No Place For Hate

Abigail Bermudez
A City Mourns as Opponents ‘Do Whatever is Necessary to Take This President Down’
(Mark Martin)

Following the White Nationalist rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, a candlelight vigil was held in honor of Heather Heyer. She was killed when “an attacker drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters.” President Trump tweeted about the tragedy and gave his support, calling Heather “a truly special young woman.” However, there was a far less empathetic side to these events. Many began to call for Trump’s removal from office and accused him of supporting racism. This is largely due to his comments in regard to the violence in Charlottesville; he laid blame on both sides for the events that took place. Thus, much of his support began to dwindle and his economic panels had to be closed because the Corporate leaders protested by pulling out of his advisory panels. Protests continued across the map, resulting in steps toward the removal of statues, monuments, and symbols of the Confederacy.

These events are a great example of our rights being put into practice. Our Founding Fathers ensured that we would be guaranteed natural rights under the Constitution. Those rights include freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly and association. The counter protesters exercised their freedoms when they assembled to protest the White Nationalists, and spoke out against racism and bigotry. Those who called for Trump’s removal exercised the same rights.

These Constitutional rights are endowed to everyone, and I consider them vitally important. Seeing Americans exercising their rights in that manner is both encouraging and discouraging. I personally believe Americans should definitely exercise their rights, but so long as it does not promote hate and incite violence. I admire those who advocate for equality and unity, all in a peaceful manner. Advocating inequality and hatefully denouncing the leader of our country does not equate to peaceful exercise. The last quote from the article summed up my opinion perfectly: “I’m here to support equality… I believe in 2017 we’ve progressed so much as a society that we should not allow the freedom of speech to encourage hate and to produce hate.”

“Identify someone living today who you believe shows civic virtue.”

Civic virtue is the devotion of citizens to the common good of their community, especially at the cost of their own interests; it’s “the ‘office’ of citizen and the duties associated with it.”

I believe President Trump is a good example of this. He stepped aside from his perfectly good life to take on the role of president in an attempt to improve the nation. He left his business affairs to his children, paid for much of his campaign out of his own pocket, and refused to accept the salary for office, which means he’ll only make $1 a year. He volunteered for the American presidency, an intensely difficult job, because he saw that the nation was in need of improvement and was lacking in many areas. The textbook cites President Washington as a prime example of civic virtue, and in a way Trump’s story is very similar. Both sacrificed their personal affairs to take office. “Indeed, many admired George Washington as our ‘Cincinnatus’ because he sacrificed his private pursuits to lead the nation in war and peace.”

However, many would argue that Trump has no civic virtue and that he is simply searching for fame. He isn’t the typical candidate; he’s rough, outspoken, blunt, and averse to any sort of criticism. He’s a businessman, not a politician. So it would be easy to argue that he is in office for the sole purpose of business and fame. Why would he leave his life of casual luxury for that of civic duty? It could only be to increase what he already has, correct? After all, it’s in his nature to do so.

Regardless of any opposition, Trump is fulfilling his civic virtue. He volunteered to lead the nation. He volunteered to work a job full of continual criticism and scrutiny, and aside from the big decisions he’ll soon meet (which may very well have lives at stake), he’ll have to face a tiresome lot of smaller choices and petty problems. The job description of president isn’t nearly as glamorous as it might seem, but he still volunteered to do it. He volunteered with a plan for the greater good of our nation in mind, a plan to “make America great again.”


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