Penn State Political Organization Leaders Condemn US Capitol Riot | University park campus news
As Americans prepared to watch Congress certify the electoral vote on January 6, rioters broke into the United States Capitol, trying to prevent the vote count following a speech by President Donald Trump .
Like many other politicians across the country, leaders of Penn State’s political organizations condemned the riots on Capitol Hill.
Jacob Klipstein, president of College Democrats, called the riot an “attempted coup by rioters and national terrorists”.
“[The rioters’] The aim was to overturn the results of democratic elections, ”said Klipstein (political science, history and Jewish studies). “We went through a process, it went through every possible legal challenge and Joe Biden was the winner.”
Kliptein said Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), as well as various members of the House of Representatives, are responsible for the riot because of their rhetoric since the elections.
“You may not think that speaking can provoke violence, because it is not directly violent, but [it has] repercussions, ”Klipstein said. “We saw it spilled over into people breaking into the United States Capitol and beating a police officer to death.”
Klipstein said he supported Trump’s impeachment because the president was directly at fault, and Hawley and Cruz, along with representatives, should be censored and kicked out.
“In the aftermath of the election, Trump was using very specific terminology that could only have led to this result,” Klipstein said. “To say that the election was stolen, the results [weren’t] legitimate [and] Democrats are nasty. These lies started with him.
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Although Klipstein has said that Trump’s ban on various social media sites in the wake of the riot is necessary, he remains hesitant about a future of censorship.
“In the past, when [social media] footsteps is a lot of leftist talk, but the ideas and the violence these guys have been spreading on the internet cannot develop, ”Klipstein said.
Trevor Grim, president of Turning Point USA, strongly condemned the riot and called for the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.
“The Capitol raid was an insurgency,” said Grim (senior engineering science). “It was contemptible, disgusting and anti-American.”
Grim believes Trump’s “grossly false” claims about the election results created a situation for the riot but were not the direct cause.
“I think the president is responsible for the environment that created the possibility of the raid, but I don’t think he was responsible for the raid itself,” Grim said. “Trump did not say anything close to what [the rioters] do.”
Grim said there was some hypocrisy in the Democratic Party’s condemnation of the riots last year. He said Democrats had been “pretty hypocritical” on the issue of the riots.
“Almost all Republicans came out very loud and consistent from the riots on Capitol Hill to condemn the protests while Democrats stood still last summer as there were riots in virtually every city,” Grimm said.
Grim said Trump’s impeachment would only further divide the country because it is purely symbolic. The Democratic Party has attempted to impeach Trump more than a dozen times in the past four years.
Prior to 2021, Trump had only been indicted in 2019 for abuse of power and obstructing Congress.
“I think Democrats and the media are using rhetoric they disagree with – using it – to excuse their long quest for impeachment,” Grim said.
In response to Trump’s ban on social media sites, Grim said all Americans, including left and right, should be “concerned.”
“When some of the biggest companies in the world say they’re going to eliminate a certain point of view from the majority of the public, that’s a very dangerous thing,” Grim said. “Freedom of speech is a precious thing and essentially the cornerstone of our democracy.”
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Jordan Clark, president of College Republicans, called the riot “political violence.”
“Republicans at Penn State College condemn political violence of any kind, and this is no exception,” said Clark (senior-telecommunications). “Anyone who broke a law that day should be fully prosecuted. “
Clark said it was difficult to put responsibility for a particular group or person for the event.
“They appeared to be Trump supporters, but there are also rumors of Antifa involvement. I’m interested to see how the investigation goes, ”Clark said. “As I said before, regardless of their political affiliation or any other demographic, they should be fully prosecuted.”
Clark said he was not happy with Trump’s response to the riot, but does not blame him for the violence that occurred.
“As a supporter of President Trump for over four years, I have been very disappointed with his response to events,” Clark said. “His words before the events may have pissed off the crowd, but President Trump has made it clear that they need to demonstrate peacefully. “
Like Grim, Clark believes impeachment was not the right course of action and believes it could lead to more unrest.
“I don’t think impeachment is a good idea,” Clark said. “Whether he deserves it or not is a moot point. Unfortunately, I think impeachment will only lead to further political violence from his far-right supporters. “
As Republicans discuss the future of their party, Clark believes they need to unite.
“The Republican Party will [need to] unify and look towards 2022 and 2024, ”said Clark. “In 2024, we will find a presidential candidate who has an ‘America First’ perspective and the ability to implement ‘America First’ ideologies.
Editor’s Note: Jacob Klipstein is a student board member of the Daily Collegian.