We should not judge candidates until we are informed

We should not judge candidates until we are informed

On March 15, Donald Trump secured decisive victories in both my home state of Illinois, amassing an astounding 39 percent of votes in a traditionally democratic state and in my resident state of North Carolina.

The impetus for Trump’s successes this year, however, is a far more interesting topic of discussion than whether or not Trump is fit to take residence in the Oval Office in less than 10 months.

His policies, or lack thereof, bounce between blind ignorance and unadulterated idiocy. His stances on immigration, women’s rights and foreign policy have received the most air-time during primary season for their distinct uniting characteristic: utter lunacy.

His more deft, detailed policies, while not absurd, are simply not viable. His desire to create interstate insurance sales, a practice which Obama’s Affordable Care act in fact made possible, would not be viable given that the industry is state regulated.

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High barriers to entry, such as transferring relationships between hospitals and providers across state lines, and diverse state-mandated benefits, prove this policy to be unattractive to providers themselves. His rabid supporters — a cohort that seems to grow daily — provide a frightening window into the complex aspects of modern society that have given rise to Trump.

Above all, the pervasive nature of smartphones and easily portable technology provided Trump with fertile soil on which he was able to garner the support of 739 Republican delegates [as of March 26].

While this may seem like a baseless, sweeping claim, the way in which we, specifically Millennials, interact with technology is in turn changing the way that humans connect and collaborate with one another.

Twitter, launched in 2006, favors user’s ability to create easily digestible 140-character statements; news sources immediately latched onto the trend, broadcasting snippets of headlines their mobile app.

While Twitter provides an easily accessible source of current events, 140-characters does not capture the infinitely nuanced nature of topics such as healthcare, tax reform, or mitigation of terrorist threats.

Twitter aside, the accessibility and anonymity that more informative internet media sources provide to readers, develops a stubborn, dogmatic populous—two defining characteristics of current American politicians that has largely halted legislative progress. American citizens seem to be far less inclined to reasonable, intelligent debate with opposition.

Instead, we have become a collection of individuals with a disinclination to consider opposing viewpoints.

In a recent edition of The Atlantic, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt wrote a brilliant piece entitled “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

They write, “something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.”

American universities have long been the center of intelligent discourse, yet in the late 20th century, technology has driven our worlds’ brightest minds to find comfort in one-sided sources of information — a protectionist generation of intellectuals. This dogmatism has become so controlling that supporters of a variety of political candidates are willing to ignore blatant lies.

PolitiFact, a Tampa-based political analysis firm, rated 77 percent of Trump’s statements as mostly false, false or “pants-on-fire.” Yet, his support continues undiminished.

Last weekend I came across this ardent level of narrow-mindedness on campus. After engaging in dorm room debauchery we stumbled upon the dangerous topic of American politics.

Although I do not favor Obama, I found his foray into Cuba and re-establishment of diplomatic relations with the crumbling Castro autocracy to be an admirable foreign policy advance.

A few of my Republican classmates denied Obama any credit simply on principle. It is one thing to be a Republican, it is another to be purposefully ignorant of facts and unwilling to consider unique viewpoints.

With each day, it seems that Trump will swear his oath to protect the Constitution this coming January.

Though anti-Trump sentiment seems to be picking up steam, and even if it does successfully thwart his campaign efforts, the diffuse dogmatism present on college campuses will remain.

It is our obligation as students of Wake Forest University to open our minds to a diverse set of sources, and withhold judgement until sufficiently informed.

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