Loud Presidents Can Be Dangerous, But Silent Presidents Can Be Deadly

Loud Presidents Can Be Dangerous, But Silent Presidents Can Be Deadly

Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan are two sides of an incredibly similar coin.
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As our country grapples with the leadership style of President Donald Trump, whose unfiltered comments and loud, abrasive manner leave many to view him as dangerous, it is important to acknowledge that it is easy to fall into the trap of honing in on his mistakes, since he is the sitting president, and he is loud and brazen when articulating his controversial views.

Our country has witnessed many different leaders: those who were forced to choose how and when to strong-arm other nations (former President Franklin D. Roosevelt), others who adopted a laissez-faire approach to economic decisions (former President Herbert Hoover) and still those who inherited social crises that their predecessor did not properly address (former President George H. W. Bush).

When we consider presidents of the past, it is also important to keep in mind that Trump is not the first one to make a controversial judgment call. As someone who has great difficulty accepting Trump’s policies, actions and leadership, I feel that it is crucial to not glorify past presidents in an effort to magnify Trump’s shortcomings. In doing so, we risk succumbing to social amnesia.

Yes, his propensity for voicing his rhetoric in a loud manner is dangerous, but it only takes superficial research — or recollection if you are old enough — to identify that a silent president is as troubling, if not more dangerous.

The 100,000 AIDS cases that were reported, yet barely acknowledged, by July 1989 speak to that sentiment.

Historians, politicians and the general public largely admire former President Ronald Reagan for his numerous strides made during his two terms in office. He is recognized for his “contribution to the level of world peace” and his commitment to the War on Drugs, to name just two. However, there seems to be little to no discussion about the fact that he was president “for nearly five years before he said the word ‘AIDS’ in public.”

Perhaps even worse, it took Reagan seven years before he gave a speech on the health crisis that claimed the lives of a tremendous amount of individuals.

If when Trump leaves office he is greatly admired despite his role as the modern-day ostracizer of minority groups, he will follow in the footsteps of Reagan who blazed the trail with his refusal to address the AIDS epidemic in a timely fashion. It is important to accentuate the positives of any president’s time in office.

These highlights must be acknowledged, but not in lieu of all that was mishandled or ignored.

It is also foolish to disregard those with whom our leaders surround themselves. For Reagan, archival audio of press secretary Larry Speakes and journalist Lester Kinsolving was released in Scott Calonico’s 2015 short documentary, “When AIDS Was Funny.” The documentary includes numerous excerpts from press conferences throughout the 80’s, but the following excerpt is from a conference held in 1982:

KINSOLVING: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement — the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that A-I-D-S is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?
SPEAKES: What’s A-I-D-S?
KINSOLVING: Over a third of them have died. It’s known as “gay plague.” (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it’s a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?
SPEAKES: I don’t have it. Do you? (Laughter.)
KINSOLVING: No, I don’t.



People will argue and say that the 80’s were “different times” and that people “didn’t know what we know today”, but there is no disguising the hate and disgust in Speakes’ voice. Additionally, it is impossible to deny that the press room as a whole was a disgraceful instance of homophobia not only exhibited, but also embraced.

Nonetheless, despite the lack of awareness or care regarding the Reagan Administration’s ability to properly respond to the AIDS epidemic, there are still many in the LGBTQ community who rightfully condemn Reagan and those around him for his silence and longstanding lack of acknowledgment. There are also those who go as far to say that Reagan in some capacity assisted in the murder of hundreds of thousands of people.

I cannot say that I disagree.

Murder comes down to premeditation. While it may be next-to-impossible to prove that the Reagan Administration was unaware of the AIDS epidemic initially, there is no justification in waiting more than five years to acknowledge the crisis, especially once the CDC made the statistics public.

Moreover, given that the epidemic not only claimed the lives, but also stigmatized gay men, it simply adds another layer, especially when listening to the audio and recognizing that neither Speakes, nor Kinsolving were treating the community who was largely exposed to the disease with any compassion or human decency.

It is unlikely that Trump’s leadership style will change. All the same, many of us will continue to complain about the way that Trump speaks and behaves until our words echo in our ears alongside his own.

The truth of the matter is, a silent president can be even deadlier.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?

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Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:



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