Liberals and Conservatives Talk Presidency

Kyle Ahn, Writer

What is one word you’d use to describe the Trump Presidency?

Elena Wingard (conservative): Confusing.

Emmy Rener (liberal): Dissatisfying.

Ali Rahimi (conservative): Complicated.

Joe Miyashita (liberal): Chaotic.

Liberals, is there anything you like about Trump’s presidency at all?

Miyashita: Asian and Hispanic unemployment is at an all time low, so I’d say that’s a pretty good achievement. The recent trade deal he made with Mexico is also a plus, though I don’t see how it would pay for the wall like Trump said.

As a conservative, is there anything about Trump’s presidency that you don’t like?

Rahimi: I don’t like his demeanor; I don’t believe he is acting how a president should act. He is very informal and very aggressive and I don’t think the president should just go on Twitter and rant because he’s emotional.

Do you guys believe that Trump’s election and his presidency exacerbated the race issue in America?

Rener: Absolutely. He has called out specific ethnic groups and races. His attacks on immigration are disturbing. From the start, he called Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. These people came here to begin a new life for their kids and now they’re being labeled as a bunch of rapists and drug dealers.

Rahimi: I don’t believe so. His comments about immigrants is one of the biggest issues that left-wingers had, and I can agree with that. His comments were unacceptable, but those comments were specifically towards illegal immigrants. However, I do think he lacks empathy for these immigrants when they’re escaping violence and persecution.

The events in Charlottesville happened under Trump’s watch. Does it faze you at all that he refused to strongly condemn Nazis?

Wingard: He really needs to define what it really means to be a racist and how different groups are affected. It’s 2019. You can’t have the same mindset that people had in Charlottesville. He needs to say that he believes in racial equality, but he can never execute things properly. Trump has always struggled to send the right message to the country.

For the liberals, Trump ran a campaign of political incorrectness. Democrats own the “PC Culture.” How do you justify the Democrats’ stance on political correctness?

Miyashita: To an extent, it is necessary. Sometimes the Democrats go too hard on Trump, but in situations where the president calls African nations s***hole countries? Come on, that is not political incorrectness. It’s just morally wrong. There has to be a side to point out what is wrong and unacceptable in America.

For the government shutdown, as liberals, why didn’t Democrats like Trump’s DACA proposal in the border wall negotiations when it is a program that they support?

Rener: The idea of a wall represents hatred and it doesn’t represent who we are. It’s difficult for Democrats and Republicans to compromise on something they’re so passionate about. On top of that, Trump said Mexico would pay for it, but now he’s putting it on the shoulders of Americans.

On that thought, I want to talk to conservatives about this. Trump promised Mexico would pay for the wall – that’s not the case anymore. How do you guys feel about taxpayers footing the bill instead?

Wingard: I don’t think a literal wall is necessary. I think there should be stricter immigration laws so that our taxes won’t go to some arbitrary wall.

Rahimi: I believe in a wall, but not a literal wall; I mean a wall in terms of a metaphorical aspect where we want stronger immigration policies. The reason we have illegal immigrants from Mexico is because conditions aren’t ideal there. If they pay for our wall, it will lower their status and in return, there would be more illegal immigrants that want to escape that strife.

Do you guys believe that the politically divisive culture in America has reached PV High?

Rahimi: Absolutely.

Wingard: I don’t think it has because I can still have constructive conversations and get along with anybody. I’m able to get past someone’s political view if they can do the same.

Miyashita: To an extent, it has reached PV. It’s not major, but last year I had a conversation about transgender issues and people questioned if I was a liberal. I said yes and they made fun of me a bit.

Rener: Here in PV, parents are more conservative, but among the students, there are more liberals than conservatives. It hasn’t affected the dialogues we had, but it makes stronger debates and more conversations. That is the best way to start creating change.