Friday, 21 October 2016

Why Donald Trump isn't as 'Bad' as you think

As an avid self-proclaiming political analyst (aka politics geek) and marketing major, I feel like I have some sort of duty to defend the most hated presidential nominee in 2016 (or possibly, in history). I realize that this blog post is not going to be popular one with many controversial remarks and so I just ask that you take all 'discretionary warnings' into mind before you make your text-heavy comments. I also want to add that in business school, or any post-secondary school in that matter, it is highly required that all papers are backed by solid, reliable research, resources, and contain legitimate material. I plan to do no different with this article. Now, with all that being said, please read the following trigger warning:
Content Warning: you may not agree with the content of this article. I, the author, understand that by posting this article publicly, there will be inevitable backlash. I, the author, ask that all readers who wish to comment their position or remarks to conduct them professionally by being respectful, non-vulgar, and humble. I, the author, will go to great lengths to do the same.

Picture source:
I have been interested in politics for some time now. I have watched all three presidential debates (which I'm not claiming makes me educated) and have read a plethora of legitimate, neutral articles associated with the United States political regime and current situation. After watching the third and final debate however, I opened up my social media account(s) and was very surprised to find so many angry and resentful people towards Donald Trump. Not that there wasn't hate towards Trump before then - there was plenty - but the fact that so many people feel like he absolutely lost the debate because of his lack of remarks in particular, makes me cringe.

During the final debate, I was analyzing Trump's mannerisms. Compared to the last two debates, I actually found Trump to be quite cool and collected. An author at the Guardian seems to agree, "tonight, however, we saw a much more disciplined candidate. Trump stuck to the issues and forced Hillary to talk policy and – quite frankly – she had her worst debate performance" (Barron, 2016). There were minimal interruptions made by Trump (compared to the first two debates) and he didn't stray too much into personal attacks and focused on attempting to answer the questions asked. One particular question that has the media up in arms however, is the lack of words Donald verbalized about accepting the election results.

I am not entirely sure why this was a total shock and abomination posed by the media. For the entirety that Trump has been running in the election, he has made it clear that he (and quite possibly most of his supporters) believe the election is "rigged". I actually give Trump credit for not directly claiming the words, "I won't accept the results" when the question was asked at the final debate. This strategy isn't new to any realm of political speeches - often times when a difficult question is asked, politicians bounce around and beat around the bush when answering. Clinton is just as guilty as Trump (if we're still upset that he used such as strategy) when using this escape approach. So why all the obstruction towards Trump?

Taking political parties aside for a moment, I have a simple answer: because Hillary is easily the most likable candidate. In terms of qualifications and experience, Hillary Clinton surpasses Trump despite not finding any solid articles that can confirm the so-many-propositions proposed by celebrities supporting Clinton and even Barack Obama himself claiming, "she's the most qualified candidate to run for presidency" - which, if I may add, is an absurd assumption. Nonetheless,given the benefit of the doubt that she is indeed the most qualified, she is also a "people's person". Her speeches, whether it's rallies or the debates themselves, contain messages that she's, "for the people", often dropping heart-warming words such as 'women', 'children', 'families', 'gay rights', 'women's rights', and so on. She also favors among American women, "Clinton has assiduously courted women, with the historic nature of her candidacy, economic policies such as expanded family leave and a promise to bridge political divides" (CBS DC, 2015). These lovey-dovey speeches, despite some lies and hypocrisies hidden beneath her promises and propositions, win support over those that may sway to her side or be sitting on the fence. Not to mention, many feminists would love to see the first ever women president of United States finally happen regardless of who it is.

There are many skills and strategies that are taught in business and public relations classes that effectively teach students to persuade the audience in their favour. One of many of these skills is the ability to incorporate these types of trigger words. For example, if you're trying to persuade an audience concerned about the health of their families to buy your cleaning product, you'd want to emphasize words such as "safe", "clean", "chemical-free", etc.. It seems to be common sense, but many speakers lack this skill - including Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton nor the democratic party is by no means stupid when it comes to preparing speeches that win audiences over. You just have to listen to any speech given by Barack Obama to be easily mesmerized by his words and wonder. Where many voters go wrong though, in my opinion, is they confuse being a great speaker to being equal with being a good president - an irrevocable mistake.

But there's more to it then just bad public (not to mention, private) speaking skills. Donald Trump has been accused of being racist, hateful, and vindictive among many, many other inscriptions. His latest derogatory statements that were caught on tape that ultimately sexualize, degrade, and humiliate women were that of an embarrassment to his campaign and to himself as a person - no doubt about it. The difference however, comes to defensive positions. Those for Trump unequivocally accept his apology and his position that it was simply, "locker room talk". Those against Trump gasp at this notion and flock to the idea that he is nothing more than a bigot and a pig. I support neither of these positions, however, I will state that the notion of it being "locker room talk" is not entirely an out-of-this-world excuse requisition.

Despite many famous athletes claiming that, "that's not what we talk about in the locker room," that still doesn't make the statement true. Keep in mind, the tape that Donald was stating the lewd comments was recorded in 2005. Since that year, many programs and domestic violence prevention initiatives (specifically involving locker room talk) were developed to counter a very common problem in sports. "The Be More Than a Bystander program is aimed at educating youth to speak up about violence and abuse against women" (Football Saskatchewan, 2016) and has only been implemented THIS YEAR. The fact is, it has only been the last decade that domestic violence (in sport) has come to our attention has a legitimate concern that we, as society, yearn to tackle by implementing such programs. Comments that Donald Trump made in 2005 would have been accepted as normal, likely the reason why the reporter has decided that maybe now is the time to release the tape. It is sad and should never have been seen as acceptable but the reality is that it would have been and Donald's apology was appropriate. He took responsibility, stated he was not proud of it, and gave a reason why he would say such a thing - 'locker room talk'. It's not a matter of whether what he said is justified or not, it's a matter of whether his excuse is legitimate or not. And in all honesty, the facts point to the latter. Comparing locker room talk in 2005 to locker room talk in 2016 is like comparing apples to oranges, not to mention there is still derogatory statements made in the locker room even in today's culture. To say there's not would be a hypocritical statement as then there would be no need or place for initiatives such as the 'Be More than a Bystander' program.

But I am in no way defending Trump's remarks, apologies, or other discriminatory statements. If there's one thing I want to achieve in this article is the mere fact that there's more to it than just the surface. Do not under-cut Trump and put Hillary on a pedestal because of it. It is to my understanding that the American people do not like either candidate and perhaps are being forced to favour one over the other. I ask that as a part of doing that approach, to reconsider the positional strategies of each candidate.

Donald Trump tells it like it is and has proven in the final debate that he is capable of keeping his composure and being careful with his words despite popular belief among some media and celebrities. His very opposite public relations and communications strategy compared to Clinton's is respected among most Americans that want honesty, to the point, and cut-the-BS approaches. His bluntness, despite harshness, has proven successful among his supporters and needs to be seen as such. He is not perfect by any means but that should not wholly constitute Hillary Clinton as being the 'lesser evil'. 

Just remember it's more than just Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump that is running for president. They are simply just faces of the parties they represent. Take a look at the policies. Take a look at the economic, social, and militarism agendas. Look beyond personal matters and ultimately the truth will surface and democracy will decide. I just hope that Americans will be able to vote enlightened by the truth and not simply by influenced feelings.



Barrons, C. (2016, October 20). Who won the third US presidential debate, Trump or Clinton?. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from

CBS DC. (2015, December 11). Hillary Clinton: We’ve Got To ‘Plant Love And Kindness’. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from

Football Saskatchewan. (2016). Be More Than a Bystander Saskatchewan. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Let's Talk

In honour of Bell Let's Talk tomorrow, I'll do my annual spill of mental health importance. It's hard for me to be vulnerable but if it means being able to reach out to one single person, then it's worth it. I've shared on here a bit about my story before but I think it's time for me to share a little bit more. It's been on my heart lately to share an 'update' on my mental state. If there is one thing I'd want you to take away from this is that (a) I'm not seeking sympathy and (b) this is very hard for me to write. I don't know how many times I've pressed down on the backspace button, wanting to forget about even posting this entry - but then I remember those who are suffering in silence, and that's no longer okay. 

As many of you know, I've been in Regina for just over three years now. It's been quite the journey and I love it. Regina has treated me well. I really enjoy it here. Does that mean I never miss my small town? Absolutely not. There is alot of things I miss that only those who have experienced a true small town know about. But I'm here now. And I'm glad for it. Regina has allowed me to accept Jesus Christ, establish lifelong relationships, and guide me in the direction I want to take my life. I've met some pretty amazing people - including more best friends than I ever had, growth in my family relationships, and hey, I even found myself a gentleman.

But not all things have been rainbows and unicorns. For as much as I thought Regina would fix me, there was still something up with me that I knew was not normal. For about a year now, I've been diagnosed with type II bipolar disorder with treatment for manic depression. This was so hard to accept. Between seeing doctors, drowning in psychologists, and a couple trips to the psychiatrist I've finally just accepted that there has always been something wrong with me. Cursing the chemicals in my brain, I had finally recognized the signs. Heck, I hit puberty when I was 8 years old. I stopped growing when I was 5'8" in grade 5. I didn't think the same as everyone else. The list of signs goes on... 

I didn't think I would ever find someone who would "get me". Many friends would pray for me but during the time in the valleys, I couldn't see the light. Accepting Jesus Christ as my saviour was the most important step I've ever made. If it wasn't for Jesus, I wouldn't have created the relationships I have here. If it wasn't for those relationships, I wouldn't have found a great psychologist. Without the great psychologist, I wouldn't know where I'd be today. Honestly, likely not here.

I'm doing much better now. I have improved significantly. But does that mean my days are all ice cream and rainbow sprinkles? Nope. I have hard days. I have days where I lay awake all night thinking about the darkness outside. I have days where I really just don't have the energy to do homework. I have days where I just can't bare the thought of even getting dressed for the day. Those days are dark, bleak, and frankly quite hopeless. 

Each one of those days are horrible. My whole body aches and I feel like I'm falling from the top of a skyscraper. But the feeling of falling isn't so much the problem - it's the feeling of knowing that eventually I'll land which will cause all the grief. That might not make sense to everyone. But for some it will. And I feel sorry.

But those days are fewer now. But I wouldn't be able to say that if I hadn't reached out for help. So if there is one thing that I want to encourage is that if you need help, if you're tired of being tired and you want to feel joy again - please reach out. Please. 
If you're doing great and life doesn't seem so bleak, then reach out to someone today who might not be doing so good as you. They need you. Trust me, I was one of those souls waiting for someone. It's worth someone's life.

So, Let's Talk. Because I care.