The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Freedom of speech under Trump

By most accounts, Hillary Clinton may have won the first presidential debate. However, Donald Trump certainly held his own despite constantly being put on the defensive by moderator Lester Holt.

Holt asked Trump four questions regarding the birthplace of President Obama, badgered him about the release of his tax returns, and belabored on Trump’s support of the Iraq War, neglecting to mention Clinton’s explicit support for that same war.

Clinton was not asked about her email server, the controversies surrounding the Clinton Foundation, or her laundry list of shortcomings as Secretary of State (Benghazi, Iranian nuclear deal, terrorist releases from Guantanamo).

Lauded for being a “minimalist” at the debate by the New York Times, Holt asked Donald Trump the following question towards the conclusion of the debate: “Mr. Trump, this year Secretary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major party. Earlier this month, you said she doesn’t have, quote, ‘a presidential look.’ She’s standing here right now. What did you mean by that?” Yet, the New York Times said Holt “opted for restraint.”

That said, Trump held his own. Trump attacked Clinton for “[deciding] to stay home” while he continued on the campaign trail, making a stop in Philadelphia, in the week leading up to the debate.

This wasn’t the first time Trump passed over preparing for a debate in favor of campaigning. Back in January, he skipped out on the last GOP debate so he could raise six million dollars for veterans.

Trump may have been put on the defensive often, but he continued to demonstrate the qualities that make him so appealing to his supporters: his brutally honest demeanor.

While much of the media continues to add to the narrative that Clinton is not honest or trustworthy, Trump is being criticized for being honest — perhaps overly honest. Clinton didn’t miss a chance to blast Trump for calling former Miss Universe Alicia Machado “Miss Piggy.”

And how did Trump respond?

He said some of those remarks were said about his long-time nemesis, Rosie O’Donnell, saying she “deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.”

The media, as usual, didn’t hesitate to have a field day with Trump’s comments. The Clinton campaign even released a video with a statement from Machado, who now works as an actor.

One might expect Trump to backtrack and apologize, like most politicians would.

However, Trump, who was a partner in the company that owned the Miss Universe pageant, went on Fox News the next morning and said, “She was the worst we ever had. She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.”

Often, these sort of comments are cited as reasons to antagonize Trump. However, this presents an interesting dilemma for left-leaning voters — most people on college campuses in major metropolitan areas.

Most people would agree when we say we should be able to do, say, think, and act as we please.

We don’t want our speech to be constantly policed by political correctness. We want to say what is on our mind.

Today, it remains impossible to have a genuine debate because of political correctness. Clearly, Trump is not concerned with political correctness.

I’m reluctant to call myself a Trump supporter, but I do see his potential presidency as an avenue for increased freedom to do, say, think, and act as we please.

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