Following the recent editorial published by the Wellesley College Republicans regarding their decision to remain neutral in this election and in the interest of furthering campus-wide political discourse, the Wellesley College Democrats would like to issue a response to the aforementioned article. As a political organization ourselves, we are sympathetic to the challenging position that the majority of the Republican party — and, by extension, the Wellesley College Republicans — finds itself in.
We furthermore recognize and respect the important role that the Wellesley College Republicans plays as an organization on this campus, providing a platform for diverse thought and discussion. That being said, we are disappointed that the Republicans will not be denouncing Donald Trump.
We believe that holding our candidates accountable is an integral part of our job as a political organization. While we support Hillary Clinton, we are also among the first to recognize that she does not represent a perfect candidate. We acknowledge that no candidate — Hillary included — can fully embody the totality of viewpoints and values of the Democratic party as a whole, nor those of our own organization. With that in mind, we believe that regardless of party affiliation, when any individual’s actions, remarks or policies are harmful, it is our obligation to address these issues.
It is for this reason that we are disappointed by the Wellesley College Republicans’ decision to remain neutral. They cite a tradition of neither endorsing nor renouncing Republican candidates, with particular reference to Mitt Romney, as a justification of their choice. While we respect this tradition, we feel that this election — and this candidate — have fallen so far out of the norm as to require a different approach.
Donald Trump has repeatedly issued statements that are racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic and misogynistic. Just in the past two weeks, a video has surfaced of him bragging about sexually assaulting women, and multiple women have accused him of doing so. He constantly criminalizes people of color and has proposed banning Muslims from the country and enacting a deportation force. He poses a very real threat to all too many members of our community. We, as citizens of a nation that is rendered stronger and richer by its diversity, cannot stand for this type of violent and offensive rhetoric.
Especially in light of the events of these past weeks, and considering that several prominent Republican lawmakers have already disavowed Trump, it is our hope that the Wellesley College Republicans will reconsider their position and renounce Trump themselves. If they cannot do so, we at least hope they will recognize the implications of their neutrality for the members of our own Wellesley community.
Wellesley College Democrats