By Madison Hitchcock, Estelle Shaya and Zak Stengel
Dear Slant Readership,
In the 134 year history of our publication, no Editor-in-Chief has ever publicly endorsed a presidential nominee. The one exception was in 1964 when the Editor at the time made the unprecedented decision to back Lee Harvey Oswald as a write-in option, a move which led to an FBI investigation into The Slant’s role in JFK’s assasination (don’t worry, the findings were considered “inconclusive”). Our ability to remain impartial has served as a guiding principle for our organization since our humble beginnings (excluding 1964, of course), and will surely continue to serve as a hallmark of our paper for years to come.
However, after an extensive discussion held exclusively in the chat feature of an unrelated Zoom meeting, myself along with my editorial board have come to the decision that we must, as the leading voice of the Vanderbilt student body, use our platform to stand up for what is right, what is just and most importantly, what will look good on our resumes. Therefore, I will be endorsing a presidential candidate for the 2020 election.
President Donald Trump is a disgrace to American politics. This is evident in his refusal to abide by the democratic processes that are essential to the stability of our political system, his egregious mishandeling of the Coronavirus pandemic and his alienation of historical allies of the United States – primarily Liechtenstein.
Liechtenstein, for those who are geographically challenged or whose public school education failed them, is a small European country between Switzerland and Austria. Since the advent of the telephone, United States sitting Presidents famously engaged in symbolic gesture of goodwill towards the Lienchtensteinian monarchs, known as the Arschküssen. This longstanding act must be completed within the first week of a president assuming the Oval Office, and traditionally takes place exactly seven minutes and 42 seconds after the president’s inauguration. This represents the 742 Liechtensteinian men and women displaced by the construction of the American embassy, which takes up approximately one third of all Liechtenstein soil. Donald Trump’s blatant disregard for this formality immediately soured our diplomatic relations with the country, a move which foreign policy experts are calling, “not ideal, I guess, but also not significant.” In lieu of his presidential duty, President Trump was too busy repairing strained relations with Slovenia, in a desperate and rather roundabout attempt to also repair strained relations with his wife. Despite forgiving attempts from Liechtenstein to reach out to the United States since, Trump continuously shows callous disregard for our most crucial ally. Respect for the Liechtensteinian government is non-negotiable for The Slant. It because of this issue that we will not endorse Donald Trump,
So, who does that leave us with again? Biden? Oh yeah, that saltine cracker of a person. Nothing against his policies, I guess, but a Biden presidency would be a disaster for the comedy community. Can’t make senile joke, that’s “ageist.” Can’t make a “he sniffs womens’ hair” joke, because, let’s face it, Trump pulled way worse. Plus, call us old-fashioned, but we can’t really envision Biden in the Oval Office…behind the desk, at least. I mean, can you? Anyways, I just don’t really want to endorse Biden, so I won’t.
Now, I know what you are thinking: Madison, a third party vote is a waste of our political voice. To that I would say, I think you are underestimating the political reach of this publication. I mean, one of our writers is from Ohio, and that’s a fucking swing state. The Vanderbilt student body is among the most politically active in the world, as evidenced by the various petitions for a Fall Break that will no doubt receive administrative approval shortly. Our campus has a political voice that will be heard far beyond its gates, including in support of a third party candidate.
So who is this inspiring, transformational, earnest individual who will restore our fractured democracy? Jill Stein. Just kidding.
In all honesty, United States elections are always a shitshow. This one more so than usual. A ballot with two septuagenarians who’ve both been accused of sexual assault isn’t exactly a positive look for America. And to be honest, the combined votes of everyone on this campus will probably do nothing to sway this election (and neither did your Instagram story, Anna). But still, at least you get to vote. Probably. Unless you’re a felon, were purged from voter rolls without your knowledge, had your mail-in ballot rejected because your signature looked “a little weird” or are a woman in the early 1900s. And your vote matters. Maybe? Unless, of course, you live in a state so overwhelmingly Republican or Democratic that your vote has virtually no influence in the Electoral College. We’re not saying don’t vote. Please do. And don’t be stupid and vote for Kanye “as a joke.” Allow me to give you the advice I find myself giving so many of my staff writers: it’s not funny. At the end of the day, as a non-partisan organization, we won’t tell you who to vote for.
But also, as advocates for the people of Liechtenstein, please not Trump.