Letter: Trump candidacy is an unfortunate distraction


To the editor:

Sadly for us voters, the anti-Trump movement seems to be stumbling. Many of my classmates and I at Williams College cannot help but be frustrated by Trump's Republican opponents as they cannot decide on a candidate, and do not know, at least yet, how to take down the real estate tycoon for good. The opposition cannot unite behind a single candidate, and is divided among Cruz, Rubio, Christie, Bush and others.

People are justified to attribute Trump's meteoric rise, in part, to Americans' lack of faith in the political process. But disgust with Trump — even among many who originally supported him — is moving many voters to turn back to more conventional senators and governors, begging them to put out Trump's fire.

At least to this college freshman, the Donald's one-liners and aggressive diatribes have distracted the American electorate from debating crucial issues such as health care, gun safety, or strategies to counter ISIS, and, at least for a moment, forced the Republican voters to be either for or against him.

If and when Trump is unseated from the dominant position he now enjoys in most surveys, those who detest him will breathe a sigh of relief, because someone other than Trump will be king of the hill and the bully will have been beaten. But history reminds us that Americans should always be wary of whoever is in charge.

Were the spirits of elections past, present and future to explain that Donald Trump was only running to make Americans be more grateful for our existing politicians, then the Trump campaign might make more sense to me than it does right now. But it should be even more disturbing to imagine that the 2016 election will fail to be a referendum on a system that most Americans agree is broken.

Thomas Jefferson and many of the Framers would be thrilled by such renewed scrutiny of our political process, which they would find essential. However, when a candidate as boorish, uninformed and blatantly self-interested as Donald Trump leads this charge, Americans may simply retreat to a more comfortable, familiar option. It would be tragic if, after November 2016, everything simply returned to normal.

Cyrus Beschloss, Williamstown The writer is a freshman at Williams College.



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