The Oberlin Review

Americans Must Resist Russian Influence

Editorial Board

February 23, 2018

In May 2016, as Donald Trump’s campaign snowballed into a force of nature, a quiet conversation at the Kensington Wine Rooms between George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor to the campaign, and Australian diplomat Alexander Downer took on the distinct scent of a smoking gun. Having overindulged in the establishment’s titular offering, Papadopoulos mentioned to Downer that Joseph Mifsud — a professor with connections to Russia — had indicated that the foreign government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, instigating a push to connect Trump to Russian efforts to discredit the Democratic candidate. Downer was not the confidant Papadopoulos may have expected, and provided the tip that would kick off a clandes...

Brazile Revelations Must Be Carefully Evaluated

Xander Kott, Contributing Writer

November 10, 2017

Donna Brazile, the former interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, made waves last week by publishing an excerpt of her new book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House. Brazile asserts that her book tells some “hard truths.” The book, published Tuesday, Nov. 7, makes a number of explosive claims about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Among those claims is that the DNC made an unethical, but legal, agreement with the Clinton campaign, stipulating that Clinton would be given near-complete control of the party in exchange for fundraising and financial support. The agreement was signed by Amy Dacey, former CEO of the DNC, and Robb...

Stalinist Left Attempts to Silence Free Speech

Bob Gross, Oberlin Visitor

February 10, 2017

To the Editors: As much as those on the left see Trump as a Hitler in the White House, moderates like myself see the left as wanting a Stalin in the White House. In Stalin’s Soviet Union, speaking the truth resulted in a prison sentence — perhaps even execution. In a Stalinist manner, the left uses political correctness to silence free speech and dissenting thought, even willing to use violence against anyone who differs from them. In Stalin’s Soviet Union, the people believed the government was lying to them and government propaganda was printed in the newspapers. Except for the leftists in this country, the people didn’t believe what Hillary Clinton was telling them during her campaign, and they also be...

U.S. Should Rely on Constitution in Turbulent Times

Amber Scherer, Contributing Writer

February 3, 2017

In the months since the presidential election, I have heard people question our system of democracy. This is understandable, as the democratic process led to a result that many find abhorrent and in conflict with the United States’ core values. However, as we seek ways to resist Trump and move forward, we must follow the leads of former President Barack Obama, former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and commit ourselves to abiding by the Constitution. From the moment the election results were announced, Obama and Clinton have been two of the staunchest advocates for a peaceful transition of power. Clinton accepted her loss in a stirring concession speech, aski...

Standing Rock Serves as Model for Future Protests

Editorial Board

December 9, 2016

In a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday that it would reroute the Dakota Access Pipeline away from native land. Though the Sioux’s success is still tentative — President-elect Donald Trump could pressure the Army to reverse the decision when he takes office — the announcement is a direct reflection of the power of public protest. The Standing Rock Sioux and their collaborators from other native tribes — “water protectors” — led a highly effective protest campaign against the construction of a pipeline that would have risked pollution of their water and destroyed sacred sites. They drew thousands of allies to the camp in frigid temperatures. They remai...

Media Dismisses Needs of Trump Voters

Ben Silverman, Contributing Writer

November 18, 2016

Soon after election night wrapped up, while the U.S. grimaced and closed the book on the last year and a half, The New York Times issued a letter to its readers addressing the shock and confusion left in the wake of Nov. 8. It included a promise to “rededicate” the paper to the mission of reporting on the world honestly. This letter was necessary. The projections by various media and research organizations, with the Times at the forefront, were in consensus about the likelihood of Hillary Clinton’s victory. Columnists and statistical projections in the Times and The Washington Post slammed Trump’s disorganized campaign while the beaten-down, discontented rural counties of the U.S. rumbled underneath. The Univers...

Democratic Party Must Consider Needs of Trump Voters

Amber Scherer, Contributing Writer

November 18, 2016

I worked for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign for several months leading up to the election. It was surprisingly fun work and, as a generally introverted first-year, a big help to transitioning me to life away from home. But I saw a lot that frustrated and upset me. On one campaign trip, I heard students jeer “Killary!” and “Grab her by the pussy!” at my co-workers. Some campaign workers ignored it; others responded in kind. I heard things from both sides that genuinely frightened me. This is all to say that the vitriol and division of the campaigns were in no way exclusive to the candidates themselves. We view these politicians as so powerful — almost as something more than human — but they’re on...

College juniors Jasper Sims (left) and Jesse Docter react to Donald Trump winning the U.S. Presidency at the ‘Sco’s election viewing party Tuesday. Many returned home before the event ended.

Election Day Rattles Oberlin as Trump Prevails

November 11, 2016

Waves of fear and shock spread across campus Tuesday night as an unlikely reality set in: Donald Trump is going to be America’s next president. More than 300 students attended the ‘Sco’s election watch party, many of whom sat in tearful silence with head in hands as Trump won every crucial battleground state. Crowds in the ’Sco and Azariah’s mustered occasional cheers when Hillary Clinton took brief leads, but the events eventually ended with students returning home distraught, some loudly co...

Oberlin Must Not Settle for Silence in Wake of Election

Editorial Board

November 11, 2016

Despite a commendable effort by Hillary Clinton supporters, Lorain County went red on Tuesday by fewer than 400 votes. Though many Oberlin students are devastated by the result, for many in nearby residences, President-elect Donald Trump was the clear choice. Now more than ever, we must take advantage of our own voices and campus resources to take a stand both on campus and in surrounding communities. Just because the election is over does not mean students should stop mobilizing against injustice, especially as hateful acts surge. No progress will be made by sitting back and hoping things will work out; the fear and hatred that has pervaded our country cannot be normalized or ignored. It is our responsibility to pea...

Cynical Politics Must Not Overwhelm Hope

Anjali Kolachalam, Contributing Writer

November 11, 2016

Like many of you on campus today, I am still coming to terms with what happened Tuesday. What happened being, of course, that the U.S. elected Donald Trump as our next president. Even writing out that sentence makes me sick. To cope, I rewatched several of President Barack Obama’s speeches, including the one he gave at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. That was the first time we heard him say “the audacity of hope.” Hope certainly requires audacity, now more than ever. It will take more bravery, courage in our convictions and love in our hearts to survive and thrive under a man who does not care about us. A man who, in his first 100 days of office, threatened to cancel every executive action Presiden...

Activism Necessary to Resist Trump Presidency

Maureen Coffey, Business Manager

November 11, 2016

I never really considered the implications of a Donald Trump presidency until Tuesday. I knew he was running. I watched his speeches, rallies and debates. All of the signs were there, and yet until early Wednesday morning, I had not truly considered a Trump presidency. We can — and I’m sure many will — spend the next several years debating what went wrong: Sexism? A whiter electorate than expected? FBI Director James Comey’s late reopening of Clinton’s email case? But no answer will change the outcome. Our government is a democracy. For better or for worse, our president is chosen neither by their résumé nor their objectively calculated costs and benefits. They are elected by the American people. On Tuesd...

Students Reject Dissenting Opinions

Melissa Harris, Production Editor

November 11, 2016

Obies and their family members congregated in the Carnegie Building’s Root Room to hear NPR Radiolab host Robert Krulwich, OC ’69, give a talk titled “Oberlin Itches, So I Scratch: A Private 50 Year Fight With My College” at The Friends of the Library’s annual dinner Saturday night. While Krulwich may have graduated nearly 50 years ago, his speech made me recognize a timeless quality about Oberlin: the love-hate relationship that so many Obies foster with this college. I’ve experienced wave after wave of immense admiration and disdain for this institution, and Krulwich’s speech finally articulated those feelings for me. He stressed how, when he was at Oberlin, he was conflicted because his views — n...

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