The buck stops here

Fill in the blank:

“___________” wants to indoctrinate your children with poisonous anti-American lies!”

Did you fill in the blank with anyone or anything?

Can you guess what year this quote is from?

If you guessed a quote about the communist scare in America during the 1950s, you would be wrong. This is from Sept. 10, 2020. The blank space was filled with presidential candidate Joe Biden’s name.

The person who said the quote? The leader of the free world, President Donald Trump.

The full Tweet was:

“On Nov. 3, Michigan will decide whether we will quickly return to record prosperity—or whether we allow Sleepy Joe Biden to impose a $4 TRILLION DOLLAR TAX HIKE, ban American Energy, confiscate your guns, shut down the economy, shutdown auto production, delay the vaccine, destroy suburbs, erase your borders and indoctrinate your children with poisonous anti-American lies!”

The president did not hold back his thoughts as he additionally tweeted

“If Joe Biden is elected, far-left lunatics won’t be running failed Dem Cities—they will be running the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Supreme Court. No City, town or suburb will be safe. On November 3rd, your vote will SAVE AMERICA!”

Is this fear-mongering propaganda?

When you think of propaganda, do you think of it as positive or negative? Do you think true information or information that is trying to convince you of something? The definition of propaganda is information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

Were you taught that propaganda was bad? In most social studies classrooms in America, propaganda is associated with the dark history of the world.

History shows us fear-mongering propaganda leads to division, oppression and distrust. Fearmongering is the action of deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about an issue.  

As much as some people do not want to see it, President Trump is using these fearmongering tactics to make Biden sound like a Soviet-Era communist wanting to indoctrinate your children with poisonous anti-American lies while also destroying your city.

President Trump has truly crossed a line by saying these things.

Why this is wrong

With President Trump discrediting the media since the start of his presidency, there are many Americans who only listen to the president. When the president says those things, people believe it. They believe Joe Biden will destroy cities and poison your children with anti-American lies. That is a problem.

Also, there are people on the fence and not actively interested in politics. They obviously care about the well-being of the country. They might hear what the president said, and this would be enough information for this person to make their choice.

I do not blame people for having significant concerns with Biden due to statements like these. I blame the leader who used these tactics to create fear and panic in a respected candidate. I know he is not a politician and he is not politically correct. But where do we, as a nation, draw the line?

We know Biden. He has been in public office for more than 40 years. He was our vice president. There is no evidence of these extremely significant and dangerous claims.

Trump claims the news is fake and out to get him, and in some cases, he is right.

But if he is to stop the spread of fake news, the buck must stop with him.

Bradley DeMers is a senior studying political science at FHSU. He is a former Student Government Association president and has worked for politicians in both main political parties.

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