with each Democratic precinct given the same care and attention as the most hotly contested Florida county circa 2000.
If possible, the political rhetoric would grow even more heated. Who cares if you can switch the votes of 50,000 Obama Democrats in Pennsylvania if you can get 150,000 more Tennessee conservatives to the polls? What’s the point in winning over New Hampshire moderates if you can swamp Brooklyn precincts with angry hipsters? Presidential temperaments and policies are often driven by the need to gain and maintain small majorities in the swing states. Remove that incentive, and the world would change substantially — for the better in some ways and for the worse in others.
Democrats declaring Hillary’s superiority aren’t unlike sports fans who stubbornly cling to the notion that their team would win if only the rules were just a little bit different. “If we could hand-check Steph Curry, he wouldn’t have hit eight threes.” “If we could get more physical with the wide receivers, Tom Brady wouldn’t throw for 380 yards and four touchdowns.” It’s an interesting argument, but who ultimately cares? Those aren’t the rules.
The WSJ adds in about this idea.
The fact that Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote may console Democrats, but if that were the measure of victory we would have had a different campaign. Both candidates would have parked themselves in populous states like New York, and Mr. Trump would have spent weeks in Texas. As it is, the Republican nominee didn’t compete in Illinois or California, allowing Mrs. Clinton to pile up big majorities. Mrs. Clinton’s advantage in California alone—more than 2.7 million votes—accounts for more than her projected margin of victory of about two million.Critics might respond by saying that there is no reason why Californians should not account for a popular majority as much as other voters. However, there are other reasons why the Electoral College is a much better institution than people suspect.
One feature of the Electoral College is that it picks a decisive winner as early as possible. Mr. Trump’s victory across the Midwest gave him a solid majority in the Electoral College that everyone acknowledged. There was no waiting for absentee ballots or recounts. If you think a recount in one state like Florida in 2000 was corrosive, imagine a tight popular vote with contested results in 50 states and thousands of counties. The opportunities for fraud, or claims of fraud, would be endless.
The system also tends to narrow the field to two candidates who have a plausible path to 270 electoral votes. This is a weakness when the major parties produce two unpopular nominees, but that is an argument for the parties choosing better candidates. The Electoral College reduces the relevance of fringe candidates who could otherwise force themselves into importance in a national poll. Most voters in the end abandon third-party candidates so they won’t “waste” their vote. That’s what happened this year as voters moved away from Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.
Larry Arnn presents the Constitutional history of the Electoral College and explains why the idea of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact which would have electors vote for the winner of the popular vote is so ill-considered.
Consider for a minute why the Electoral College was invented. Although it is odd, it is also a plain expression of the Constitution, part of the structure that has made America’s founding document the best and longest lived in history.
The Constitution reflects the paradox of human nature: First, that we alone among earthly things may exercise our own volition; second, that sometimes we exercise such power badly. This is why we require laws to protect our rights, as well as restraints upon those who make and enforce those laws.
The Constitution is paradoxical most of all about power, which it grants and withholds, bestows and limits, aggregates and divides, liberates and restrains. Elections are staggered, so as to distribute them across time. The founding document also divides power across space; the people grant a share of their natural authority to the federal government, but another share to the states where they live.
This innovation is most directly responsible for the greatness of the United States. Think what the Founders achieved: They invented a way of governing, and they extended it without benefit of kings or colonies across a vast continent, bigger than they could imagine, until they got to the other side 30 years later. The magnificent Northwest Ordinance granted free government to the territories, then representative and independent state government thereafter. Ruled from Washington, the nation could never have settled this land in freedom nor made it so strong.
The practical political equality that the American people have achieved depends entirely upon their ability to spread political authority across a vast area. In American political life, it matters how many people are in favor of a given thing. It also matters where they live.
Mr. Trump joins John Quincy Adams,Rutherford B. Hayes,Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush as the only presidents who won without the popular vote. After 2000, this is the second time in recent years—a product of the deep and wide division in America between the urban and the rural, the sophisticated and the rustic, the cosmopolitan and the local.
It is a shame that the winner this year, Mr. Trump, lost the popular vote by a whisker. But it would be as much or more a shame if Mrs. Clinton had prevailed despite massively losing the geographic vote, the vote across space, the vote that reflects the different ways that Americans live.
We forget that it is a historical rarity to have an executive strong enough to do the job but still responsible to the people he governs. The laws in the U.S. have worked that miracle for longer than anywhere else. Remember that the Electoral College helps establish the ground upon which the American people must talk with each other, while ensuring that they are not ruled as colonies from a bunch of blue capitals, nor from a bunch of red ones.
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John McWhorter, no conservative, but a thoughtful liberal, rejects the idea that we need a conversation on racism. He points out that we talk about racism all the time and it's now used as an knee-jerk epithet.
The Martian anthropologist would recognize no difference between the way those accused of being witches were treated in 17th-century Salem, Mass., and the way many innocent people are being accused of “racism” today. Those appalled by the way people were tarred with the Communist label in the 1940s and 1950s must recognize that America has blundered into the same censorious mob mentality in assailing as “racists,” just recently, people such as Ellen DeGeneres — for Photoshopping herself riding on Jamaican gold medal sprinter Usain Bolt’s back in celebration of his win — and Hillary Clinton — for referring to the black men terrorizing poor black neighborhoods as “superpredators” in describing plans for protecting people in those neighborhoods from such crime.Read the rest. McWhorter makes a lot of common sense and brings an different perspective from his background as a linguistics professor. His newest book, Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally) looks at how language changes.
Or, many of us have for days been furiously dismissing Trump’s victory as the action of “racists.” However, many of the people who voted for Trump did so for populist reasons, amid which to them, Trump’s take on black people and women was unseemly, but still less of a priority than to most who voted for Hillary Clinton. Regret this though one may, do all of these people deserve to be casually tarred with the same “racist” label that we appropriately apply to David Duke and Donald Sterling?
....In a similar way, racism is now used to mean not only “an opinion that certain people are inferior because of their race” but “a statement, action, or situation that someone of a certain race feels as having arisen from racist sentiment.” Racism, then, is that which I feel as racist, or something such as a societal discrepancy which I opine must have come from racism.
As reasonable as this new wing of racism’s meaning may sound to many, it lurches us into some grievous detours.
FOR ONE, too many of us today transmogrify this awareness of implicit bias into a kind of witch-hunt against other people, within which even the subtlest and most unintended of racist bias — or even what certain people insist is racist bias despite objections from reasonable others — is treated as a ghastly moral stain disqualifying a person from civilized society. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that in much of modern America, racist sentiment of any kind is treated not as a flaw but as a sin, people “outed” as racists with exactly the sneering, self-congratulatory joy of Dana Carvey’s Church Lady.
Having just taught the Civil War, I've been amused by the calls for secession by those Californians who are calling for secession in the wake of Trump's victory. Haven't we seen enough of states seceding because they just don't like who won the election even before the guy took office? It also reminds me of the debate between the prominent abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass in the antebellum years. Garrison felt that slavery was an original sin of the country and that the North would be better off just separating from the South. Douglass disagreed saying that that would mean abandoning the Southern slaves to their fate and that Northerners had a responsibility to continue the fight for abolition. If those Californians are so concerned about the fate of the country under a President Trump, shouldn't they want to stay in the country to protect their fellow countrymen from the evils of Trump?
Charles C. W. Cooke has a great answer to those wishing for secession - federalism.
Secession is one option, I suppose. Another is “federalism,” and, unlike secession, it has the distinct advantage of being how the country was supposed to work in the first place.Perhaps Trump's election will lead liberals to appreciating the advantages of federalism. That is the unit I'm going to start teaching on Thursday. One of the first topics is about the advantages and disadvantages of a federalist system. It's often hard to get 10th graders excited about the topic, but Cooke has given me a hook for introducing the topic.
Because they understood how intellectually, politically, and economically diverse the colonies were, the founders invested relatively little power in the federal government. Indeed, they ensured by law that it could only do a few enumerated things, and they left the rest to the states. Mostly, this was a good idea then, and it is a good idea now, especially given how divided the country is. (The glaring exception, of course, is Civil Rights, which must, must, must be a federal concern.) If Californians so wished, they could use their influence in Congress and elsewhere to limit the reach of Washington D.C., and thus of the world’s Donald Trumps. Why don’t they?
The answer, I think, is that the temptation to control is stronger than the fear of losing concentrated power. It is amazing to me how much overlap there is between those who talk of secession whenever they don’t get their way and those who want to nationalize every political question. How is it, I have wondered aloud for years, that the champions of a big, centralized government cannot see how easily their creation could back to bite them? Did the kids of the Obama era they really believe they were going to win forever? Do they honestly think that History takes sides?
The great thing about a robust federal system is that it allows people who have different conceptions of the Good Life to live out their lives without ruining everybody else’s day. A smaller federal government doesn’t stop Californians from doing whatever they want in their state; it merely stops them from imposing their will on Florida or Maine or Idaho. And, in turn, it stops the people of Florida or Maine or Idaho from imposing their will on California in such cases as they obtain the upper hand. Or, put another way, federalism permits Californians to live as they see fit and it limits their exposure to those they dislike. Given how different people are in Brooklyn and Mississippi, I’d expect to see more interest in this arrangement than I do.
Jonathan Last looks at how Ron Johnson won in Wisconsin. It's an example of how using data for GOTV still works.
Johnson's was supposed to be one of the two easiest GOP Senate seats for Democrats to capture. Of the 30 public polls taken during the campaign, Johnson trailed Russ Feingold in 29.They used their results to target TV and digital ads to reach these gettable voters.
But the Club for Growth thought that Johnson's situation wasn't as bad as it looked. They had surveyed the race last year, and while their private poll agreed that the incumbent was down by 8 or 9 points, they learned that this was partly because he hadn't solidified his conservative support. They also found that voters were open to the possibility that Feingold might be too liberal.
The advocacy group kept an eye on the race and, using pollster Jon Lerner, went back into the field in August of this year. While the public polls showed Feingold with an 11-point lead, Lerner's detailed likely-voter survey suggested the race was much closer. (His poll also showed Trump at minus-11.) Instead of dumping all of their money into broad television ads, the club opted for a data-driven approach.
On September 28, they constructed a large-scale model of the Wisconsin electorate. They began with a 12,000-person survey, which combined robocalls and live interviews. The poll included detailed questions about voter preferences, issues, and demographic characteristics and yielded granular descriptions of two important groups of voters. The first were the "persuadables"—that is, voters who were either undecided or not firmly decided. The second were soft Johnson voters—that is, voters who naturally leaned Johnson but were less likely to turn out and vote.
Club president David McIntosh explains that they then ran a "data match," comparing the results of their survey against voter lists and other pieces of individual information, such as magazine subscriptions. "We identified people with similar characteristics and found a total bucket of persuadables that was 850,000 people. And we also found a bucket of Johnson voters who just didn't show up all the time and needed a different message to motivate them to the polls. There were 55,000 of them in this bucket."
What the group now had was a targeted universe of almost a million individual voters—with names and addresses—who were gettable for Johnson. And in early October, they went to work on them.
This process, known as A-B testing, is a way to find which messages resonate best. The club watched the click-through rates in real time and after seeing that the "career politician" and "raiding Social Security" ads garnered the best response, shifted all of its online resources to them. They also tested the efficacy of different delivery platforms against one another—for example, pre-roll YouTube versus Facebook—so that they could maximize their per-dollar impact.They estimate that their efforts moved 344,855 people to voting for Johnson. And their efforts might have helped move Wisconsin into Trump's column also.
The results manifested almost immediately: Public polls began tightening the first week of October. After two weeks of the digital push, the club did an internal refresh poll. They found that 218,000 people from the persuadable bucket had moved to "likely Johnson."
And there's one more wrinkle to appreciate: Johnson ran 70,000 votes ahead of Trump. Trump's margin of victory in the state was 27,000 votes. It is entirely possible that the Club for Growth's data strategy didn't just win the election for Ron Johnson, but pulled Trump over the line in Wisconsin, too.
This is what Obama's leadership has done to his party countrywide. Since 2010, Republicans have been taking over state legislatures and governorships at an astounding pace. In this past election, they took over both houses in Minnesota. Minnesota!
They are the latest victims in a four-cycle-long electoral tidal wave that has flooded state legislatures with Republicans and cost Democrats nearly 1,000 seats, leaving them able to dictate policy in only a handful of states. Helped along by some friendly redistricting and a national backlash against the federal government, Republicans will continue to set the policy agenda in the majority of states, have a crucial backstop to protect their congressional majority, and are potentially one more successful cycle away from being able to exercise the ultimate power in U.S. politics: amending the Constitution.
In Minnesota, Republicans erased a 38-28 Democratic majority in a single election and will enter the 2017 session with a one-seat majority in the state Senate (they flipped the state House in the 2014 midterms). Aside from Donald Trump's shocking win in the presidential race, the outcome in Minnesota might have been the biggest surprise of election night, but it fits within a national trend. Democrats are struggling to hold legislative majorities, even in typically blue-ish states like Minnesota.
In red or purple states? Forget about it.
In Pennsylvania, where the legislative chambers historically have swung back-and-forth between the two major parties, Republicans have made gains in four consecutive cycles and now have the largest state House majority since 1958 (depending on how you're counting, it might be the largest since the 1940s when the legislature had fewer seats) and have a nearly veto-proof edge in the state Senate too.
The story is the same across the map. Republicans now control both legislative chambers in 32 states, up from 30 before last week's election. As recently as 2010, Republicans controlled as few as 14 states.
After this year's election, Republicans control both chambers in 32 states—it's actually 33 if you count Nebraska, which has a single legislative chamber and is technically non-partisan (but really isn't)—while Democrats control both chambers in 13 states and one chamber in four others.If the Republicans can keep that dominance throughout the Trump presidency, they will control redistricting after the 2020 census. But they shouldn't get too cocky or go too far in trying to enact their agendas, because the pendulum will swing back around. What are the chances that Trump will do enough to alienate a lot of the people who took a chance on him last week and have them seeking some more partisan balance?
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Since we've never had a businessman go from leading his business to the Oval Office, we don't really have controls in place for those potential conflicts of interest. And Trump's many businesses provide plenty of such conflicts.
Now, were Trump to use his control over the American government to boost his personal businesses and portfolio, it wouldn't be technically illegal. There are laws governing how federal officials, members of Congress, and federal employees should handle conflicts of interest, including requirements that they recuse themselves in certain cases. But those rules do not extend to the presidency. Trump could certainly be charged and investigated for engaging in outright bribery while serving as president. But even then the Justice Department would have to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the charges — a move which, amusingly, Trump himself would have to agree to.Jeff Spross points out just a few examples of the specific conflicts resulting from his business connections.
There is a long history of presidents voluntarily releasing their tax returns and financial information, but no binding rules actually force them to. And Trump has infamously thumbed his nose at that tradition for candidates. So we still have no idea what the full extent of Trump's potential conflicts of interest are.
Or consider this: Germany's Deutsche Bank has been one of Trump's long-time suppliers of credit. The bank provided him with hundreds of millions in loans to finance the D.C. hotel and other projects. Deutsche Bank, which does plenty of business in America, has already been hit with massive fines by U.S. regulators for various shenanigans. So what happens when a foreign bank that federal regulators oversee is a creditor to the president those regulators answer to? The same problem could play out with banks in China and other foreign countries that Trump has had dealings with.He also points out that there are an estimated 75 lawsuits pending against Trump at this point. He could be spending a lot of time giving depositions and consulting with lawyers. And they would also implicate him in other conflicts of interest.
Trump has also made extensive use of the partnership business model in his domestic and foreign dealings, which sets up yet more perverse possibilities around the world. As an example, Trump has suggested he would end U.S. military support for South Korea, which would force that government to turn to domestic firms for a lot of military supplies and infrastructure. One South Korean construction company likely to reap a windfall in that scenario is, you guessed it, in a corporate partnership with Trump himself. So his foreign policy choices could redound to his financial benefit. Versions of this same conflict abound in India, the Middle East, and elsewhere.
But the lawsuits also raise other questions: Who would Trump install as education secretary, and how do they feel about for-profit colleges like Trump University? What if the IRS audit of Trump's finances ends with a recommendation of civil or even criminal penalties? The agency would be targeting its own boss.Trump has already talked about setting up a blind trust that his children would run. Well, that's not a blind trust. And it might be impossible to set up a real blind trust.
Trump's particular business arrangements make this almost a conceptual impossibility. His holdings aren't financial assets that can be traded and reshuffled without his knowledge; they're hotels and resorts and brand lines that have his bloody name on them. Trump would know full well how his decisions as president were effecting his businesses — and especially with his kids running them.He seems oblivious to what sorts of difficulties he's creating or the appearance of it all. This will be an ever-ready target for his opponents. And now he wants to give those same children who will be overseeing his business national security clearance. Since they're some of the very few people he trusts, he wants their advice which is understandable, but why presume that they have any great insights on national security. And just think about the added conflicts of interest to have the people in charge of his business also receiving security briefings and in on the discussions of what policies a Trump administration would be making. He's just taking those possible conflicts and multiplied them.
He could instead hand over all his real estate and other assets to a holding company, then take that company public to turn it over to shareholders. The proceeds from the sale of shares could be placed in an actual blind trust, to be managed for Trump's benefit until he leaves office.
Of course, whether Trump's pride would ever allow for such an arrangement is another matter entirely.
"Trump appears to be genuinely unaware, even at the conceptual level, that his business interests might complicate his ability to govern in the public interest," Jonathan Chait observed at New York.
But the president-elect is about to learn. As are we all.
Allahpundit's comments on this are spot on.
As dubious as it would be for Trump to be setting policy while in daily contact with the people in charge of his extensive international holdings, it’s much worse if Ivanka et al. have security clearances that would give them nonpublic knowledge that might benefit the businesses. For instance, if Trump has real estate in the UAE and the Trump kids discover that there’s a developing terrorist threat there, and they decide to sell that property because of it, they’ve used secret national intelligence made available to them by their father to avoid a financial loss for the family. It’s as far from a blind trust as you can get: Instead of the managers of Trump’s wealth being completely independent of him, they’d be exploiting him to see things on the global financial landscape that they otherwise never would have known. It’ll be a “superhuman-sight trust,” not a blind trust. And even if they’re scrupulous somehow about keeping business and government separate, just by pure chance they may end up selling assets or buying assets in a place that later coincidentally turns out to be strongly affected by some Trump administration policy. The public will assume corruption even if it’s not there, which will damage Trump. For the sake of his own credibility, he should stick with a blind trust. But he probably won’t.Allahpundit then links to Rudy Giuliani, who is rumored to being the next Attorney General giving his seal of approval to Trump's plans to have his children continuing to run the business as if it were unrealistic to expect a president to separate himself from the financial gain he might accrue from his policy choices.
UPDATE: The Trump transition team is denying that they ever sought top security clearances for his children.
A White House transition team member said Trump did not request that step be taken, as CBS News reported earlier Monday evening. In addition, the Trump children, Ivanka, Eric and Don Jr., have not filed out paperwork for the clearances and that action is "not something" they are "expecting right now."If true whether because the story was wrong or because the backlash woke them up to what a bad idea this is, this is relief.
Trump would have to appoint the three campaign advisers to his national security team to give them reason for the clearance, and the White House currently prohibits family members of the president from working in the executive branch.
Due to the kids' taking over the Trump Organization in January, the appointment would additionally pose a conflict of interest.
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Every time one thinks that political correctness on college campuses couldn't get any more ridiculous than it already is, they sink even lower. Now it's 498 professors and students at the University of Virginia who have written a letter requesting that the president of the university stop quoting Thomas Jefferson because he was a slaveholder.
Some professors from the Psychology Department — and other academic departments — did not agree with the use of this quote. Their letter to Sullivan argued that in light of Jefferson’s owning of slaves and other racist beliefs, she should refrain from quoting Jefferson in email communications.I guess that that Declaration of Independence is now out the window. Forget that nonsense about all men being created equal and inalienable rights. That's all worthless because he owned slaves.
“We would like for our administration to understand that although some members of this community may have come to this university because of Thomas Jefferson's legacy, others of us came here in spite of it,” the letter read. “For many of us, the inclusion of Jefferson quotations in these e-mails undermines the message of unity, equality and civility that you are attempting to convey.”
Are they now going to tear down the buildings he designed? What about the statue on the campus celebrating Jefferson's commitment to religious liberty - a statue that includes includes the names of other religions' gods?
Jehovah. Allah. Brahma. Ra. Atma. Zeus. God. Names given by people across time and culture to represent a divine creator, a source of ultimate power and will. They’ve been used to inspire generations to connect with something greater than themselves, as well as to fuel centuries of holy wars, religious persecution and terrorism, excuses for death and division within a world of different belief systems.
But unbeknownst by much of the University of Virginia community, you can find these names etched side-by-side in a detail of the famous Thomas Jefferson statue that adorns the plaza on the north side of the Rotunda. Sculptor Moses Ezekiel carved the names on a tablet held by one of the statue’s symbolic spirits, to serve as a testament to Jefferson’s vision for religious freedom in the newly established United States of America.