Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Feelings on Trump mixed among Calvin Republicans, choose not to endorse

Like many right-leaning Christians this year, the Calvin College Republicans have found Donald Trump to be an unsatisfactory candidate for president. The student organization has chosen not to endorse Trump.

“It really goes against all moral fibers of my being to endorse Donald Trump,” said Billy Fredericks, president of the Calvin College Republicans. Fredericks added that opinions about Trump among the leadership team are divided, so it didn’t make sense to issue an endorsement.

According to Fredericks, the mission of the Calvin College Republicans is “to spread a conservative message around campus” and to help people apply that message to real-world issues. The organization is a chapter of the College Republicans National Committee (CRNC) and the Michigan Federation of College Republicans (MFCR).

“I think it’s bad for our image to endorse such a toxic candidate,” Fredericks said, while also acknowledging that he didn’t want to make any political statements that would endanger the Calvin College Republicans’ good standing in the MFCR.

“There’s no good way to endorse a candidate this year,” Fredericks said. “If you’re seen by other Republicans as not endorsing Trump, you are essentially endorsing Hillary Clinton.” Partly for this reason, the group has chosen not to make any official statement about this election:

“I’d rather be in a position of neutrality than in a position against [other Republicans],” said Fredericks. “Regardless of who we support for president of the United States, we believe in the same principles.”

Fredericks said the organization has only been as active as it is currently for a few years, so there is no significant precedent for them endorsing or not endorsing Republican candidates. They haven’t actively campaigned for any Republicans in local, state or national office.

Another reason for staying out of the election, Fredericks said, is the poisonous quality of much current political dialogue:

“The rhetoric on both sides is too extreme. Regardless of who we elect, we’re still going to be the United States of America in four years. We’re still going to be one of the greatest nations. No one person can make that significant of a difference.”

But Fredericks also had a strong message for the party and the voting blocks that managed to get Trump nominated, especially with respect to ignoring societal problems like police brutality:

“I think conservative evangelicals and the Republican Party in general need to get their act together and wake up.”

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