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Clinton’s campaign should serve as a lesson to Democrats

I originally wrote this article for UNC Asheville’s student newspaper, The Blue Banner. It was published February 7, 2017. Digital scan of the issue unavailable.

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By Cody Jones, Opinion Staff Writer

Hillary Clinton lost the election through a series of strategic failures, uninspiring and hopeless messaging and an overall incompetent candidacy.

Clinton arrogantly neglected the industrial Midwest and assumed support for her was secured in those states. Michigan in particular has been placed under the microscope since then in order to better understand what happened, and it exemplifies how her campaign floundered on a larger scale across the country.

Virgie Rollins, a Democratic National Committee member on the ground in Michigan, told Politico she had “never seen a campaign like this.” She described to Politico how Clinton’s campaign failed to pay attention to the collapse she was watching unfold in slow-motion among women and African-American millennials. Rollins said her requests for organizational and monetary assistance from Clinton’s campaign were ignored.

The ineptitude is staggering: Clinton raised $350 million more than Donald Trump and still managed to drop the ball. Her campaign had 489 field offices nationwide; Obama’s campaign had 789 in 2012.

One-third of nearly 700 counties in the industrial Midwest that voted for Obama in both elections decided to support Trump this time around, according to the Washington Post. Out of 207 counties that voted for Obama in either 2008 or 2012, 194 sided with Trump.

Their decision to vote once again for the candidate promising hope and change should come as no surprise. What should be surprising is the astounding incompetence demonstrated by the Clinton campaign — the campaign that lost for the second time to a populist candidate. To be sure, progressive and right-wing populism are not the same, but populist rhetoric seemed to be the driving factor in getting voters out in an election that favored the anti-establishment candidate. Obama ran on hope and change and Trump promised his own brand of it. One would assume Clinton and her staffers might learn a thing or two over the course of eight years.

Instead of learning anything, Clinton portrayed herself as a pragmatist: a “progressive who likes to get things done.” She offered a message not of hope, but of settling for less. She promised potential voters universal health care would “never, ever come to pass.” As her challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigned on a minimum wage of $15 — as well as universal health care — Clinton apparently thought it wise to tone down the ambition: she suggested voters settle for $12.

Clinton has a history of coziness with banks and an incredibly hawkish record compared to other Democrats. In an attempt to combat Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, Clinton’s campaign reacted predictably: they began to use the phrase “America is already great.” None of this was inspiring.

One crucial takeaway from this election should be that people need something to vote for, not something to vote against. The average voter did not and will not base their vote on political calculation. The average voter does not participate in the same electoral stratagems campaign staffers and policy wonks do. It was up to Clinton and her campaign to reach the average voter, and they failed to do so. That she won the popular vote and still lost the election should speak to how terrible of an operation she and her campaign ran.

Clinton — and many of her staffers, voters and supporters — thought she was entitled to Obama’s voting blocs from 2008 and 2012 simply by virtue of her experience and existence. Their hubris proved to be a mistake.

The Democratic Party overall warrants critique and contempt for their impotence — particularly their failure to win legislative seats, ongoing since 2010 — but any and all scorn directed at Clinton and her campaign is absolutely deserved. The Clinton campaign is to blame for its loss, not the voters. It is the responsibility of a campaign to give the electorate a reason to vote for its candidate; votes are earned, not owed. It is vitally important for Democrats to recognize and embrace this now unless they want to lose again.

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Students lay out issues the next president should address

I originally wrote this article for UNC Asheville’s student newspaper, The Blue Banner. It was published November 8, 2016. Digital scan of the issue here.

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By Cody Jones, News Staff Writer

As the election draws to a close, UNC Asheville students discuss some of their hopes and expectations for the crucial issues they think the next administration needs to focus on.

Improving the health care system overall remains a priority for some.

“My mom is really sick and watching my parents go through trying to pay for everything has been really stressful for them,” said Caroline Boyd, senior psychology student from Charlotte. “Medical care is a big one for me.”

Boyd said she hopes the U.S. will one day enact universal health care, but for the time being the Affordable Care Act should be improved.

“I think the Affordable Care Act has some good things, but I think we should build on what we have and improve the parts that aren’t working,” Boyd said.

Ethan Wright, a senior atmospheric science student from Newton, agrees with Boyd.

“Now that premiums have recently gone up for people I would like to see some of those issues worked on, but not a complete repeal of Obamacare,” Wright said. “The system is broken and I want to see it fixed, but I want to see it better off for low-income and middle-income families.”

Wright said environmental issues such as climate change need to be addressed soon.

“I think Clinton is for a carbon tax, which I would actually agree with. I compare it to taking out your trash,” Wright said. “We have to start from somewhere and it can’t be done if there are no controls over what we put out. I’m very much against taxing people, but I think you have to pick and choose which issues are alright to tax people for.”

According to the platform on her campaign’s website, Hillary Clinton does not seem to be pushing for a carbon tax.  Discussion of a carbon tax was largely avoided by Clinton during the primaries when then-challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders brought up the issue.

Wright, who said he is fiscally conservative and socially liberal, is also concerned about the national debt.

“Neither one of the politicians have pointed too much to our national debt which is nearly $20 trillion,” Wright said. “I would like to see a plan to reduce that debt. Financial security to me is national security.”

Astrid Tarleton, a sophomore chemistry student from Atlanta, said racial issues have become more prominent during this election and she hopes the next president will work toward meaningful solutions.

“There’s this underlying white supremacy that’s been around since our country was founded,” Tarleton said. “We’ve mostly only had white men in office, so no one is really representing the working class or minorities. I think a lot of people are afraid to address that issue.”

Isabella Jackson, a sophomore women, gender and sexuality studies student from Savannah, said racial problems in the U.S. will not be solved without profound changes.

“Prison and police reform needs to be a total, radical change. The whole history of the current system is based on ideas that certain populations are criminal,” Jackson said. “We’ve painted these false narratives of criminality being inherent in certain categories of people and I think we just need to completely get away from that.”

Jackson said people should only be imprisoned for violent crimes and their time in jail should be for rehabilitation.

“Crimes like theft should not result in the caging of people because the majority of things have to do with economic access and opportunity,” Jackson said. “But we definitely have way too many people in prison and way too many police with weapons on the streets. We’re going to have to radically change that if we ever want a real democracy.”

The incarceration rate in the U.S. is higher than any other country. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, there are more than 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails and 79 Indian Country jails. There are also people incarcerated in military prisons, immigration detention facilities and prisons in the U.S. territories.

The incarceration rate of the U.S. is 693 people per 100,000. Turkmenistan has the second highest rate of 583 people per 100,000.

Jackson said the focus on police shootings of unarmed black men and women within the past couple of years allowed people to better understand the experience of black Americans.

“Technology and social media is starting to let white people into that reality,” Jackson said. “I grew up as a white child in a family of seven and all of my siblings were black and biracial in south Georgia. I’ve always known police kill people who look like my family so I’ve never trusted the police and I think that’s a very common sentiment in the black community.”

Kailey Schmidt, a sophomore environmental science student from Maine, grew up in a different environment. She said she became more aware due to the increased visibility of the problems.

“Especially for where I’m from, growing up I was taught that racism isn’t really a thing anymore and that it’s of the past,” Schmidt said. “But in the last few years it’s becoming more of a prominent issue. Hopefully we’ll take a step in the right direction.”

Mae Hoffman, a sophomore psychology student, said the drug policy in the U.S. predominantly affects black men and she hopes the policy eases during the next administration.

“Our drug policy is ridiculous, especially with marijuana, since it’s a minor thing and it isn’t really dangerous,” Hoffman said. “And it’s targeted toward the black male community, white males are usually let off for those kind of charges.”

According to an analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union, black people are 3.73 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana despite approximately equal usage rates.

Hoffman contrasted the punishment given to nonviolent drug offenders and convicted rapists.

“Smoking or using marijuana is a minor thing that people do for fun and people are going to jail for it, but rapists and abusers are getting off scot-free.”

Hoffman said access to education and health care needs to be quickly addressed as well. She said people sometimes take extreme measures in order to pay for their education and health care.

“It’s so expensive that young girls are putting their lives at risk by prostituting themselves, doing porn, stripping and things like that,” Hoffman said. “It’s fine if you want to do that, there’s nothing wrong with it, but there are a lot of women who are doing that just so they can pay for it, which is ridiculous.”

Hoffman said she has known people who had to resort to illegal activity in order to receive medical supplies.

“Bernie Sanders has been posting a lot on social media about insulin and the EpiPen and how expensive it is for people to get basic things that they need to survive,” Hoffman said. “I used to date a guy who was diabetic. I remember him not being able to afford his insulin and his mom had to do some illegal things to get money to afford his insulin just so he wouldn’t die.”


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Clinton’s presidency will not strengthen the Democratic Party

I originally wrote this article for UNC Asheville’s student newspaper, The Blue Banner. It was published October 25, 2016. Digital scan of the issue here.

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By Cody Jones, News Staff Writer

Since securing the presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton has catered to wealthy, high-ranking Republicans unwilling to support Donald Trump. In one of the most polarizing elections in decades, Clinton’s uninspiring progressivism and her reluctance to unite a fractured Democratic Party will only deepen the party’s divide.

More than two dozen officials from George W. Bush’s administration endorse Clinton. A dozen officials from the administrations of George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan are throwing in their support. Her campaign chairman trumpeted the support of 40 more high-profile Republicans within the past month. She has sought the financial support of Mitt Romney’s donors.

This is more than symbolic gesturing. Republicans who are publicly denouncing Trump and supporting Clinton, particularly those who are doing so with their money, expect something in return. Money talks. They expect a seat at the table in Clinton’s administration. In an election where Clinton is struggling to energize the base of the Democratic Party, pandering to prominent Republicans is dangerous and shortsighted.

During the primaries, Clinton pushed an inspiring, hopeful message: single-payer health care will “Never, ever come to pass.” She is one of the most hawkish members of her party and will likely expand our military involvement abroad as commander in chief in the failed War on Terror. This is an effective way to further alienate the Democratic Party’s base and dampen its morale.

Compared to Obama in 2008 and 2012, Clinton is struggling with voters between the ages of 18 and 30. She is doing much better than Trump with that demographic, but the increasing cynicism among young voters is not going to be improved by Clinton’s decision to pander to many of those on the right who have systematically obstructed and halted progress.

In 2014, Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have increased the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. In 2015, Senate Republicans blocked proposals that would have increased it to $12 and would have allowed employees to earn up to seven paid sick days per year. This does not seem like a party interested in the well-being of the public.

A majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents think the minimum wage should be increased and the same is true of paid sick days. A gap exists between public opinion and public policy, between the typical voter and the politician representing that voter.

It would be unreasonable to expect the next president to refuse to work with Congress — work which will likely include legislative concessions simultaneously conciliatory and disappointing to both parties. That is a cornerstone of the political process. Clinton’s Republican endorsers and donors expect her to return the favor which is more worrying than ordinary compromise. If she does not follow through, they will try to ensure she is not reelected in 2020. If she does return the favor, her pragmatism may be viewed as capitulation instead of compromise and the polarization within the Democratic Party will continue.

Over the past couple of months, Clinton attempted to depict Trump as an outsider of the Republican Party, to suggest he is not representative of other Republican politicians. Now dozens of high-profile Republicans are backpedalling their support of Trump. Clinton, at least in part, allowed this to happen without consequence.

The Republicans who initially rejected Trump’s campaign, endorsed him as the nominee and then withdrew their endorsements after the release of a recording of his sexually explicit comments are now able to wash their hands of him, thanks to Clinton.

Imagine if she had spent the last several months tying the GOP to Trump instead of distancing the two. Democrats would have a better chance of winning congressional seats, thereby giving Congress a chance of legislating Clinton’s campaign promises, but that seems less likely now.

To be sure, a Trump presidency would be disastrous. His comprehension of domestic and foreign policy is lacking. He changes his political positions on a whim. His dog-whistle politics provided a lectern at which racists and sexists can amplify their voices. He does not belong in the White House, but he does represent an increasing level of dissatisfaction and frustration existing within the electorate. These feelings will not suddenly vanish if Trump is not elected.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign similarly represented a populist dissatisfaction and frustration on the other end of the political spectrum. The grievances expressed by his supporters are also here to stay.

Clinton’s “Stronger Together” slogan is meaningless. The divide between and within the two major political parties is increasing and if her tepid approach to this election is any indication of what her presidency will be like, we should expect to see a similar, if not more polarized, political climate in 2020.


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Students find the positive and negative in Clinton’s Republican supporters

I originally wrote this article for UNC Asheville’s student newspaper, The Blue Banner. It was published October 25, 2016. Digital scan of the issue here.

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By Cody Jones, News Staff Writer

Republican politicians and donors recently began backing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and some students at UNC Asheville are conflicted about the implications.

As the general election draws to a close, some high-profile Republicans, like Sen. Jeff Flake and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, said they oppose Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump because he is too extreme and does not represent Republican principles.

Some Republicans who oppose Trump, like Rep. Richard Hanna and former Sen. Larry Pressler, said they will support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to keep him out of the White House.

Elli Cole, a sophomore psychology student from Fresno, California, said she is glad the political parties are working together. Cole said she identifies more as a Democrat.

“It’s good to see people coming together and not sticking to those strong political values, moderation can be good,” Cole said. “I’m happy to see that, but the division is definitely growing. The Trump fans are way out on one side and the Hillary fans are way out on the other.”

Jessica Odette, a sophomore atmospheric science student from Waterville, Ohio, said she is happy to see the parties working together, too. Odette said she is a Republican.

“I don’t think people who identify with one political party should vote for their party just because it’s their party,” Odette said. “I think they should vote for who they think is the most qualified to be president and I respect that.”

Odette said the two political parties still have some work to do when it comes to bipartisanship.

“There are certainly some things that both parties need to work at agreeing on,” Odette said. “The Zika virus, for example, I don’t really understand why there would be a divide with that. It’s a terrible disease.”

Cole said she has concerns about the role of money in politics.

“I think it’s awful. I really think big businesses need to get out of politics, their interests are not my interests,” Cole said. “They’re not working-class or middle-class interests. They are filling their pockets and destroying the environment at the same time.”

During the primaries, Clinton’s campaign began reaching out to a divided Republican Party in order to secure support in the form of endorsements and financial contributions. Among those supporters are donors to the Bush family and millionaires who previously fundraised for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential run.

Odette said money in politics is normal.

“Everything revolves around money and now it’s basically whoever has the most money wins,” Odette said. “Between Trump and Clinton, they both have a lot of support and a lot of donors, so I think it’ll be a tight race to the end.”

Cole said she worries Clinton may be influenced by donations.

“I don’t know how she could not be beholden,” Cole said. “If somebody gave me $100,000, it would probably be pretty hard to tell them, ‘Nah, I’m not going to do anything for you.’”

Republican members of Congress and former administrative officials expect Clinton to offer access and influence over her administration in exchange for their support if she is elected.

Former Connecticut Republican Congressman Christopher Shays told Politico, “It wouldn’t just be in token positions. I think her motivation would be this would enable her to be a better president.”

Peyton Walker, a junior music student from Kernersville, said money should not be in politics.

“It’s worrying. I’ve heard and read a lot of different things about Hillary and all of the things that have happened to people who oppose her,” Walker said. “So I definitely don’t support just giving her even more money to continue. That’s all I see right now is corruption and manipulation of the system.”

Dana Schlanger, a senior literature student from Yorktown Heights, New York, said Clinton is taking advantage of the divide within the Republican Party.

“I can understand why she is trying to appeal to the Republican base, because she does understand that there are Republicans who refuse to support Donald Trump, so I’m not surprised she’s pandering,” Schlanger said. “I see it as her being an extremely moderate candidate, she’s not really left-wing, but she is more left-wing than Trump.”


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First presidential debate sparks controversy

I originally wrote this article for UNC Asheville’s student newspaper, The Blue Banner. It was published October 4, 2016. Digital scan of the issue here.

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By Cody Jones, News Staff Writer

The first debate between presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton centered on three topics: “America’s prosperity,” “America’s direction” and “securing America.”

Many students at UNC Asheville are reluctant to support either candidate and Ashley Moraguez, an assistant professor of political science at UNCA, said this hesitancy among voters signals a larger political shift.

“I think on both sides this might be indicating something much bigger than this election,” Moraguez said. “We might have a party realignment happening in the next few party cycles. In political history, every 50 to 60 years, we have a new party alignment where the parties shift and their bases shift and this might be a signal that we have one coming.”

Moraguez said the amount of support Sen. Bernie Sanders received during the primaries may mean the Democratic Party has to move to the left in order to appeal to its base.

“I think Bernie was able to show a rift within the Democratic Party that we perhaps weren’t as cognizant about,” she said.

Moraguez said since the 1970s, political polarization of the parties continues to increase. She said political polarization is defined as parties becoming more ideologically distinct from one another and at the same time becoming more cohesive within the party.

“In this election we certainly have polarizing candidates. They’re very different from one another, but we don’t have that party cohesion,” Moraguez said. “The two parties aren’t rallying around Hillary and Trump in a cohesive or coherent way.”

Both candidates are struggling to gain the public’s approval.

“They are the least favorable presidential candidates we’ve had since 1964. Goldwater was the lowest historically speaking and Trump has fallen right below Goldwater’s rankings and Hillary is right above those rankings,” Moraguez said.

Beginning with the topic of prosperity, the candidates were asked about job creation and income inequality. Hillary Clinton said jobs in infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation and technology, renewable energy and small businesses were her focus. She also said the economy has to be made fairer by raising the national minimum wage and guaranteeing equal pay for women’s work.

“I want us to invest in you. I want us to invest in your future,” Clinton said.

Donald Trump said jobs in the U.S. are being lost to Mexico. To stop companies from leaving, Trump’s plan will reduce taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies and businesses across the board. He said this would incentivize companies to come to the U.S. and expand.

“We have to renegotiate our trade deals and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs,” Trump said.

Abigail Stephens, a junior history student at UNCA, said Clinton’s debt-free college proposal means a lot to her.

“Student debt is important to me. I think that’s probably important to everyone who’s going to college at the moment,” said Stephens, hailing from Raleigh. “We’re all terrified about what our future is going to look like.”

Stephens said Trump’s job plan seems unreasonable.

“I didn’t think Trump’s responses on jobs going overseas were very coherent and I also know that his tax plan would be terrible for single mothers,” Stephens said.

An analysis by Lily Batchelder, former deputy director of President Obama’s National Economic Council, shows Trump’s tax plan would increase taxes for an estimated 7.8 million families with children. The analysis said these families “represent 20 percent of households with minor children and more than half of single parents.” The group includes about 25 million adults and 15 million children.

During the next segment on America’s direction, the moderator asked the candidates about “healing the divide” between race relations, given the context of police shootings of African-Americans.

Clinton said police officers require better training and should use force only when necessary. She also said trust needs to be restored between communities and the police.

Trump said the U.S. needs law and order.

“If we don’t have it, we’re not going to have a country,” Trump said. “And when I look at what’s going on in Charlotte, the city I love, the city where I have investments, when I look at what’s going on throughout various parts of our country, whether it’s … I can keep naming them all day long — we need law and order in our country.”

Lily Furniss, junior art student from the Chicago metropolitan area, said she was disappointed by the candidates’ answers.

“I was disappointed by their take on the police and justice reform,” Furniss said. “Clinton said everyone has some sort of implicit bias, not just the police, but I wish she went more in-depth with that because a lot of people think we’re in this post-racial society or they don’t think race is a factor. But that’s just not true at all.”

Moraguez said the lack of in-depth answers in these debates is by design.

“One thing to note about debates is that candidates really prepare for them. They have these memorized, five-second answers that they want to get out there,” Moraguez said. “So part of the reason it seems like they’re not answering the questions is because they’re taking any opportunity to get those practice statements in. Presidential debates tend to be light on policy in general.”

Continuing with the topic of race relations and the police, Trump said inner cities are dangerous for African-Americans and Hispanics.

“We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African-Americans, Hispanics are living in hell because it’s so dangerous,” Trump said. “You walk down the street, you get shot.”

Stephens said Trump tried to appeal to minority voters.

“There’s a disconnect because he’s saying, ‘Everything about your life is terrible, you’ve done nothing to improve it,’” Stephens said.

Furniss said Trump was trying to indulge specific audiences.

“I don’t even know why he’s trying to pander at this point,” Furniss said. “A big reason why Hillary won over Bernie Sanders is because she cleared the southern states with the African-American vote.”

For the final segment, “securing America,” cyber attacks and terrorism were discussed.

Clinton said cyber warfare will be one of the biggest challenges facing the next president and the U.S. has a greater capacity than countries that might try to steal information or damage infrastructure. She said she does not want to engage in a different kind of warfare but will defend the U.S.

Trump connected the threat of cyber attacks to terrorists using the internet.

“I think Secretary Clinton and myself would agree very much, when you look at what ISIS is doing with the internet, they’re beating us at our own game,” Trump said. “So we have to get very, very tough on cyber warfare.”

Clinton said part of her plan to defeat ISIS involves preventing members from using “the internet to radicalize, even direct people in our country and Europe and elsewhere.” She also said the U.S. has to increase military force against ISIS.

“We have to intensify our airstrikes against ISIS and eventually support our Arab and Kurdish partners to be able to take out ISIS in Raqqa, end their claim of being a caliphate,” Clinton said.

Furniss said she holds concerns about Clinton’s foreign policy.

“I think she’s going to basically continue what Obama’s been doing, the drone strikes in Yemen, for example,” Furniss said.

Drone strikes have been carried out by the U.S. in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen. The program was expanded by President Obama leading to an increase in drone strikes.

Stephens said Clinton’s foreign policy worries her, too.

“I have issues with her foreign policy, especially with the use of drones and the fact that much of the time they don’t actually go after anybody who’s done anything,” Stephens said. “That’s a large part of the reason I’m hesitant about her.”

Moraguez said she is interested to see where the current political climate leads.

“This is a really interesting time to follow party politics and I think what’s happening is much bigger than 2016,” Moraguez said. “2020 is going to be a very interesting election cycle. I’m looking forward to it.”


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Presidential candidates’ lack of transparency worries students

I originally wrote this article for UNC Asheville’s student newspaper, The Blue Banner. It was published September 13, 2016. Digital scan of the issue here.

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By Cody Jones, News Staff Writer

UNC Asheville students expressed their concern about the lack of openness to the press from presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“For both candidates to be closing off their media outlets, I think that’s worrying because without openness, it sort of takes away some of their credibility,” said Matthew Wilson, freshman new media student at UNCA.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump began last year to ban certain news organizations from covering his campaign rallies. Among those organizations that were banned are Univision, BuzzFeed, Politico, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post and the Des Moines Register.

It has been 275 days since Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton last held a press conference as of Sept. 5. She has held numerous one-on-one interviews.

However, one-on-one interviews and press conferences have significant differences. In interviews, campaigns often control the topics covered, including the interviewer’s questions. Press conferences allow for unpredictability and a wider range of questions.

Mary Bolch, a junior creative writing student, said she does not trust either candidate.

“I think Trump is vying for and advertising this totalitarian kind of regime and that scares me because we’re supposed to be a democracy,” Bolch said. “So I think it’s really worrisome that he’s banned all of those from covering him. As far as Hillary goes, I also think she’s worrisome because in a presidential situation, you can’t control everything that’s going to happen.”

Bolch said presidential nominees should be open to the public.

“I think they should be willing to work with the people and the people’s expectations as far as giving information forth because we need to be informed and they should be willing to work with us on that,” Bolch said.

Blake Hollar, a sophomore political science student, said Clinton’s lack of press conferences indicates her untrustworthiness.

“I’m a pretty liberal guy, but as for Hillary Clinton, I don’t trust her. I think she’s very corrupt,” Hollar said. “The fact that she won’t give a press conference says something about her and how honest she is. If she didn’t have anything to hide, she would go ahead and give a press conference.”

Hollar said presidential candidates should be as transparent as possible.

On Sept. 2, Clinton’s lead press secretary Brian Fallon said if Clinton is elected, she will hold press conferences.

“I feel like she’s using that as an excuse because she doesn’t want people to know things that may or may not get her elected,” Hollar said. “If she’s not willing to do that until she’s president, it’s kind of saying she has something to hide.”

Throughout the election, each campaign has its own travelling press corps reporting on their respective candidate’s day-to-day activities. Trump’s press corps currently does not travel with him on the same plane.

The same was true of Clinton until Sept. 5, when her new campaign plane was unveiled and she began to travel with her press corps. This was also the same day she took questions from those reporters while on the plane, effectively ending her streak of 275 days without a press conference.

Trump appears to be easing his stance toward media access as well. His campaign said on Sept. 7 that it will begin approving requests for press credentials from the news organizations he previously banned from covering his rallies.

Wilson said the press ultimately works to inform the public.

“I think the role of the media and the press is to give the general public information that we otherwise wouldn’t have had,” Wilson said.

Bolch said the media is skewed and it should be unbiased in its coverage.

“I think and unfortunately, I think it’s been skewed in this country, that the press is supposed to bring information from government and politics to the people,” Bolch said. “Ideally, for me, it would be unbiased and forthcoming. Donald Trump is right about that, I don’t want to give him credence for anything, but he’s right that the media is skewed. Not what he’s saying it’s skewed for, but it’s a business more than anything.”

Hollar said the press is responsible for holding people accountable.

“The role of the press is to inform the public and to hold people accountable for things they do,” Hollar said. “If we didn’t have the press, you could get away with anything because no one would know about it.”


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Hillary Clinton to Appear More Humanlike, Aides Say

Last night, I read an article titled “Hillary Clinton to Show More Humor and Heart, Aides Say.”

The Onionesque quality of the headline aside, this emphasizes just how detached many politicians are from the average person. Read it again: aides to a presidential candidate feel compelled to reassure us that she will show more humanlike qualities during her campaign (for the sake of her campaign).

Donald Trump appears more genuine than Hillary Clinton, as Republican strategist Eric Fehrnstrom points out, “The same force and energy that is giving a lift to Donald Trump is dooming Hillary Clinton, and that is authenticity. Experience does not matter to them. What matters is you appear genuine.”

Hopefully she can corral her human qualities and flaunt them — show us what you’ve got, Hillary.