OPINION: D and R: No Moral Leg to Stand On

Photo credit: BBC

As Clinton and Trump prepared for their second debate Sunday night, many questions surrounding the debate were geared around an 11-year old tape that shows Trump making lewd and inappropriate comments towards women.

The national media has taken this latest scandal and turned it into a multi-arc event analyzing and dissecting every second of information regarding the latest news on Trump. While Clinton surrogates and mainstream media have and will continue take the opportunity to paint their candidate with a brush of sainthood, It’s important to note that both candidates are morally bankrupt.

An election, which should have been about candidates and their ideas for taxes, the economy, jobs, and terrorism, has turned into a battle of insults and putdowns. Clinton and Trump have effectively ditched the golden age of manners and morals in politics. Long gone are the disagreements of ideas and policies. This election cycle has introduced a new form of discourse only seen on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Anyone suggesting that their respective candidate has the moral grounds to be President of the United States has effectively become the pot calling the kettle black.

Donald Trump has shown that he is like many businessmen in corporate America. He uses every tool afforded to him to be the most profitable businessman possible. This includes claiming losses and using loopholes. Is it legal? Yes, it is. Is it morally just? That is a question that experts need to determine. Did he break the law? According to tax laws and the IRS, no.

He has repeatedly shown that he is a serial philanderer as he has openly admitted to cheating on his wives. He has made crude and inappropriate comments on an almost daily basis with regards to women. Is it legal? Yes. Is it morally just? No.

Is this new to the Donald Trump we have come to know in the years prior to his presidential run? No. These comments made by Trump are not new to the American public. If we look at the entertainment industry that Trump was once and still is a part of, we see a similar pattern.

Rappers like Kanye West and Jay Z, T-Pain and 2-Chainz have been spewing the same vulgar language for years and have collectively made billions for it. Women become famous in our society for their sex tapes a la Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. Books like 50 Shades of Grey become best-sellers with 80 million copies sold.

Donald Trump hosted a very popular show for several years called “The Apprentice” which had high ratings, even when using language very similar to the comments balked at by the left. Should we be surprised that it has finally seeped into our politics? No, we would be foolish to think so.

As a culture and society, we have given our time, our money, and our resources to promoting this kind of behavior. Therefore, when it seeps into our politics, we should not expect any less.

Hillary Clinton is no different. She has proven that she is a pathological liar.

She consistently switches her stance on various issues depending on what office she holds or is running for and who her audience is. She has lied about her support for gay marriage, her support for criminal justice reform, her stance on TPP, her stance on Wall Street , her view on the millennial generation.

During her time at the State Department, $6 billion dollars went unaccounted for and there still no answer on how it was spent.

We could go into the ethical, moral and treasonous decisions she made regarding the email scandal. We could talk about her own shaming of women who accused her husband, a man in a place of public trust, of affairs, sexual assault, and rape.

We can also have a discussion of how the Clinton campaign changed their stance on sexual assault by removing the phrase, “women have the right to be believed” from their website.  We could also talk about the time that she defended a 41-year old man who raped a 12-year old girl, writing in an official court document that the young girl “fantasizes about older men.” She even laughed about the situation when recalling it later on in her life.

Did Hillary Clinton break any laws during any of these scenario’s? No. She never broke the law according to law enforcement. She was never brought up on any charges. Did Clinton make morally just decisions? It depends on your morals, but I would personally have to say no.

The type of behavior displayed by both candidates is, in the words of our candidates, deplorable and disgusting.

So to Republicans and Democrats who are currently having conversations about why their respective candidate is better than the other, please be reminded of these wise words, “he who has no sin, cast the first stone.”

To mainstream media, if you’re going to talk about one candidates misdeeds, I expect you to do the same for the other.
Both candidates this cycle have shown that morals and manners no longer have a place in political discourse. So of November 8th, when you look at your ballot with pen in hand, do not make your decision thinking that your party has the moral upper hand, because neither party will have a leg to stand on.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.