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Student Blog Post: Trump’s election brings up deep questions about free speech and democracy

Student Blog Post: Trump’s election brings up deep questions about free speech and democracy

The “Student Blog Post” series invites students from my PLS 321: Electoral Process course to author their own blogs about recent election events.

trump democracy

Throughout Donald Trump’s political campaign, the candidate or should I say president-elect, made comments and built his political campaign out of slogans that took the world by storm. “Make America Great Again” was the center of his poorly planned campaign. As he promised the world many things, such as building a wall on the Mexican border and getting rid of Obamacare, his words have made it so he is not accountable for anything. His false statements have been twisted and altered time and time again throughout the last year within this presidential election.

In the article Trump’s Threat to Democracy Isn’t Free Speech, Balkin states that “The ability to lie with impunity severs the connection between public opinion and how officials exercise state power. It undermines democracy.” During the course of this class, we focused a lot on public opinion and what influences a person to vote a certain way. With this, we decided if this constitutes and makes it so the US is considered a democracy. Democracy is defined as a government by the people. This political campaign brought issues into question such as free speech, the Electoral College, and the status of the US as a democracy.

As Donald Trump continues to make these false statements, the public continues to draw more praise and criticism towards him. This attention is becoming toxic. After the elections, the public saw a turn in its attitude. People started becoming more interested and took actions like protesting, commenting on social media, google searching how to impeach a president, or simply just moving to another country such as Canada. One thing we learned within this class is that the majority of people are not politically knowledgeable and this is essential for the way that government has set itself up.

What draws the public to become involved in politics is when these matters are affecting them personally. The fact that Donald Trump has targeted more than one racial group with his statements has led him to become an unfavorable person. However, there are a small portion of the world that hopes his political inexperience is enough to keep a healthy economy and drive government in the right direction. Donald Trump is smarter than the media paints him to be. Though he has made ridiculous statements, Trump has a power that commands the attention of the media and the public. With this power, he undermines a lot of centralized ideas that took more than two centuries to build. However, the public will see through these ridiculous statements that hold no promise. With this there is also hope that the public finds itself in a position where the only thing left to do is to be optimistic. “Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” -J.K. Rowling

Ana Quiroz is a fourth- year political science major with a women studies minor who plans on joining the Peace Corps after graduation. After the Peace Corps she plans on pursuing a law degree and eventually work for the Public Defender’s office someday. She is currently part of the Cal Poly Pomona Cheer team. She also enjoys going to the beach, running, and discovering Los Angeles hidden gem restaurants. In her free time, she enjoys going to local elementary schools and community youth programs to teach young boys and girls basic Tumbling and Dance skills.

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