By Ivy Kaplan
For Aaron Traub, a 20-year-old public relations major at American University, the media have played a significant role in propelling political issues into the public eye over the last two years, for better and for worse.
Traub said one of his biggest concerns facing the country is the inexperience of Trump administration staff members and how often this inexperience is brought up in the media.
“The way that [Trump’s staff are] exposed in the media makes them seem unqualified and that’s sort of where my perception is coming from,” Traub said.
After talking with his older family members, Traub said the discontent they expressed about Trump’s staff rubbed off on him, leading him to believe that these figures are incompetent and that they should not have been appointed for their roles.
“People like Jeff Sessions, Michael Cohen, all of these people who are related to the Trump scandal … it’s mentioned so often in the news that they’re very unqualified for their roles and that’s what people have been saying,” Traub said. “People who are much older like my parents, grandparents, etc. all say that.”
On the other hand, Traub has witnessed the media’s power to unify the country as well, giving people a platform to speak out about and bring attention to another crucial topic: sexual assault and the #MeToo movement.
Traub was shocked to hear about the wrongdoings of Matt Lauer and Kevin Spacey through social media. This inspired him to become more of a feminist advocate at a time when the future of women’s rights in the U.S. are uncertain.
“I was just kind of amazed that because when this movement was happening, people were able to speak up about it and sort of show the true colors of those figures that a lot of people in our society look up to and admire,” Traub said. “And it’s like are these really people we should be admiring?”
After interning over the summer with Congressman Ted Deutch, a democrat from Florida, Traub said he learned just how much his vote matters in the upcoming midterms. With his Florida absentee ballot requested and on the way to D.C., Traub is looking forward to making his voice heard as a democrat in a primarily Republican state.