Student Voice


February 26, 2024




Trump's first 100 days highlight spreading of fear, hate

April 26, 2017

Trump’s first 100 days have been anything but a success. I would characterize this first chunk of his rule by the 100 headaches I have succumbed to because of his antics or the 100 nights I have gone to bed worrying about what America would be like tomorrow.

It is cruel how distressing it is to be a witness to such dangerous incompetence while having the creator of this mess brag about how good of a job he believes he is doing.

The terrible events that have taken place during the first 100 days have strengthened in my mind just how potent and harmful the tactics and rhetoric of Trump and his minions have been on the country so far. It is true what they say about history repeating itself.

That tired cliché warns against the detrimental effects of how not knowing your history will doom you to repeat it. This lesson cannot be more applicable to the predicament in which we are all stuck today. Donald Trump is using standard and historic dictator-like fear strategies to prey on the basic uncertainties and insecurities of people across America.

As I have said, this style of rhetoric is nothing new, and America has a long history of using fear and preconceived prejudices to pit a certain group of people against another. We only have to look at Jim Crow laws, segregation, white supremacy, the red scare, racial bias, immigration and many more issues to see how fear was and is being used to elevate a chosen select group of people over another. Trump has not broken this shameful tradition, but encouraged it.

His talent for being able to proliferate and exaggerate fear among his followers has created an atmosphere in the United States where Trump has tricked people into believing that around every corner lurks someone, a non-white person by Trump’s standards, who is a crazed and murderous criminal. His ability to twist his supporters' minds into believing inaccuracies and downright lies is terrifying.

Since his campaign, tensions and certainly violence towards black, Latino, Jewish and Muslim people and anyone else who is not white have been escalating. Fear is being used to great effect to dehumanize people on both sides of this problem. This has served to make our already great country more divisive rather than more united as promised in so many of his campaign speeches.

For anyone who can look at another person who may not look like them and see that person as a threat and not as another human being, shame on you. Furthermore, how dare you let someone else, such as politicians, tell you what and how to think about someone who you know nothing about? Why have we stopped seeing all people as people with human rights? Why do we think we get to decide what other people deserve based on how they look or what religion, or lack thereof, they subscribe to?

The voices of many people that need to be heard are being drowned out and stomped on by those who have taken up the crusade of supremacy for which the president has continuously made common and acceptable.

It is up to us all to continuously self-analyze, employ empathy and seek out facts and truth to ensure that these type of fear tactics should not be made common and that it is never acceptable to treat people this way.

Lauren Simenson is a student at UW-River Falls.


Ben on 09 May 2017: Pot calling the kettle black? You're using fear tactics and unspecific straw men. What about the massive racial divisions we witnessed during Obama? Does that mean Obama was the direct cause of said division? I mean, after all, he opined on multiple investigations, namely, the Trayvon Martin case, and in these instances one could argue his words caused low police morale and heightened fears among BLM and their supporters, contributing to rioting, damage to property, boulders being hurled onto police from an overpass on I-94, etc.