With election season in full swing, both major political parties have launched their on-campus efforts to ensure their candidate wins the general election in November. The Penn State College Republicans have had quite the rocky start to the semester after voting to forgo an endorsement of Donald Trump earlier this month. The organization’s first meeting was interrupted several times by members of We Are for Trump and by Felippe Maher, the organization’s Vice President, demanding an impeachment of the club’s executive board for not supporting the party nominee.
Despite the identity crisis plaguing the Penn State College Republicans and some other Republicans across the country, Garrison “Gary” Cattell, commonly known as the Willard Preacher, wants to “Make America Great Again”. Cattell gave Trump his coveted presidential endorsement, presented alongside his daily sermons about drunk college students, premarital sex, and homosexuality.
“I believe that abortion is the biggest civil rights dilemma of our day and liberals are for killing babies. To me, that’s like slavery. Do you vote for a candidate who wants to promote slavery? Do you vote for a candidate who wants to promote abortion? No,” Cattell said.
Pranav Sharan, a freshman who had never met the Willard Preacher before, asked if Cattell thought that Donald Trump was a racist. Cattell replied, “I think liberals throw that word around to just try to get people to believe what liberals believe and it becomes a meaningless thing.”
When pressed about Trump’s stance on banning Muslims from immigrating to the the U.S., Cattell made a point to note that Trump’s position has never been an indefinite ban but one that would be lifted as soon as the government gets its act together and is properly able to vet people coming in.
“You’re preventing people from being killed. It’s not racism if you’re protecting your citizens,” Cattell said. “Right now people can come in without any vetting at all. So what’s worse? Having the best you can, keeping out as many terrorists as you can, or having nothing and allowing all of them to come in?”
Cattell said the “ban on Muslims” should be lifted once “that group of people is no longer the primary terrorists in the world.”
Dmitri Loutsik, the Chairman of Penn State’s We Are for Trump group, is aware of Cattell’s endorsement. He said his organization “subscribes to the idea that all Americans are created equal, and that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. Among these rights are Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and the Freedom of Expression. We Are for Trump does not endorse the Willard Preacher — or his preachings — but we do endorse his right to say and believe what he wants.”
Johnna Purcell, the President of Students for Hillary, had a different tone in response to the Cattell endorsement. “It’s not surprising that two figures who embrace bombastic rhetoric towards LGBT and women would be playing on the same team,” Purcell said. “The Williard Preacher and Donald Trump both have the same thinking that will take our country backwards, not forward.”