Political Tension Reaches a “Fiery” Climax

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Graphic Credit: Tracy Kuo '18

Politics have always been a controversial topic sparking discussion and rivalries throughout America. From the election in 1796 between Jefferson and Adams to the hectic election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, a clear divide between policies is evident. Whether the topic is tax cuts or foreign policy, the opposing views held by the two dominant parties have created heated discussions in both formal presidential debates and school settings such as Loomis.

As a result of such unique candidates in our current election, a record amount of attention has been directed towards the governing of our country. An astounding 84 million people tuned in to watch the first presidential debate between Trump and Clinton. With a such a large audience and provocative candidates, the fact that headlines for the past few months have been largely dominated by the election seems inevitable. As election day approaches, the stakes have begun to grow as hostilities between the supporters of the two candidates increase. The big question now, however, is how far we are willing to go to support our beliefs and knock down the opposition.

On Saturday October 15th, a GOP building in Orange County, North Carolina was ruthlessly firebombed and vandalised. The attackers, who have yet to be identified by the police, destroyed the office building and graffitied a shocking threat along the side of the building: “Nazi Republicans, leave town or else”. At such a strained moment in the election, one which Washington Post writer Aaron Blake deemed “The most negative election of our lives,” this attack has aroused conflicting views throughout the country.

In response to the event, Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party stated that the attack was an act of “Political terrorism” and “Whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent, all Americans should be outraged by this hate-filled and violent attack against our democracy.” Despite his political position as a Republican, Woodhouse feels a sense of unity and tries to look past the distinctions between Republicans and Democrats. In a time of crisis such as the one at hand, Woodhouse encourages America to come together, put aside our political differences, and unite in order to address an act of such extreme hate.

Following the unifying words of Woodhouse, many liberals have taken action to help the NC GOP. In a tweet by Hillary Clinton, she expressed her concern by saying “Very grateful that everyone is safe.” To go even further, many Democrats and liberal have began to raise money in an effort to show bipartisan support for the NC GOP. One fundraising campaign has raised nearly $13,000 in donations for the rebuilding of the North Carolina GOP building.

Not everyone, however, shares such sympathetic views. Responding only a day after the firebombing, Donald Trump was quick to place the blame. He tweeted “Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning.” A classic embodiment of Donald Trump’s ignorant attitude throughout his campaign, this statement reveals Trump’s inability to look past political differences. He is motivated solely by his conceited goal of “winning.”

November 8th is fast approaching and with issues involving Clinton’s emails, Trumps tax returns, and the recent act of “Political terrorism”, the election has electrified the nation. With such volatile candidates dominating the two major political parties, Americans can no longer remove themselves from politics. To immersed the students in the political situation of the nation, Loomis has been hosting a number of student and faculty led discussions. Just last Tuesday, the third and final election salon took place in the Nee Room in Founders Hall. The conversation jumped from issues of gun control to Donald Trump’s questionable rhetoric regarding immigration. Educating and getting the students involved in politics, Loomis is preparing its students to be well-informed and to make smart decisions regarding their country in the future.