Left hook, right jab; Perspectives on Trump, Haley, and mass-shootings


Students from the left and right take on issues of the day in the Crier’s new column. (Courtesy / FLICKR)

Kellan Barbee and Mac Connors

The opinion section has evolved as a forum for student debate; we have hosted dueling articles on guns, the Latin mass, abortion, campus dining, and more. To further this hashing-out function of the section, we are testing out a more direct-debate format, where both opinions are contained in the same article. Left hook, right jab is the first attempt at this format. Representing the left (L), we have Kellan Barbee, new president of the College Democrats. For the right (R), we have Mac Connors, new president of the College Republicans (their opinions do not necessarily reflect those of their club as a whole).  Both were given the same prompts, but neither saw the other’s response. Enjoy!

Is President Trump’s indictment justified by the facts of the case?

L: No one is above the law, not even the president. Based on all public evidence, the indictment of former President Trump appears to be justified. Many people, both legal experts and others, reviewed the evidence and facts before deciding to pursue the charges. If this case had no merits, it would not have gotten this far. Whether there were crimes committed and whether the crimes reached the felony threshold is up to the courts to decide. I look forward to seeing how this case is adjudicated.

R: The recent indictment of President Trump is a sham. The indictment is based on a flimsy charge, at best, and should not proceed to a trial. As someone who wants to be a lawyer one day and has a deep reverence for the legal system, I detest these political show trials. They are akin to Stalin’s 1928 Shakhty trials in pomp and circumstance, minus some blood. I do not care for President Trump in the least and would have no problem giving him the sendoff to Elba, St. Helena, or some other various and sundry island. Still, I will not stand behind a worthless indictment that destroys the independent fabric of our nation’s judiciary. 

How important is race in Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign?

R: Race should not be a factor at all in Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign. When deciding on the candidate in an election, their achievements and their moral character should be the guiding factors. I do not like Nikki Haley’s campaign in the slightest, and it is certainly doggy paddling at best. However, my distaste for her campaign is solely based on the merits of her mediocre political career. If we are to have a fair system of elections and a free-flowing debate in our nation, then we cannot focus on race or purely physical attributes but on ideas and their merits.

L: From the day she announced her presidential campaign, Nikki Haley was branded as, potentially, both the first female and first Indian-American President of the United States. This accomplishment in and of itself would be monumental. There is, however, a tendency by both supporters and detractors to focus on her ethnicity, race, and gender, to such an extreme that it precedes her, both as a person and as a candidate. I disagree with large parts of her platform and have no intention of voting for her, but this does not discredit the fact that she is experienced and is qualified to be president. When evaluating candidates for public office, we should judge them on their merits— experience, policy, reputation, working habits, etc.— not on their race, gender, or ethnicity.

Should media agencies publicize the names/likeness of mass shooters and give them “free” publicity?

L: No. The recent hesitancy of media agencies to publish the identities of mass shooters is undoubtedly for the better. Publicizing the names, images, and biographical information of mass shooters takes the focus away from where it should be— the victims, the survivors, the families, and the community that was harmed. Those that seek to violently hurt others do not deserve notoriety.

R: No. Media agencies should stop publicizing the names of mass shooters. Given the mental disturbances many of these shooters already have, they likely intend to receive some perverted sort of recognition and publicity from these shootings. The “glorification” of these shootings has not helped in quelling them and the constant coverage of these shootings. Media publicity shows would-be shooters the “fame” they can achieve and hurts the privacy of the families and communities reeling from these tragedies.