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Perspectives: SAIC Students on Donald Trump

Students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago share how they feel about the rise of Donald Trump.


illustration by Jarad Solomon

illustration by Jarad Solomon

Grant Wang

Trump poses a clear threat to the country, where his ideas do not align with any American values. If he continues, he will fracture the American public and encourage continued partisanship in politics. America needs strong leadership to guide our country, someone who is presidential and a Republican that actually represents conservative values. I don’t think he will win the Republican primary.

James Kerley

I’m terrified for our country and think he’s a horrifying human being whose following is scary dangerous. But I’m not one to watch the debates and watch all the news and stuff I just kinda see what’s going on and hate it.

Keith Spencer

I absolutely reject Donald Trump and everything he claims to stand for. He is a xenophobic demagogue with zero political intelligence who lies, bullies, and generally appeals to the very worst qualities of the United States. The amount of support he has received to this point is a sad, shameful condemnation of the state of contemporary US society. I understand that plenty of people are frustrated with our political system, and I realize there is a wide range of values and priorities across the country, but I refuse to tolerate or respect anyone who advocates division, hatred, and violence.

Bella Emmerich

People are not thinking rationally. Not REALLY thinking about what his policies would actually mean for America. I think he is terrifying because he’s manipulating people’s emotions and bringing the worst sides of human beings.


Kicking Muslims out of his rallies and talking about Muslim people is how Hitler wanted to segregate Jewish people … That’s not even all of the racist shit he’s said and done. How does he really think he could be a good president? Also he has all the money in the world but has filed for bankruptcy countlessly … and his brain is full of mush because everything he does is garbage.

C.N. or C.Z.M.

Donald Trump is an opportunist, and had considered a presidential run as early as 1988, but was waiting for the opportune moment of political strife. Both Bernie Sanders and Trump are playing this same game, each being the idealized model of their respective political platforms. Their own forms of self-funding, and pools of vicious and loyal support have preyed upon those who are looking for a scapegoat in the current corporate government. The fact that a Super PAC exists to stop Donald Trump has only galvanized his supporters in the same way that the superdelegates have been proof of bias to the Sanders supporters. Regardless of the results of the 2016 race, Trump’s and Sanders’ supporters will not go away and will be a force to be incorporated into the establishment spectacle next election season. If either are elected they are bound to face stiff opposition from establishment party members of Senate and Congress. I don’t like either candidate but one or the other will have my vote.

Emelie Adele

Right now all I have to say is he is the closest representation I can think of for the Biblical archetype of Saran. I believe he’s a white supremacist oligarch, but he is actually much more dangerous than that. His campaign of promising uneducated Americans greatness and a climb back to power in a post-recession economy has huge historical precedence — especially his utilization of illegal immigrants as the sole scapegoat for every problem in the country. Watching people vote directly against their working class interests, watching the horrifying number of hate crimes that have been committed in the past few weeks by Trump supporters, watching the KKK publicly endorse him — it’s like seeing a bad made-for-TV documentary on Mussolini’s rise to power. He uses the verbatim anti-political politician rhetoric that fascism is defined by.

Owen Wang

Maria Alekhina of Pussy Riot said in December that when Putin was rising to power, everybody thought it was a joke too. No one took it seriously and thought he would win — that’s what I’m afraid is happening with Trump. When I first heard he was running, I thought he would drop out in the first few months. Instead, he’s won the most delegates out of any Republican nominee. He’s called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States;” he wants to build a giant wall on the Mexican border; and he has said he wants to send 11 million immigrants back “where they came from.” Does this not sound familiar to anyone?  It is absolutely terrifying to watch a political climate develop in the US, where every single woman wearing a Hijab has to fear for her life every time she leaves her house.

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