Emily, Editor-in-ChiefEmily Crighton


The peasants haven’t any bread? Let them eat cake.

While it’s debated whether or not Marie Antoinette actually spoke the line famously attributed to her, it is still a powerful example of how very out of touch the rich and in power can be. Many have never experienced hunger, they can’t comprehend that millions of people go without necessities, they don’t know what it means to extinguish a human life. And yet, often enough, these are the people in charge.

A few weeks ago, the leader of our country ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria. In the movies, when the president makes a call this significant, he’s in a control room filled with military personnel, or in an office thinking long and hard about the impact his actions may have. This isn’t how it happened on April 6.

Donald Trump was at his resort in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, eating chocolate cake with the president of China when he gave the OK for those missiles to launch. We know this because he told us so. Well, actually, he told us he launched missiles into Iraq before the reporter corrected him.

All I can do is cringe.

The use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria is sickening, and I believe that yes, something must be done about it, but I’m worried about what’s being done…and the real reason why.

I love this country, but I know it’s imperfect. High school history books paint us as the “good guys” far more often than they should. Many Americans end their experience with history at the high school level, and I think it plays a huge role in the way we see our country and the way we justify the actions of our leaders. I’m grateful for my many history and culture classes I’ve taken here at ISU for giving me a look at the U.S. from the outside.

I grew up in a military town. My dad and my grandfather both served in the military, and I have a huge amount of respect for the sacrifices that the members of our military make. I’d estimate that about half of my graduating class either joined the military or is now a military spouse.

Last week I saw pictures on Facebook of friends welcoming their husbands home from deployment, hugging them extra tight and knowing they came back with one less airman. She was three years older than me. Her mother said she died loading bombs when something broke and fell on her head.

Bombs. Missiles. Casualties. Chocolate cake. One of these things is not like the other. Some with opposing viewpoints may say that I’m picking an insignificant little detail to harp over, but hear me out. What bothers me most about the whole “chocolate cake” incident is the the demonstration of the way in which Donald Trump is completely and totally out of touch with the reality of what his actions mean.

I beg you to go look up the interview. He describes being at dinner eating “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen,” before recalling how he explained to the president of China that he’d just fired 59 missiles into Iraq. Not only did he seem far more interested in discussing his dessert than his military strategy, he got the name of the country he targeted wrong.

I don’t believe Donald Trump knows and feels the consequences of his actions, and this is only one example. It’s hard for me to watch this billionaire with a twitter handle be in charge of such powerful weapons. I do not believe he knows the weight they carry.

Donald Trump claims he fired these missiles in response to the use of chemical weapons on civilians, yet has indefinitely barred those same civilians from entering our country. It makes me question the real reason he sent those missiles, because his stance on war-torn Syrian civilians being given refuge in the U.S. remains unchanged.

The Syrian refugees have no homes to return to? Let me eat cake.

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