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Opinion: Students react to The New York Times op-ed as well as POTUS

The American flag. (Najd Ayari/The Collegiate)

By Jack Hervela

An anonymous essay titled, “I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” appeared Wednesday in the New York Times delivering a blistering assessment of the current presidency from within the White House.

Penned by an apparent senior White House official, it conveys a message of solidarity through assurance that even Trump’s cabinet is, “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

A lone illustration depicts America teetering West Wing first into oblivion, desperately anchored by four people. The essay’s message is direct with scathing undertones of distaste toward the president’s politics and ability to protect the country from ruin.

Trump was quick to respond late Wednesday speaking on camera and taking to Twitter, sending out an ominous “TREASON” at 6:15 p.m.

He even went on to call the author of the essay “gutless” and referred to the Times once again as “the Failing New York Times” in his responses on Twitter.

His responses were delivered in a knee-jerk gun-slinging rhetoric Trump is known for as he questioned the existence of an anonymous senior official. Trump fervently denied any “quiet resistance” from staff, yet turned to Twitter on and off over 48 hours to give his perspective on what was said.

As of late Wednesday, 24 top officials sided with Trump, denying any connection to the article.

In one of the most volatile political climates in recent memory, hearing any effort from Trump’s cabinet to provide understanding would seem crazy; let alone reality in the context of the Times article.

As our nation fell into a new paradigm of political discourse, The Collegiate stepped out to understand how students were reacting.

Anika Eubanks had not heard much about the article, yet took time to read it before sharing her thoughts about it with The Collegiate. The 18-year-old Grand Rapids native said she “didn’t know” how to feel after reading it.

This answer was common among three other students who did not want to be named. They did not know of the article and did not care to learn more or, as one questioned angrily, “why do we have to keep talking about all of this?”

Without having read the article or having heard of it, Carson Harper, a 19-year-old Rockford resident recited frustrations found in the essay. “It seems like (the president) doesn’t really know what he’s doing completely, I guess,” Harper said. “Or maybe even going against his officials, what they’re telling him to do, so he’s going with his gut instead of what he should be doing.”

Regardless of political persuasion, this article has far-reaching implications. A senior white house official, a confidant to arguably the most erratic man in global politics, has put their career on the line to exercise the First Amendment in a way Trump has fought hard to drown.

Most importantly, someone in the Trump administration has shown America a truly insurrectionary act of resistance.  

Editor’s note: Collegiate staffers Matthew Scheidel, Aaron Stoner and Tatiana Diaz contributed to this report.

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