For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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May 12 2017
by Karly Matthews

8 Conservative Students React to Trump's 16th Week in Office

By Karly Matthews - May 12 2017

This week, the Trump administration dropped a bombshell: FBI Director James Comey was fired. Among other political events like the Texas Governor's executive order on Sanctuary Cities and looming suspicion of North Korea, Trump's administration and its influence has been under fire this week.

Fresh U caught up with eight college conservatives regarding current presidential events. Their responses are as follows:

Aaron Carpenter, Ohio State University, Mechanical Engineering

“After following a recommendation from the Attorney General, Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, reasoning that he was "not able to effectively lead the bureau." The timing of this decision sparked controversy in the minds of many Americans regarding Russian interference in the 2016 General Election. Folks, it's been 184 days since November 8, 2016 and Democrats are still complaining about Russian hacks and collusion.  There has been absolutely no evidence to suggest any form of Russian interference.  Many credible individuals have spoken truth to this: James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence confirmed he "still had no evidence to support the claims." Devin Nunes, US Congressional Committee on Intelligence, said he had seen "no evidence of collusion." James Comey even informed President Trump "on three separate occasions" that he was not under FBI investigation. The Democrats have no real argument against Trump's job as President, so they're pushing a completely "#FakeNews" Russian narrative.  Their narrative of James Comey changed so fast it made my head spin, from wanting Comey to be fired on the morning of May 9 to blasting the President for doing so in the evening of May 9. I look for the President to appoint an independent-minded, competent, tough FBI Director.  I hope the new Director restores the prestige of the FBI and works with the Justice Department and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to finally bring justice to Hillary Clinton's email investigation -- as James Comey failed to do.”

Caleb Wooton, University of Louisiana – Lafayette, Economics

“I'm happy to see the U.S. is seriously addressing the belligerent actions of North Korea. I really like the decision to send Navy ships to the area, we need to do more to intimidate Kim Jong Un. It's clear the North is becoming more isolated as they've started to criticize the Chinese. I'd like to see the U.S. take action against the North soon. I saw the winner of the South Korean presidential election wants to have warmer relations with the North and engage in talks with Kim Jong Un. He wants to remove the THAD missile defense system too. I say let the South Koreans do what they want. If they don't want us to defend them anymore, that's fine. We shouldn't come to the rescue at a later date if the North invades again.”

Paige Gianfortune, Temple University, Risk Management & Insurance

“I don't even understand why [Texas’ Sanctuary City Order] is a controversy.  Governor Abbot's bill applies to illegal immigrants who previously have committed a crime and, therefore, are wanted by ICE. Legal and even illegal immigrants who haven't committed a crime won't even be affected. This bill isn't 'anti-immigrant' in the slightest; it's about protecting the citizens of this country, something the government should be prioritizing.  I give Governor Abbot a ton of credit for trailblazing this bill, and I hope more states decide to adopt similar ones.” 

Valente Montes, College of the Canyons, Political Science

"While the optics of Director Comey’s firing did not look good, Trump made the right decision in dismissing him from the agency. As our nation’s federal prime federal law enforcement agency, the FBI should never be guided by notions of partisanship. Over the course of his time as Director, James Comey has had a history of receiving accusations from critics on both sides of the aisle for unfair practices. The smart thing would’ve been for the President to let him go shortly after his inauguration. It’s time for the President Trump to replace Comey with someone who won’t govern the FBI based on reservations of bias."

Autumn Price, Liberty University, History

"I think the executive order regarding religious liberty is a step in the right direction. Since long before the 1950s (when the Johnson Amendment was passed), big government has attempted to and has succeeded in censoring Evangelicals and the Church for political convenience. Free speech is free speech, no exceptions, and that goes regardless of whether or not one agrees with it. I hope to see President Trump take further measures to protect religious liberty, and work to ensure that the government does not make further attempts to restrict or inhibit the free exercise of religion."

Vinny Limon, Temple University, Sport & Recreation Management

"I personally do not support Sanctuary Cities, and I applaud Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott for recently signing a bill into law that bans Sanctuary Cities in the state and imposes harsh penalties on cities that do not abide by the law. I know President Trump attempted to do a similar thing to Sanctuary Cities nationwide by trying to deny federal funding to any city that continues to harbor illegal immigrants and I completely support him doing this. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and while I support legal immigration -- as someone who is Mexican I would not be here in America if my great grandfather wasn't allowed to legally immigrate here -- I wholeheartedly disapprove of illegal immigration and the concept of Sanctuary Cities. It is the wrong way to go about immigration and I hope President Trump enacts a similar policy like the one seen in Texas to deter sanctuary cities and encourage legal immigration."

Katlyn Batts, Wingate University, Communications & Public Relations

"The situation with North Korea is a sensitive one. One wrong move and there could be astronomical repercussions. I used to believe that North Korea was a joke, but it is becoming more and more evident that we are dealing with an insane dictator that will do anything to try and make himself look bigger. The situation has to be handled with great care and I believe President Trump is showing how he is fit for office while handling this situation. He has not been hot-headed as many thought he would be. We will have to see in the coming weeks and months what unfolds, but ultimately we will not sit back as a country and be threatened by a crazy dictator starving for attention. Kim Jong-Un stop acting like a child and it is in your best interests to not mess with this country, because you will rue the day you do."

Penelope Fjellanger, Seton Hill University, Business Administration: Marketing and International Organizations

“When I found out President Trump released his tax plan, two weeks ago now, I started to look into more and I think even with how the media spins it, it has good bones that could benefit a lot of Americans. Also, for the 'average American,' President Trump’s proposed plan simplifies the tax code, which can be a major headache for taxpayers, due to current the seven brackets there currently are with the current tax code. Under President Trump’s proposed plan would take the tax code down to four brackets of 0%, 10%, 20%, and 25%. Where I see the plan being beneficial especially for younger Millennials and 'Generation Z'ers starting their careers out. With President Trump’s proposed tax plan, that if you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. This is more on the individual aspect of the plan, which there is the corporate side of the pan as well. The area I covered I feel college students should know how the proposed plan could make an impact for them.”

When news breaks, it's important to have discussions with fellow students about the events so that you're really able to form your own, coherent opinion. That means listening to the other side, no matter whether you consider yourself "right" or "left."

Editor's Note: Some comments have been edited for clarity.

Lead Image Credit: TIME

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Karly Matthews - Temple University

Karly Matthews is a political science and journalism major with a Spanish minor at Temple University. In high school, she was editor-in-chief of her school's online newspaper, a member of the yearbook staff, a Spanish Club officer and a dancer for 12 years. In her free time, Karly drinks too much coffee and follows politics with an obsessive passion. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karlymatthews_!

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