Donald Trump | Wikimedia
Donald Trump | Wiki­media

Dear Editor,

As the Col­legian recently reported, Dr. Arnn and several Hillsdale College faculty lent their public support to Repub­lican pres­i­dential nominee Donald Trump. They con­tinue to do this despite reports of Trump’s repugnant sexual remarks and alleged actions toward many women.

I believe this reflects poorly on the college.

While I under­stand that the views of admin­is­trators do not rep­resent the entire faculty or amount to an official endorsement from the college as an insti­tution, the inclusion of the school’s pres­ident among these endorsers attaches the Hillsdale name and rep­u­tation to Donald Trump. Dr. Arnn is the public face of the school, appearing in video and radio ads and pro­mo­tions. Fairly or not, his words affect the per­ception of this insti­tution.

More than the endorsement itself, Dr. Arnn’s defense of Trump against indict­ments of his char­acter is dis­turbing. According to the Col­legian, when asked how he would react if a student made remarks similar to Trump’s, Arnn responded, “I would regret it. If, however, one of our stu­dents becomes a real estate bil­lionaire, I will be happy for us all. I do not dislike every­thing about Trump’s private life, just some things.”

Am I to under­stand that, in Arnn’s view, becoming a rich busi­nessman is a coun­ter­point to bragging about sexual assault? Perhaps I am mis­reading his statement or missing important context, but the idea that material success and moral depravity should be weighed on the same scale is heinous.

This defense is par­tic­u­larly offensive in light of Hillsdale’s stated mission and prin­ciples. Hillsdale College’s mission statement claims that it “main­tains ‘by precept and example’ the immemorial teachings and prac­tices of the Christian faith.” Hillsdale’s Honor Code binds stu­dents to be “hon­orable in conduct, honest in word and deed, dutiful in study and service, and respectful of the rights of others.” Hillsdale’s motto invokes virtue and the struggle to achieve it.

I do not under­stand how men claiming to espouse these prin­ciples can endorse and defend a politician so devoid of any of them.

Under the tutelage of this school’s faculty, I cul­ti­vated a desire to pursue the higher things to value wisdom over status, and to hold per­sonal char­acter para­mount. When, as an alumnus, I see members of that same faculty make political state­ments that fly in the face of these, it dis­ap­points me.

The Hillsdale I see rep­re­sented by Dr. Arnn and these faculty is not the Hillsdale I know and love.


Isaac Mor­rison, ’14