#NeverTrump

HANNAH LEE / AGGIE
HANNAH LEE / AGGIE

The Editorial Board encourages students to exercise their right to vote

It took Donald Trump less than a week as the presumptive Republican nominee to thoroughly embarrass himself. From an incoherent foreign policy speech in Washington D.C. to a Cinco de Mayo tweet on taco bowls, the Donald has proved that he is uniquely unqualified for the presidency in both experience and temperament.

Trump’s remaining opponents in the primary contests — Ted Cruz and John Kasich — dropped out last week after primary results in Indiana made a contested convention, in which one of them could have potentially won the nomination, all but impossible. The effort to stop Trump now transcends the Republican party. It must be an effort made by all, including college students.

Trump has proved an adept politician, dispatching a field of 16 candidates to reach his current position, but his ability to remedy internal strife among Republicans will be his greatest challenge moving into the general election. The New York billionaire is meeting with Republican leadership today in Washington D.C. He should treat this meeting as an opportunity to listen and consider in earnest what are likely to be appeals for him to tone down the bombast and unite his party.

As it stands, Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, has not endorsed Trump, a move that will allow fellow Republican congressmen to withhold their support as they feel appropriate. And they should follow Ryan’s lead by refusing to endorse a man who has repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims entering the country, an infeasible wall along the Mexican-U.S. border and, most recently, an insane plan to ease America’s debt through default or asking creditors to accept smaller payments.

Trump may think of himself as an expert negotiator (he did manage to bankrupt a few of his casinos) but his plans are so entrenched in fantasy that no serious policymaker would even think to come to the table.

Trump has already harmed America’s world standing, and will continue to do so in what is sure to be one of the nastiest general election fights in recent memory. With a nominee as disliked as Trump, that’s only inevitable. It’s incumbent on candidates like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and on the general electorate, to demand much more substantive policies from the reality television star.

Make no mistake: the Republican party has effectively nominated a racist, xenophobic demagogue to lead its party. It’s something many Americans thought impossible just months ago, and the reality is crushing and scary. But if his nomination ultimately sobers the public to the prospect of electing a possible authoritarian, the country might be better off.

It’s absolutely necessary that all students vote in the upcoming primary, regardless of party: even if that means voting for a candidate who has suspended their campaign. A voter who supports Trump out of a sense of inevitability doesn’t compromise: they enable hate and a candidate who does not hold the basic values of inclusivity that should be required of any presidential candidate.

Democrats should vote to show the strength of a party that reflects the new America — one that includes Latinos and blacks; the downtrodden and economically isolated — the America Trump doesn’t represent and can never serve.

The California primary will be held on Tuesday, June 7. For students registered to vote in their hometown, mail-in-ballots are accepted until May 31, and registration itself must be completed by May 23.

Once again, California has been deprived of the ability to significantly shape a nominating process, but that doesn’t mean it has no influence. California looks like the new America in demographics and attitude. With a resounding affirmation of “Never Trump,” this state can send the message that it’s part of an America that rejects what South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley aptly called the “siren call of the angriest voices.