For Wednesday, October 3/ comments on Saunders

  1.  Finish Essay 1, print, and bring to class.
  2. If you haven’t, post SP3 on Moodle.
  3. Read Saunders, “Trump Days,” George Saunders’ report on Trump during the election season of 2016 (in Best American Magazine Writing 2017, page 131), and post a comment to this post with a reaction.

9 thoughts on “For Wednesday, October 3/ comments on Saunders”

  1. While reading a story like this a lot of things begin to run through my head. We live in a world where you can either be a full time republican or a full time democrat, seems like there is nothing to offer in the middle. As I began to read “Trump Days” by George Sanders I knew by the first paragraph exactly where the story was heading. As Sanders begins his piece by mocking the words of trump, the people who attend his rallies and what he is trying to do for the american people it was clear that there were alot of opinions going to be involved. From a writing stand point, Sanders does a great job bringing the reader in and letting them feel like they are living in the moment of these Trump rallies. His was able to personify the rally as if it had human emotion, and included every last detail about how one would go. This is important to the reader becuase it allows us to stay engaged and follow along with the story.

    On the other hand I felt as if this piece had accomplished nothing but the continuation of the ever so divided poltics in our country. I am making it evidently clear that I do not agree with what the Trump supporters did to the young 17 year old girl by becoming physical but I am not shocked. I could not vote when Obama ran for president in his last election and if I could have I still would not have since I supported Mitt Romney. With that said, I would never waste my time being only an aggitator at an Obama rally with my only goal to get underneath someone else’s skin and create issues by shouting hurtful things. Although I did not agree with Obama’s Politics I am also smart enough to undertstand he is twice the man Donald Trump would ever be in most aspects of life. I undertsnd trump is a narcist which is tough to support at times but as he is the president of our nation I feel we should do what we can to support him as I did during Obama’s eight year rain.

    The polarization of politics in our country is an edpidemic that needs to be controlled very shortly before we are unable to come back from damages created. One line in specific that stood out to me in the story came on page 133, “He is not trying to persuade, detail or prove: He is trying to thrill, agitate, be liked, be loved here and now” (Sanders/133). This stood out to me because Trump is a president we have never seen before. Throwing politcal correctness out the window, tapping into the communities of our country who have never been heard from, and simply just never being able to predict what he does. A man who is only familiar with a bussiness background and nothing involing politics may be a refreshing change for our country. With the continuation of capitalism instead of shifting towards a more socialist/communist nation like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton set out to see creates a great working enviorment for the people of our country.


  2. Reading this article was very disheartening. Being a few years removed from all of the violent and rowdy campaign events leading up to the 2016 election, I almost forgot how troubling it was to hear about the way Americans were acting. Trump was able to exploit of a large portion of the country and channel their anger towards those they perceived to be outsiders rather than the institutions and politicians that are actually responsible for this country’s shortcomings. He emboldened and radicalized American citizens, leading them to engage in physical violence and screaming matches with people who have different opinions. Nothing will ever get resolved if this is way we continue to handle opposing views. Liberals must also come to this realization as well, or the divide Trump and his team have strategically exacerbated will persist for years to come. As it pertains to the way in which Saunders wrote the article, I found it to be very honest. He owns up to his biases, even drawing attention to the fact that he was upset when he found out that the Trump supporters were actually right about government assistance under Obama. As objective as some of us may believe ourselves to be, we all experience some kind of desire to be right, such as Saunders in his example. He also argues that it is satisfying and ego-boosting to get news from sources that reaffirm our pre-existing beliefs, which is so true.


  3. In “Trump Days,” George Sanders uses brief anecdotes and short profiles of people he met at Trump rallies to explain why Trump was so popular despite his obvious shortcomings. Just about all of the Trump supporters whom Sanders writes about are resentful and feel cheated, even though most have no reason to feel that way. My initial reaction was that Sanders has so much evidence that he must be correct. Then, I thought about the article some more and came to a different conclusion. Sanders neither likes nor respects Trump, so he cannot understand why any “normal” person would support him. I feel the same way honestly. However, I am not writing an article for The New Yorker. Sanders is, so he has a responsibility to do a better job explaining the roots of Trump’s support. The fact is that Trump won, and he would not have unless millions of “normal” people voted for him. There must be a lot of people who believed that electing Trump would help the country. Perhaps they thought that Trump would do a better job creating jobs and helping poor people. It seems strange that Sanders did not come across any of these people at any rally he went to. Sanders confirmed stereotypes, but his article would have been much better if he had challenged them.


  4. I appreciate how George Saunders portages Trump in this profile. He made it clear that Trump isn’t trying to persuade anyone, rather he just wants to be liked. I like how Saunders used a lot of analogies and anecdotes from other profiles that were short and sweet, and able to make a point. I agree with his insight about how while Trump is constantly on thin ice and pushing social boundaries, it’s intriguing to watch someone always be on the edge like that. His argument that Trump may not be this strategic master mind we think he is made me think. The audience doesn’t know if that’s really him doing all of this scheming or if it’s his alter ego or someone behind the scenes.


  5. This article was super interesting for me. Reading about the people who go to Trump rallies and how both sides are portraying the worst of what they support shows a very nuanced view from what is typically seen. Most reporters will give their readers a sense that they do not like Trump, and because of that will put an incredible amount of bias in their piece. So most of the time when I read about Trump, I come away thinking that he is nonredeemable and evil. However, “Trump Days” shows him not as an evil man out to get anyone, but just as a person stating his opinions. One of the reasons that it feels so understanding of his side is because the author went to great lengths to show how both supporters and protesters do bad things. He mentions how multiple Trump supporters threatened to shoot a veteran in the back of the head simply because he was for immigration. In another case, a Trump protester was stated to have nothing but insults and hatred for a group of supporters. I think that this article was not about which side is right, but rather how someone who is honest and plays to the media can rile people up in the worst ways possible.


  6. As I read Sanders Essay on Trump, the conclusion I came up with is that people supporting Trump were not influenced by Trump’s views or that he changed their mindsets. One trans woman said on page 160, “a trans woman said, “people get afraid, and nobody wants to feel afraid. But if you get angry, you feel empowered. Trump is playing on people’s fears to get them angry, which return makes us the other side feel fearful…it will continue even if Trump is out of the equation.” Absolutely, I agree with what she said to a certain extent.
    Trump supporters already had these thoughts of a whiter America, where immigrants are taking their jobs and their country. Trump is just feeding their hate, fear and hopes for the future. And as for Trump he is playing a great role in encouraging their desires of a whiter America. Another thing that was quite interesting to me what Sanders said about it being a variety of Trump supporters, I personally viewed all Trump supporters as racist, sexist and bigots but it seems that some of them do not agree completely with all of his views but he embodies some of the views they believe in if not all. Yet, I still don’t see them as the “good guys” or the few trumpies that are not bigots. Whether they support only a few of Trump’s views or not, the moment they vote for him, it doesn’t make them any less than those trumpies who vote for him because of the Wall he promised to build.

    Another thing I realized while reading “Trump’ Days” is when one of the trumpies said on page 158, “we don’t want you. We don’t want your racism.” because a native american guy was jokingly saying “make america white again.” It’s like they don’t realize that they are being racist with all the things they support and say. They don’t seems to recognize that they are offending others and what they are doing wrong and that is a problem because it means they will continue to fight anyone who is not one of them and they will not listen to anyone else who is on their side and they support every other political figure who is for he kind of America where the White “are in control” again.


  7. One of the things Sanders brings up and gives examples of that I find really interesting is Liberals reacting in a rude and aggressive way towards the Trump supporters at rallies, as well as the liberal reaction as a whole to the Trump movement. It’s clear that the democratic party was not effective in opposition to Trump, their meek and stick to the facts based approach did little to quell the tide of support growing for him amongst conservatives. It leads me to wonder however, what was the best response for democrats to Trump as a presidential candidate. What other options are there that might have been better? Stooping to his level is one, Rubio made a pretty terrible attempt at it during the primaries though, and it didn’t go great for him. Also, Republicans have a habit of not holding themselves to the same standards that they hold others, or to the same standards that Democrats hold themselves. The development of the Kavanaugh appointment in comparison to their refusal to even give Merrick Garland, Obama’s choice a shot is just one of many instances where that is evident. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t quite seem like the Democrats have a clear idea of how to respond and battle back against Trump. Trump has practically are began campaigning for the 2020 election, and there appears to not even be any clear candidates on the Democratic side whatsoever, at least none with any national renown.


  8. This article has a very clear structure and is very convictive. At the beginning, it shows what is trump going to do during his tenure, like Illegal Immigration issues and GDP. Meanwhile, the writer mentioned what did Obama do, and he concluded that Obama did not finish any one promising during his tenure. Compared with Obama, Trump may be more believable, and he lists and tries to solve some terrible social issues, specially Illegal immigration and Economic problems.


  9. Saunders has a way of writing that captures his audience and sets them within the scene he is portraying. I found the article, “Trump Days” completely enthralling. I was pulled in, both by the vivid descriptions Saunders uses as well as the subtle humor. His writing style is truly one to look up to. Throughout the article, I found myself surprised at the ways in which Saunders portrayed conservatives, and how this portrayal led me to a sense of understanding. The thread within the article, that liberals and conservatives are not as different as many people believe, was effectively communicated in a way that was extremely convincing.
    I found that Saunders’ depiction of Trump supporters hugely contributed to the sympathy that he generated. There’s something distinctly relatable about the characters that Saunders portrays. For example, the teenage boy who turns to, “take a Trump-including selfie, his smile taut, braces revealing, grimace like yet celebratory, evoking that circa 1950 photograph of a man in a high-velocity wind tunnel”. This description did an incredible job at humanizing the individuals that we see as so extreme in their views. Though there are many crazy people who support Trump, as Saunders points out , the majority of supporters are average people, who may be a bit confused about what they want.
    Additionally, I thought that Saunders did an excellent job at accepting the other side’s views. He was not stubborn about being wrong, in fact he accepts it with resigned defeat on page 141 during his discussion about welfare under Obama, exclaiming, “Damn it, they’re right.” Though he portrays himself as a liberal, he is able to accept the validity of the conservative views, and even expresses a time when he himself was a, “budding Republican, an Ayn Rand acolyte”.
    All of these things make Saunders’ writing highly effective, and his goal of understanding the viewpoints of the other side of politics is definitely achieved. Though liberal readers likely still oppose the views of Trump supporters, they are able to understand their point of view.


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