Editorial: Integrity Trumps Publicity

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber will bring a seven-foot-tall Donald Trump bobblehead to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July. The bobblehead will be 3-D printed in Youngstown State University labs.

The aim of the project is to show the world that Youngstown has strong additive manufacturing programs.

That’s all well and good, but does the world need another monument to Trump’s ego?

It’s hard to quickly condense the objectionable aspects of his campaign, but we’ll try.

In a time of heightened racial tension, Trump has promoted waging a war on Islam. Following the shooting in Orlando, he went beyond banning Muslims from immigrating to America — even those fleeing persecution — to profiling citizens of the United States who adhere to the religion.

According to CNN, Trump said the country must hold the Muslim community accountable for reporting suspicious activity among other Muslims. This is apparently his solution to the mass shooting epidemic, despite the fact that many are carried out by Christians.

“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” Trump said. “Everybody wants to be politically correct, and that’s part of the problem that we have with our country.”

The first amendment explicitly protects the free exercise of religion. Profiling an entire religious group is directly at odds with the constitution, as many members of his own party have said.

In addition to his inflammatory rhetoric surrounding Islam, Trump also wants to prevent Mexicans from moving to the U.S.

He’s proposed building an impractical wall as well as deporting all undocumented workers currently living in the country.

Even if we ignore the costs and impracticalities of rounding up 11 million people without infringing on civil liberties, the policy would have devastating effects on the economy. According to Bloomberg, illegal immigrants make up 5.1 percent of the country’s workforce.

Drawing attention to the region’s burgeoning additive manufacturing industry is admirable. We do great things with additive manufacturing. Terrific things. The best things. But there are better ways to do it than associating us with a seven-foot monument to someone who alienates so many people.

If we want to leverage the Republican National Convention’s closeness to draw national media attention, maybe we could have 3-D printed a life-size elephant — the traditional mascot of the Republican Party. That way we’re doing something that fits the venue without associating ourselves with the candidate.

Yes, the chamber is also producing a complementary Hillary Clinton bobblehead, so both can be displayed at the debate at Wright State University in Dayton. That in itself is less objectionable. Having both bobbleheads present creates balance and makes it clear that we’re drawing attention to the election rather than one candidate or the other. Sending the bobblehead to Cleveland by itself associates us too closely with Trump himself, which is probably not the best look for a school aiming to increase international enrollment.

But the choice of the bobblehead is somewhat appropriate; the dolls are known for their big heads, and so is Trump.

The editorial board that writes editorials consists of the editor-in-chief, the managing editor, the copy editor, and the news editor. These opinion pieces are written separately from news articles. They draw on the opinions of the entire writing staff and do not reflect the opinions of any individual staff member. The Jambar’s business manager and non-writing staff do not contribute to editorials, and the adviser does not have final approval.