Letters to the Editor: 3-21-2018

She Doesn't Even Go Here: Clinton's Speech at Today Conclave 2018

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally demonized by Hillary Rodham Clinton. I know it’s not just me.

In Mrs. Clinton’s recent trip to Mumbai, India, she gave a speech at Today Conclave 2018 where she once again blamed her loss in the 2016 Presidential election to Donald Trump on everything save her poor candidacy. This time, however, she not only insulted those who did not vote for her—especially women who did not vote for her—but entire sections of the country. Indeed, according to her estimation, if she did not win your state, your state is not “optimistic, diverse, dynamic, [or] moving forward.”  

She claimed that Trump’s “Make America Great Again” message was not only about looking “backwards,” but irresponsibly claimed it was about not liking “black people getting rights” or women “getting jobs.” [1] It is inconceivable to Mrs. Clinton that some Americans disagreed with her policy positions and, instead, wished to slash the administrative state, rebuild the military, cut taxes, restore local control to schools, or halt illegal immigration. That many of those people live in America’s heartland is not surprising, nor cause for denigration.

Next, Mrs. Clinton was asked why she thinks over 50 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump. Her demeaning, absurd, and wholly anti-feminist answer proves too much. Clinton responded: “We don’t do well with white men and we don’t do well with married, white women. Part of that is an identification with the Republican Party and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.” (emphasis added).

The hypocrisy of such a statement by a self-proclaimed feminist is shocking. Apparently only Democratic women are capable of exercising their vote independently.

Perhaps one day Mrs. Clinton will realize that blaming her loss on everyone and their brother (or, literally, their husband, boss, or son) is an unattractive look. She is pathologically demeaning to women who disagree with her and the contempt that she continues to rain upon half of America is, quite honestly, pathetic.

Hillary Clinton represents everything that is wrong with politics today. That is, if you disagree on an issue (or all of them, as it were with Clinton and I), you are a bad person, an ignorant person, a stupid, racist, bigoted, perhaps even evil person. In her view, the states that did not go for her are not simply composed of reasonable people who disagree on policy, but instead of “backward” people.

In Clinton’s estimation, I’m still a “deplorable.” [2] This is not because of any “ongoing pressure” but because I value and believe in certain things dearly—things like limited government, Second Amendment rights, and economic and religious liberties. As a young woman, I would hope a feminist like Mrs. Clinton could at the very least respect that. But instead, the demonization continues.

Thank goodness deplorable votes still count.  

Christy Allen '19

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-says-trump-won-backwards-states-in-2016-2018-3?r=UK&IR=T.
[2] https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/11/us/politics/hillary-clinton-basket-of-deplorables.html.

In Defense of Blood Drives

Last week’s opinion column featured a piece by Kyle O’Malley bemoaning discriminatory blood donation polices and criticizing the law school for hosting a blood drive while such policies are in place.  I agree with O’Malley’s views on blood donation regulation, but believe that he takes his argument several steps too far and reaches a rather disturbing conclusion. As he concluded his piece with an invitation for a discussion on the subject, I hope to be able to add a different viewpoint to the conversation.
Current FDA regulations require gay men to have abstained from sexual intercourse for at least one year to be eligible to donate blood.  While an improvement upon the previous lifetime blood donation ban imposed upon gay men, the regulation still stigmatizes and harms the LGBT community with little to no benefit to public health.  Had O’Malley taken the blood drive simply as an opportunity to raise awareness of this injustice or even to encourage the SBA not to host the drive during Diversity Week, then I would happily sign on as an ally to his cause. Unfortunately, however, this is not the course taken.
Instead, he seems to argue that the Law School, or anywhere else, should not host blood drives at all until this discriminatory practice ends. As long as there is a legal obligation for blood drives to abide by the FDA guidelines on the subject, then they should not be hosted even if necessary to “[secure] an adequate blood supply.”  Undeterred, he carries the argument to its logical conclusion to suggest that blood donation currently represents an impermissible form of discrimination that is “substantively wrong, no matter how important [its] ends.”
As the father of a son who is alive today only because of blood transfusions made available by donors, I find this conclusion offensive. It suggests that it would be better to have let my son and other patients die for lack of an adequate blood supply than for LGBT people to suffer the indignity of witnessing blood drives at which they cannot participate. While the damage to the LGBT community caused by the blood ban is real, it is not comparable to the harm that would result from effectively eliminating the supply of donated blood to those who need transfusions. The lives of patients in need of donor blood should not operate as bargaining chips in the quest to achieve societal equality. It is a death sentence imposed on patients for the sins of the FDA. It is an immoral, unjust, and regressive proposition.
That public policy often necessitates the balancing of rights when two competing rights come into conflict is hardly novel. In this circumstance, those competing rights are the right not to be discriminated against and the right to life. Both are important, but one also weighs heavier on the scale. Preventing someone from receiving lifesaving treatment results in a greater injury than facing discrimination at a blood drive. Therefore, the proper course is to encourage blood drives and increase blood donation even though it comes at a price. Again, that price is not necessary, and the blood ban should end, but it would be a horrific policy to end blood drives generally until that should happen.
I hope that the Law School will continue the invaluable service of hosting blood drives in the coming months and years while still expressing support and sympathy for our LGBT classmates. It would be unfortunate if the blood drives here ended as a result of O’Malley’s criticism. Furthermore, I hope that the rising generation of lawyers being educated at the law school will rise to the challenge of making public policy more equal and just for all.
Taylor Kordsiemon '19

[1] Kyle O’Malley, Tainted Love, Virginia Law Weekly.

[2] https://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/Blood/UCM446580.pdf.

[3] Zhou & Berkman, Ban the Ban, at https://medicalreview.columbia.edu/article/ban-the-ban/.

[4] O’Malley, supra n.1

[5] Id.