As the caucuses approach, political prognosticators are wondering about the future of Donald Trump. How will his warpath through conventional wisdom continue?
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE OPINION BY ANNELISE ESCHER The current refugee crisis in the world presents two large sets of questions...
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY JOHN WINGERT Donald Trump has already demonstrated his populist tendencies with repeated...
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE COLUMN BY JOHN WINGERT The meteoric rise of Dr. Ben Carson seems to have fallen once again into the...
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE OPINION BY JENNY DEVRIES
Over the weekend, the world turned out in support for Paris and the victims of the mass shootings. A lot of people took to social media to show that they stood behind the over 120 Parisians who lost their lives, adding a French flag filter to their Facebook profile pictures and including #PrayforParis in status updates. But I will not be updating my picture or my status, and here’s why:
Each week, staff writer Rachel Wermager will capture stories of students on Drake’s campus
Claire Franksen|| Freshman || Digital Media Production and Psychology
“I’m very passionate about people. My friends and family mean a lot to me so I always put them before myself. It means far more to me that my friends and family are happy than if I am. There have been so many days where I didn’t do my homework in order to cheer up a friend, just stuff like that where I put myself second to those I care most about because being a good friend is important to me.”
OPINION BY ELLEN CONVERSE
If you were like me, you were eagerly looking forward to Halloween. The costumes, the candy, and all the fun activities that go along with it sure provide for a memorable weekend. After such a fun holiday and weekend, it’s easy to feel let down, so it’s easy to see why so many people are excited to start preparing for the next holiday.
That being said, the next holiday is NOT Christmas and we should not be pretending that it is. I am against playing Christmas music before the end of November for many reasons.
Now, I understand the need to take down your jack-o-lanterns and monster decorations. But that doesn’t mean that we need to jump into decking the halls and blasting “Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer” 24/7. Starting to celebrate a holiday early may seem like a fun way to get yourself in the holiday mood or to pump yourself up for all those many late night study sessions. But in my opinion, it actually has the opposite effect. Instead of just going through life day to day, you are now looking forward to a holiday that is over a month away! Starting a countdown to Christmas will be forcing you to live focusing on the future, instead of living in the present and enjoying normal everyday experiences.
Even more than that, by doing this, you are skipping an amazing holiday! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of the parade, amazing food and all the time spent with family. If I were to get on my soapbox for a little bit, I could point out that the tendency of Americans to skip from celebrating Halloween all the way to Christmas could be highlighting the fact of how materialistic our society has become. I mean c’mon, we skip a holiday all about reminding ourselves of our multitudes of blessings and taking a minute to be thankful for them, to celebrate a holiday where we get presents. (Granted, I know that presents are not the true meaning of Christmas, but just stick with my train of thought to see where I’m coming from).
I’m sure that none of this is the intention of those people that are already listening to Christmas music. I asked my roommate Meghan, a notorious Christmas music listener, why she has already started and she said, “Listening to Christmas music really gets me ready for the holiday and puts me in a great mood all day.”
I’ll admit, Christmas music is my favorite kind of music too, and while I am looking forward to listening to all of my favorite Christmas albums on repeat, I can wait.
I can wait one more month and finish living out all of my fall experiences and enjoying my first fall at Drake University. I can wait one more month before trudging through the snow to my 8 a.m.’s and I can wait one more month in order to continue watching the squirrels chase each other around.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to continue drinking my pumpkin spice lattes and listening to my regular Pandora station before switching to peppermint lattes and Christmas music.
COLUMN BY JOHN WINGERT
Who won the Drake debate?
The short answer is: not Clinton. The other two candidates had their ups and downs, but they came prepared to hit Hillary Clinton hard, and they did just that.
In the beginning, Bernie Sanders appeared weaker. He took the opening question about the events in Paris and sidestepped it to go back to his economic agenda, which was the original focus of the debate before the terrorist attack. Sanders showed weakness throughout the foreign policy segment that focused heavily on ISIS.
However, both Sanders and Martin O’Malley were able to critique Clinton for her vote to invade Iraq which Sanders described as “disastrous” and a historic blunder which has led to contemporary instability in the region. O’Malley and all of the candidates agreed that the sources of conflict were numerous and nuanced. All of the candidates also agreed that they needed a coalition of Muslim countries to act against ISIS, but that Islam should not be painted with a broad brush as extremist terrorists. In sum, there were actually few policy discrepancies except for Clinton’s more hawkish suggestion of enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria.
O’Malley, at one point, was able to criticize the other two for referring to veterans as “boots on the ground,” because he wants to remember the human cost of war, as Sanders later brought up when talking about his work on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the half a million veterans suffering from PTSD or brain injury.
Although in the last debate Sanders was unwilling to criticize his rivals, this time he brought up what he characterized as “disagreements.” The biggest discrepancy, and a winning argument for Sanders, was campaign finance reform. O’Malley has a Super PAC, but has, so far, been able to raise very little money. Sanders has no Super PAC and touted this above Clinton. Only 13 percent of Clinton’s campaign contributions are in amounts below $200, whereas Sanders has 77 percent of donations below $200. None of Sanders’ donations exceed $2,700, but 27 percent of Clinton’s donations exceed $2,700.
This argument has given Sanders the moral high ground amongst Democratic voters who want to see systemic changes addressed. When confronted on the issue, Clinton said that 60 percent of her donors were women and also referenced having to represent Wall Street on September 11th. Her use of 9/11 was later brought up by Nancy Cordes in the form of a tweet that had been sent out on the issue, reading “I’ve never seen a candidate invoke 9/11 to justify millions of Wall Street donations until now.” Clinton’s response failed to address campaign finance and merely reiterated that she has received many donations.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a surrogate of Clinton’s in the spin room after the debate, told the Times-Delphic “I think she made a very good point on that, that if donations are received, it is not a definition of her character or her willingness to yield to her own values or her conscience, just because a particular interest group gave money.”
However, Sanders characterized Clinton’s response as “not good enough.” He added, that special interests “expect to get something, everybody knows that.”
O’Malley joined in at times to show that Clinton was not leading by her conscience but instead “leading by polls.” He pointed out numerous flip-flops and did a solid job of demonstrating his own successes. O’Malley and his surrogates have taken to an “actions over words” mantra that they hope will show he is a contender. Drake University student Kenia Calderon represented O’Malley in the spin room and said “he has the actions to back his statements up.”
Throughout the debate, O’Malley made a strong display of his record in Maryland of “raised sales tax by a penny and made our public schools the best public schools in America,” raising the minimum wage so “the more they spend, the more our economy grows,” and enacting gun control. He also argued against “polarizing figures from our past” at the national level. O’Malley also pointed out Clinton’s connections to Wall Street and the nefarious effect that could have on her ability to lead when asked about his own finance reform agenda.
However, by the end of the debate, Sanders was able to tie healthcare and other issues back to campaign finance reform fairly successfully. When asked about how he would add regulations to the prescription drug industry when they are a one trillion dollar industry, Sanders said the first step is to ensure that they cannot control members of Congress through campaign contributions.
Symone Sanders, a surrogate for Senator Sanders in the spin room, told the Times-Delphic “Bernie Sanders knows that we live in a rigged economy, and this economy is kept in place by a corrupt finance system.”
“Bernie Sanders is leading from the front on this issue by not participating in this system,” Sanders said.
That seemed to be the winning issue for Sanders. The item that Clinton could not successfully repel turned out to be campaign finance reform. Her mentions of female donors or 9/11 seemed to distract from the matter at hand and did not provide her with the ability to hold back her opponents.
On the other hand, Sanders failed almost completely with foreign policy by refusing to address it from the beginning and then not diving into great detail throughout the foreign policy debate. Sanders was corrected at one point by Clinton about the involvement of Jordan against ISIS, and his only area of military expertise seemed to be veterans’ affairs.
O’Malley succeeded in showing competent responses and providing examples of success from his time as governor of Maryland. He stumbled in his speech at times, but O’Malley seems to have found a better strategy by attacking the words of Washington politicians and contrasting them with his actions as a governor of Maryland. The winnowing of the Democratic nomination to three contenders allowed him the attention he needed.
Clinton had a lot of success leading up to the second Democratic debate by showing a strong performance in the first debate with no attacks from Bernie Sanders, maintaining composure for the 11 hour Benghazi hearing, and demonstrating hegemony through Biden’s refusal to run, but this debate showed that there are discussions and debates still necessary in the Democratic Party. Expect the largest surge for O’Malley, because he had such little support to start with, but also expect Sanders campaign finance agenda to move him upward in the polls even as his foreign policy was lackluster.
COLUMN BY JOHN WINGERT
In one of his first weeks as host of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert played a game with his guest, Donald Trump, trying to pinpoint which of a list of ridiculous quotes Trump had said and which ones Stephen Colbert’s conservative character had said.
Complaints about sending billions to “Bongo Bongo Land,” saying opponents “have the charisma of a damp rag,” and asserting that “politics needs a bit of spicing up” are the sort of over-the-top Trumpian quotes that the United States has come to expect. The only problem is that Donald Trump did not say them. These quotes were all from Nigel Farage and the United Kingdom Independence Party.
As much as the United States has been reeling from Trump’s nativist, anti-globalization, populist message, these sorts of ideas have crystallized into political parties and movements throughout many other Western democracies.
Germany, for example, has the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands or the National Democratic Party of Germany. It has been the progenitor of such assertions as “due to the continued mass immigration and extraordinarily rising high birth rates especially of non-European populations, illegal foreigners living in Germany further burden the budget.”
Germany has had its share of problems with nationalists. The NDP alone has led protests against refugee houses this year in the wake of continued refugee immigration from the Arab world. They have also continued to say things like, “even now, foreigners are . . . committing felonies such as murder, manslaughter, and rape. The unstoppable Islamization makes this development more explosive.” In response to continuing problems with the NDP, many have tried to get the party banned on constitutional grounds, but it is a very difficult proposal that must be brought before 16 justices in Germany’s highest court.
The National Democratic Party is primarily concerned, first and foremost, with the “survival and continued existence of the German people.” The main way it sees of preserving this national identity is by expelling or prohibiting entry to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. However, it is also important to remember that the NDP wants to strengthen many social welfare programs. They also support more protectionist trade policies to shield Germany from cheaper products that are imported from other countries.
The NDP has been able to gain representation in the provinces of Germany, especially in the northeast, and even in the European Parliament as representatives of Germany at the supranational level. In 1998, the National Democratic Party of Germany only got about 45,000 votes, but in Germany’s most recent national election in 2013, they received over 630,000 votes.
These economic policies combined with strong nativist, anti-immigration tendencies resist a standard right to left dynamic. Instead, most people have labeled these movements as populist. Populism is some sort of movement away from control by elites and instead toward the control of rural, small-town, wholesome peoples that represent their specific country. Populism also tends to support government intervention in some capacity to support specific industries and shield the country from invasive cultural or social values. They are also generally reactions to technological or cultural change.
However, Germany is not the only country in Europe to witness these sorts of populist, traditionalist backlashes. France has similarly experienced a populist movement with strong nativist twinges in its political system. This movement has been represented by the National Front, a party that supports solidarity amongst the “French civilization,” an expansion of social security and healthcare programs, as well as withdrawal from the European Union to foster protectionist policies for French businesses. Their manifesto argues that “ghettos, ethnic conflicts, community demands and politico-religious provocations are the direct consequences of mass immigration which is undermining our national identity and brings with it an increasingly apparent Islamization.”
In France, the National Front has gained representation in both the National Assembly and Senate. Twenty-three of the 74 representatives France sends to the European Parliament, about a third, are members of the National Front. Thousands of regional, general, and municipal council members are also members of France’s National Front party. In 2007, the National Front garnered a little over a million votes, but in their most recent election in 2012, the National Front received over three and a half million votes.
Another, though more tenuous, member of the European Union, Greece, has also seen this same sort of emergence of nationalist populism. The Golden Dawn party in Greece has tried to renew concerns of nationalism, nativism, and anti-globalization ideology. Sporting a jaunty new re-design of the swastika, the Golden Dawn professes, that “nationalism is the only absolute and true revolution because it seeks the birth of new ethical, spiritual, social and mental values.” It also argues that people should fight “exploitative wealth, either local or internationalist.” The Golden Dawn also remains strongly opposed “against the population distortion, because of the millions of illegal immigrants, and the dissolution of the Greek society.”
Like the National Democratic Party and the National Front, this nationalism and economic redistribution for the wholesome and worthy in a country has led the Golden Dawn to some notable successes. They currently have dozens of members in the national parliament and even more at the local level. They also comprise a seventh of Greece’s representation in the European Union’s European Parliament. Additionally, in 2009, the Golden Dawn received only about 20,000 votes and could not gain any representation, but by the most recent of Greece’s many emergency elections in 2015, the Golden Dawn had received almost 380,000 votes.
By now, some patterns should begin to emerge. These parties all share strong anti-immigrant stances and argue for the preservation of their country against foreign intrusions. This nativism does not just apply to wanting to keep out immigrants; it also means that they want to protect native industries by severing trade agreements and raising tariffs against foreign imports. Populist movements like the Golden Dawn, National Front, and NDP also want to strengthen government assistance and social welfare.
All across the Western world, these populist, nativist, anti-globalization movements are springing forth in response to the advancement and change of the new millennium.
Along with the aforementioned parties, are Jobbik in Hungary which desires what they see as the re-establishment of Hungarian nationalism against Gypsy, socialist, and capitalist incursions. There is also the Freedom Party of Austria which wants to “promptly stop immigration and protection [for refugees] instead of providing doors for all.” The Danish People’s Party argues, “Denmark is not a country of immigration and has never been. We will not accept a multi-ethnic transformation of country.” The Polish Law and Justice Party places a strong emphasis on the “Polish family” and rejecting “cultural unification.”
None of these parties are extreme outliers either. They have all done well enough to gain multiple representatives in their national parliament and at the European Parliament level. They are all now sizable political forces in their respective countries.
Now, this movement has crossed the Atlantic. Donald Trump has brought a unique mix of ideals. His comments about Mexican immigrants, building “the greatest wall you’ve ever seen,” and deporting 11 million individuals have become infamous and betray strong anti-immigration twinges in his rhetoric.
In spite of NAFTA and other free trade agreements, Donald Trump has proposed tariffs unheard of in modern times. One of his favorite, stump-speech stories is Ford Motors new plant in Mexico. Trump says, “every car, every truck and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we’re going to charge you a 35 percent tax — OK?” Trump’s refusal to abide by free trade agreements would likely cause a trade war and untold repercussions in international relations, but it also betrays this strong populist bent in his rhetoric.
Trump also wants to bolster social welfare programs, despite the departure of this position from the conservative mainstream. He said, “every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that.”
Donald Trump also says he will bring “winning” back to the presidency. In his pseudo-patriotic style, Trump has consistently emphasized the fact that the American people are good, but we have the misfortune of idiotic leadership. Trump always maintains that the country has the potential to be great again if it returns to some societal roots.
Polls seem to show that this is exactly what people want. It is not misguided conservatives lured into a cult of personality that vote for Trump. His policy proposals, however nascent and unsupported, are what the people want to hear.
Before Trump ever formally entered the political scene, the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party was already leaning strongly toward populism. A Marist poll from 2011 found that 53% of people associating with the Tea Party wanted to raise taxes on those with incomes over $250,000 in an attempt to lower the national debt. The same poll also found that 70% of these supposedly stringent conservatives opposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
This idea of taxing the perceived paper-pushing elites to make room for benefits for the society at large has strong roots in populism. Donald Trump has said repeatedly, “The hedge fund people make a lot of money and they pay very little tax; I want to lower taxes for the middle class.” The same anger that fuels a populist outrage against leeches upon society, often personified in immigrants, produces the same suspicion of wealthy stock market nabobs who create money out of thin air in speculative markets without working to actually produce something.
America’s past can show us similar political movements. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a populist party formed in America. Calling itself the People’s Party, in 1892, it issued a call against “the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.” The party supported stronger support for agrarian communities and small towns. Although they had some concrete successes as a political party, they were more successful at influencing the other parties around them at the time. John Temple Graves, an editor for the Atlanta Constitution, wrote in 1896 that, “reforms for which the masses have been clamoring for years—whether it be silver or labor or income tax or popular rights or resistance to government by injunction—had never been written, and might never have been written, into a Democratic platform, until the Populist party, 1,800,000 strong, thundered in the ears of Democratic leaders.”
Donald Trump appeals to this ideal by saying that he will take back power from “special interests, lobbyists and donors.” At every turn, he re-emphasizes the need to turn government into an institution of “winners,” instead of allowing the so-called “losers” governing now to continue to lead Americans astray. He appeals to a select group whom he considers wholesome and good and promises them that the rich will pay more, their benefits will increase, the immigrants will disappear, and the good-natured, idyllic United States that they dream of will return.
In the meantime, Europeans look upon the Trump phenomenon with amusement and underlying concern. The German magazine, Der Spiegel, has called him an “idiot” and representative of “what is wrong with this [the American] system.” The French newspaper, Libération, called him an “American nightmare.” The British newspaper, The Observer, said Trump’s political ideas have “spewed from him like a ruptured sewer.”
Yet, all of these countries have had much more experience with populism at home. Although Donald Trump, in the words of French sociologist and author, Marie-Cécile Naves, is “someone who lets us feel a bit superior about being European,” the persistent laughter is nervous laughter. They may mock him in their publications, but it seems almost wholly due to a reflection of the anti-establishment, nationalist fervor which they know all too well.
Donald Trump may be a character without precedent in modern political memory, but throughout other Western democracies, the same sort of over-the-top, populist ideology asserts itself. In an era of rapid change, technologically and culturally, the backlash is being felt around the globe, and it is a backlash strong enough to bring the most resolute, political bodies to their knees. As much as we may want to, we should not laugh off everything that Donald Trump represents: a populist movement that is revivifying to unseat the most monolithic political traditions around the world.
OPINION BY ASHLEY KIRKLAND
All it took was a nine-second video on Facebook to shed light on a recent resource officer attack on a student last week in South Carolina.
On Oct. 26, a student refused to hand over her phone to her teacher. Resource officer Deputy Ben Fields was called to the scene to remove the student. When she refused to stand up and leave, Fields violently lifted and threw her on the ground to handle arrest.
STORY BY CHAMINDI WIJESINGHE
On Oct. 13, Metrojet Flight 9268 was on its way from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg.
Then, approximately 23 minutes into the flight, the plane dropped off the radar without any distress call.
COLUMN BY JOHN WINGERT
Almost every politician, if not every politician, has been known to gild a lily. The most recent criticisms of this kind have been directed at Dr. Ben Carson claiming that he has fudged not only facts on the campaign trail, but that he has also made up parts of his life story.
OPINION BY ERIC DEUTZ
Considering the expectations for “Bridge of Spies,” it truly is a remarkable feat.
Why all the buzz around Disney’s latest historical drama? Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 30 years, I can explain all this hype to you in just two words: Spielberg. Hanks.
For those who have been living under a rock, welcome back, and let me introduce you to one of the most exciting director/actor collaborations of our era.
Director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks most famously collaborated in “Saving Private Ryan,” arguably the most important war epic of all time. What many may not know is that their relationship actually runs quite a bit deeper than that.
Aside from working as director/actor in “Catch Me if You Can” and “The Terminal,” Spielberg also produced “The Money Pit” and “Joe vs. the Volcano,” two of Tom Hanks’s earliest films, and the two of them co-produced two of the most successful miniseries of the 21st century: “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific.”
And now, they team up once again and surround themselves with a star-studded cast and crew to tell the true story of an insurance lawyer-turned-Cold War hero in “Bridge of Spies.”
In “Bridge of Spies,” Hanks (in a reliably solid and honest performance) plays James Donovan, a New York insurance lawyer who is asked to defend Rudolf Abel (recent Tony winner Mark Rylance), a man convicted of being a Russian spy. (This is 1957, obviously. Our country today is very much over the paranoia of other countries infiltrating our homeland with people who want to kill us. …Right?)
Defending Abel is really just a formality, as the evidence against him is overwhelming. But when Donovan does his job a little too well, Abel isn’t put to death and is instead offered up as trade material for an American POW—a trade that Donovan must conduct himself.
When I say this movie is loaded both in front of and behind the camera, I mean it. Amy Ryan and Alan Alda are along for the ride playing Donovan’s wife and boss. Those are very simple roles for such esteemed actors, but when Steven Spielberg wants you in his movie, I assume the answer is always yes.
Frequent collaborators Janusz Kaminski, a cinematographer, and Michael Kahn, editor, are both back and could each easily pick up yet another Oscar nomination for their gorgeous, subtle and poignant work here. And with music by Thomas Newman, a script co-written by the Coen brothers and production design by Adam Stockhausen, the production crew has between them are you ready for this at least 70 Oscar nominations and 17 Oscar wins. Let me be the first to say… whoa.
When you look at Spielberg’s last few works, ”War Horse,” “Lincoln” and now this film, he seems to be on some sort of “God Bless America” kick. This is perfectly fine, though it does start to show a little bit too prevalently here, especially in the climactic shot as we linger on Tom Hanks standing proudly in front of an American flag, knowing he’s just won the day for himself and his nation.
Oh, sorry, is that a spoiler? Well, not really. Because just like everything else in this movie, it’s exactly what you’d expect. There isn’t a single surprise. Normally, for a movie, that’s a very bad thing. But when all the pieces assembled are truly the very best in the business, doing what they do best, well, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
OPINION BY JENNIFER SCHALLMOSER
You can already smell the wonderful food: turkey and mashed potatoes, toast and jellybeans, or pizza and breadsticks. In three weeks, most of us will be home with our families and friends, very much ready to spend Thanksgiving together.
However, a lot can happen in three weeks, including tests and projects that need to be taken care of.
Yet, this post-midterm slump is holding a lot of us captive. So, we all need to help each other so that everyone can survive these next few weeks. Here are five ways that can help us make it through until the holiday.
The first way is to accept that it’s OK to take some time to yourself and a break from the schoolwork, especially to sleep.
In fact, sleep should be your very best friend during this time of the year. Not only does sleep provide the time for your brain to store all the information you need to know for your test next week, it also helps prevent you from getting sick. Just relaxing in general can also help you survive as well. So go ahead and treat yourself to that Thanksgiving special on TV and enjoy it. You deserve it!
The second way is to check in with the family leading up to your momentous homecoming.
Contacting your family lets them know what’s going on with you, but it also lets you listen to what’s going in their lives during these busy weeks leading up to the holiday. Sometimes only your family can help you stay focused and motivated to get all your work done before getting to see them.
The third way to help you survive school until break is to enjoy all the warm fall clothes that get to make their debut now that it’s getting a lot colder.
Sweater weather is definitely a popular time of the year, so take advantage of your warm sweaters because you’ll need them, and you’ll be so thankful you have them.
Scarves are going to help you survive in the sense that you won’t dread the walk to class as much anymore, which is a plus.
The fourth way is to go out and enjoy the fun fall activities that us Midwesterners love so much: corn mazes, hayrides and apple picking. Personally, I’m very excited for Starbucks holiday flavors, which came out Nov. 3! To name a few, Caramel Brûlée Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte, Christmas Cookie Latte and more are now available to order. Even though it’s not Christmas yet, these flavors can successfully help lift your spirits and keep you awake during those slow days that seem like they’ll never end.
The fifth and final way you can survive school until Thanksgiving break is motivating yourself to stay focused by thinking and planning on all the great times that are ahead of you. Soon it’ll be Thanksgiving, and before you know it, it’ll be Christmas. Although Thanksgiving break still seems pretty far away, I’m sure it’ll be here in no time. But in the meantime, I hope these ways help you out a little bit during the slow days. Good luck!
OPINION BY ANNA JENSEN
The bi-annual Drag Show, performed on Oct. 26, had a constant positive reaction from the audience, but behind the curtain of anonymity, negativity reared its ugly head.
All the money raised at the Drag Show was donated to Iowa Safe Schools, which promotes safe environments for LGBT students in Iowa schools. The problems addressed on the app Yik Yak were not against the organization, but against the expression of drag on a college campus.
On Yik Yak, the show was called “gross” and “disgusting,” along with other degrading comments and profane language. It is presumed from the Yaks that the people who posted these comments were not at the Drag Show, but instead saw Snapchats posted by others who were in attendance.
It is fine to have a strong, negative opinion on drag, but it is one that should more or less be kept to yourself. Hiding behind the anonymity of Yik Yak to say inappropriate and insulting things about people doing something they love is very shallow and unnecessary.
People began to react to these Yaks, commenting by either insulting the original poster, or agreeing with the degrading comments.
The point of the Drag Show was to promote an organization that is working hard to raise money for anti-bullying and to make society a safer place for children to feel comfortable with whom they are.
Whether or not drag is something you wish to watch or even advocate, the point of the show was not about promoting that kind of lifestyle—it is a form of entertainment performed by people who are passionate about what they do, while also donating to a cause in a similar realm.
Student Body President Kevin Maisto shared a picture of one of the Yaks on Facebook and commented that Drake’s campus still has a long way to go to be a safe and accepting community. It is something that students, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be striving for on a college campus.
I was not surprised to see this small war erupt over Yik Yak instead of other types of social media, such as Twitter or Facebook. On Twitter or Facebook, your name is directly linked to your comment. This is not the case on Yik Yak.
If you have something negative to say, a good place to write it down is in a journal, because it can be an outlet for your anger, and your comments won’t hurt the people who are simply doing something they love—and this goes for any type of expression you may disagree with.
As college students, we are being introduced to lifestyles we may not have seen as much in high school. With more freedom comes more individuality, and people have to be prepared to experience things they may not always like.
Drag is something that even I find a little out there, but it is something I support because I find happiness in seeing others happy. The people performing looked like they were truly at their happiest.
Even if you don’t find drag entertaining, that does not make it acceptable to degrade the people who do it. If you feel strongly that something needs to be said, have a little integrity and don’t hide behind a mask when you say it.
I think everyone has a right to his or her opinion, but I am also a firm believer that everyone deserves to be happy, and you shouldn’t put anyone down for doing what he or she loves.