The Oberlin Review

Toxic Masculinity and the 2020 Election

Walter Thomas-Patterson

October 9, 2020

The most recent presidential debate was a case study in the desperation of a losing president and the perils of toxic masculinity. The debate was roundly and rightfully criticized for having little substance — yet it provided the American people with an unvarnished and relatively unbiased look at what happens when an alpha-male mentality clashes with the realities of the year 2020. Trump’s ability to promote his distinctly alpha-male personality was an asset while he operated as an outsider candidate in 2016. He was not constrained by the general sense of decorum and emotional restraint that defined successful American presidents. Trump had spent decades developing a mix of narcissism, recklessness, and impuls...

Local Democratic candidates opened a Biden campaign office in downtown Oberlin last weekend.

Biden Campaign Office Opens in Oberlin

October 2, 2020

Last weekend, Ohio State Representative Joe Miller opened a campaign office for former Vice President Joe Biden in downtown Oberlin. He aims to help oust Trump and elect Ohio Democratic candidates down the ballot, such as those running for Congress, County Commissioner, State Representative, and other positions. The office opened on Sept. 26 and was funded by Miller’s campaign for re-election to the 56th State Congressional District. At the opening event, Miller highlighted how a Biden campaig...

First Presidential Debate Favored Spectacle Over Substance

Kate Fishman, Managing Editor

October 2, 2020

We’ve all learned a lot about spatial relations this year — I think, by now, most of us can measure six feet by sight. During Tuesday night’s trainwreck of a debate, though, I was thinking about spatial relations in a new way. There was just so much to see — Joe Biden continuing to turn to speak directly to YOU, the American people, his gaze trained on the camera; Donald Trump squared off against Biden, or pouting down into his podium. And of course, moderator Chris Wallace, seated many feet away from the candidates standing and fighting far above him.  Most people who have done any sort of teaching or mentoring work know the importance of spatial orientation in communication — literally getting on someo...

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