Is Fear Real Power?

When President Trump spoke with renowned reporters Bob Woodward and Carlos Lozada in 2016, he said: “Real power is – I don’t even want to use the word – fear.”

Fear tactics implemented by the current administration affects college students directly and indirectly in more ways than one, beginning with what Woodward calls “emotionally overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader[s].”

The president’s turbulent behavior is what’s responsible for the administration’s main product- fear. The president’s chief of staff, John F. Kelly, told Woodward “He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in crazytown.” Similar to many others questioned, Kelly quickly denied his criticisms when Woodward’s book was released.

In “Fear”, Woodward and Lozada quote an interaction in which a friend of President Trump’s had in which he told him “you’ve got to deny deny deny and push back on these women. If you admit anything and any culpability, then you’re dead.”

Amidst the recent hearings and confirmation of Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who allegedly sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at a high school party 30 years ago, the president recently decried it “a scary time for young men.” A rule to be finalized in 2019 by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and President Trump, revoking the preponderance of evidence of sexual assault on campus, an Obama-era rule. Although cases would require even more evidence, colleges will be held accountable for less cases if the victim doesn’t report it to a school official and takes place off campus.

Critic Clive James said Woodward “checks his facts until they weep with boredom,”- a testament to the reporter’s credibility- with Woodward further cementing his committment to the facts through an investigative history with eight other presidents, numerous documented collections of interviews, and large bodies of transcripts and dates. Despite Woodward’s impressive reputation, however, President Trump during an Oval Office interview called Fear “a work of fiction.”

Trump’s rhetoric is designed to turn the public against the media and the accountability reputable news sources provide, calling them “enemies of the people.” He’s even gone as far as to use his supporters at rallies to bully and antagonize working journalists who haven’t praise him and his actions, such as Jim Acosta of CNN, at a Florida rally.

Last September, Barack Obama condemned Trump’s behavior, reminding us that despite conservative media, such as Fox News, insulting him during his presidency, he never “advocated to silence their voices.” The president tweeted shortly after, “They purposely cause great division and distrust. They can also cause War!” A Knight-Gallop report found that only one-third of Americans now see news media in a positive light; a number of factors contribute to this belief, such as partisanship and varying perceptions of “fake news”.

Inciting hate has become part of the president’s repertoire- and when he’s held accountable for it, his White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is there to “deny deny deny”. Since his election, U.S Department of Education discovered an increase in reported hate crimes on campuses by 25 percent in 2016, with many of the cases referencing the president himself. In 2018, a Wayne State University student allegedly pulled a knife on student activists, in which one of them recalls the student saying “I think all immigrants should be deported or killed.”

Woodward’s neutrality draws concern to him as parts of his book leaked and “Fear” became a number one seller because of pre-orders: “I think people better wake up to the nature of the war on truth and consequence.”

Cypress College students can visit the school’s website under “experience” to “student life” for those who are seeking to educate themselves and connect and or join clubs to enrich their knowledge what it takes to make a positive impact on those around them. The “health center” tab under “services” is also offers professional help from practitioners, therapists, hotline operators, and campus police to those affected directly by harassment or misconduct on campus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *