KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Seattle Colleges claims event calling Trump a threat to democracy is ‘non partisan’

Mar 4, 2024, 5:41 PM | Updated: Mar 5, 2024, 6:36 am

Image: Seattle Colleges is defending a tax-payer-funded, "get out the vote," event that exclusively...

Seattle Colleges is defending a tax-payer-funded, "get out the vote," event that exclusively criticized the former president, claiming Donald Trump is a threat to democracy. (Photo courtesy Seattle Colleges)

(Photo courtesy Seattle Colleges)

Seattle Colleges is defending a tax-payer-funded “get out the vote,” event that exclusively criticized the former president, claiming Donald Trump is a threat to democracy. It mirrors Democrat talking points, but they insisted it did not favor one candidate over another. 

“Save Our Democracy” was billed as a “momentous” and “non-partisan” discussion with scholarly information on the purported threat to our democracy. But the entire, staff-led event was focused on Trump, arguing he’s such a threat to our democracy that students must act to keep him out of power. He was called an authoritarian and was even compared to Adolph Hitler and Vladimir Putin.

The event, streamed online, was hosted by the Seattle Colleges Committee to Save Our Democracy. It quickly revealed itself to be little more than anti-Trump political propaganda to subtly encourage students to vote for Joe Biden.

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Tax dollars used by Seattle Colleges to attack Trump as threat to democracy

Carl Livingston, lead professor of Political Science at Seattle Central, hosted the online anti-Trump event. However, to call it an “event” is a bit misleading. It was a poorly delivered PowerPoint presentation that would not impress a freshman high school history course.

The hour-long presentation included a short video essay, a meandering professor reading from a PowerPoint, a staff member dressed like the Statue of Liberty, and what appeared to be beleaguered attempts to get students to ask questions for a Q&A.

Livingston said his concern about the threat of Trump “has only heightened” in the last several years and that “I determined I had to do something!”

“I realize that in the short span of 11 months, I could be joining protesters across the country, decrying the House of Representatives voting Trump in as president after challenging electors in mainly majority Black and Brown American precincts,” Livingston said without any context or explanation.

Livingston went on to say that “because Trump indicates he will be tough on protesters, I could be facing the loss of employment and even my home.”

In fact, the professor said he’s “sounding the alarm” because he doesn’t want to think he didn’t do enough to save democracy from Trump.

You can watch the presentation here.

Does this Seattle Colleges event seem “non-partisan” to you?

The one-sided event was framed around a seven-minute BBC editorial titled, “Is Donald Trump a Threat to U.S. Democracy?” The answer from the anti-Trump editorial was, of course, yes.

Seattle Colleges’ presentation featured a professor who attempted to define democracy in a mostly inoffensive presentation before declaring the Electoral College as “obviously unfair.” 

The bulk of the event featured a PowerPoint presentation in which Livingston used the January 6 riot at the Capitol to explain why Trump was a threat. Livingston mostly read text from the PowerPoint slides throughout the presentation, though did manage to fumble through names (he referred to Rep. Liz Cheney as “Lynne”) and indicated he doesn’t follow the news (he speculated that Rep. Adam Schiff may run for Senate, though the campaign was announced months ago and he’s the leading Democrat candidate in the crowded primary).

Image: Seattle Colleges gave a presentation centered around "Is Donald Trump a Threat to U.S. Democracy?"

Seattle Colleges gave a presentation centered around “Is Donald Trump a Threat to U.S. Democracy?”. (Photo courtesy of Seattle Colleges)

Seattle Colleges pretended to offer conservative views

In a disingenuous (and disjointed) attempt likely intended to bolster inevitable criticism that this was transparently partisan, Livingston cited the Never Trump group, the Liberty Project. He argued that because the founders used to be Republicans who now despise Trump, it proves Trump is a threat to democracy. He did the same, briefly, with Never Trump congresswoman Liz Cheney, whom Republican voters rejected during her re-election campaign.

“So these are insiders in that party, in the Republican party saying, ‘We got to stop this. This is a threat to democracy,'” Livingston said.

He also dedicated two slides to conservative author and KTTH host Ben Shapiro. But Livingston’s inclusion of Shapiro appears based on the fact that he once quoted a professor as an authority on authoritarianism. Since that professor said Trump is a threat to democracy, Livingston said Shapiro’s reference to the professor is “dispositive” that Trump really is a threat to democracy. Shapiro’s book uses that professor to show that the Radical Left is the threat seems irrelevant to Livingston, given his odd conclusion. 

At no point did the presentation offer views opposing Livingston’s view that Trump is a threat to democracy. The entirety of the event was singularly focused on criticizing Trump.

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Were students forced to attend?

Towards the end of the presentation, an unidentified Seattle Colleges staff member encouraged her students to attend protests to influence local and state elections. It made the intent of this presentation more transparent. And it appears that at least some students were required to attend the propaganda event.

“When do you want our report by on this meeting?” a student asked Livingston.

The professor they had until the end of the quarter to submit their report.

If Livingston asked for a report on the meeting, his students would have either had to attend live or watch a recording of the video. While a Seattle Colleges spokesperson said students were not required to attend, he did not explain why a student would have to submit a report about the event. 

And if this is the kind of lesson students get in a campus-wide event, imagine the one-sided propaganda they’re exposed to as a student of his. These students are being failed. They’re being set up for an unhappy life where they throw a fit every time they don’t get their way — which is precisely how Seattle’s 20-something activists behave at each of their “direct actions” around the city of Seattle.

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This is a blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars

It would be one thing if the event was a good-faith attempt to provide both sides of their question, no matter how silly it is. If electing a candidate to become president is a threat to democracy, then our system is the most perilous national government on the globe. The same people screeching about the threat did the same thing during the Trump presidency but I guess he only now truly wants to be an authoritarian, not in 2020. 

But there wasn’t even an attempt to provide another side to the debate. It was meant to bolster the position that Trump is a threat to democracy.

The argument is too weak to be subject to scrutiny and Seattle Colleges’ far-left staff is too radical to even conceive their position is the wrong one. That underscores the failure of Seattle Colleges to help develop well-rounded graduates as they enter the real world. And while their echo-chamber desires may be satisfied in Seattle, dare they ever leave this progressive bastion of intolerance towards political “others,” they will not know how to cope.

This Seattle Colleges event was about saving Joe Biden

It’s hard to believe this entire event wasn’t intended to help ensure young voters turn out this November. An easy way to scare people into voting is to claim Trump is a threat to democracy.

Joe Biden is trailing in most polls. There’s also concern amongst Democrats that, due in large part to his age, younger voters aren’t enthusiastic to support his re-election. Indeed, a new poll shows Trump beating Biden among young voters. Making matters worse, radical left, antisemitic young voters have vowed not to support Biden because he supports Israel’s right to exist. Livingston and other left-wing educators do not want to see another Trump presidency, so they’re likely trying to subtly convince students not to do anything that could help re-elect the candidate they pretend is an existential threat to Democracy.

Livingston did not respond to multiple requests for comment, perhaps too concerned with the future of democracy rendering him unable to hit reply. A Seattle Colleges spokesperson, however, defended the event. Even though the event exclusively targeted Trump, spokesperson Adam Russell said it didn’t take sides.

“The Save our Democracy event on Thursday, Feb. 27 was a non-partisan look into what democracies are and included references to scholarly and everyday writings from both sides of the aisle. This was part of a get-out-the-vote initiative, which encourages active participation in the voting process and does not favor one candidate over another,” Russell wrote in a statement to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. 

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Rantz: Seattle Colleges claims event calling Trump a threat to democracy is ‘non partisan’