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The Review

The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

The Review

The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

The Review

Trump indictment, GOP debate coincides with YCC first meeting

Courtesy of Vincent Reyes
President Vincent Reyes leads inaugural YCC meeting, which featured discussion on the recent GOP debate.

On Aug. 24, former President Donald Trump prepared for his mugshot. Dressed in his traditional blue suit and red tie, he makes no effort to smile, unlike some of his accused co-conspirators. Instead, he scowls. The camera flashes, capturing an iconic image that has become both a badge of honor and object of ridicule. 

The booking marks the fourth time since March 30 that Trump has turned himself in to law enforcement. Before he departed from Fulton County Jail, he addressed the media, reasserting that the 2020 election was a “travesty of justice.”

Among the St. John’s Young Conservatives Club, members caution against rushing to judgment about Trump’s surrender. 

“We can’t be jumping to conclusions,” YCC president Vincent Reyes said. “And that’s everyone, not just a student club—news organizations, people, individuals, senators and other political figures—no one knows any of the full facts until news is fully released by the investigative officials.”

Trump’s latest surrender shifted the focus of the first Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What was intended to be a discussion of policy and ideology spiraled into opinions of the former president.

The topic of Trump’s indictment came up halfway through the debate when moderator Bret Baier of Fox News asked the candidates: “If former President Trump is convicted in a court of law, would you still support him as your party’s choice?” 

Two of the eight candidates—former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and former New Jersey Governor Christopher James Christie—said that they would not support the former president. 

“Someone’s got to stop normalizing this conduct,” Christie said. “The conduct is beneath the Office of the President of the United States.”

Despite Trump’s latest indictment, Trump remains the favorite for the Republican nomination with 52.7% of registered Republicans according to FiveThirtyEight on Sept. 8.

In the midst of all this turmoil, YCC held their inaugural meeting of the year on Aug. 26. The challenge for Reyes, a senior who revived the club two years ago, was creating a forum where members could express their opinions freely.

“My main goal was to make a place where conservative students felt safe to share their opinions, where they knew that there were other students who thought the same way they did and held the same beliefs and morals and would not be ostracized from the community for sharing their beliefs,” he said. 

Since 2021, Reyes has “exponentially” increased YCC’s membership and hosted four speakers over the last year, including Texas Supreme Court Justice Rebeca Huddle. More recently, on Sept. 7, YCC hosted William Little, the political director of Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

“We are inclusive of everyone,” Reyes said. “We want to show that we are not for a specific sect of conservative students or students at all.”

Senior Cora West, Vice President of YCC, says that prior to the club’s resurrection, Republican students lacked a place on campus to discuss their political views. When West first arrived at SJS in ninth grade, she noticed a drastic difference in the political climates compared to her old school, Briscoe Junior High.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a male or a female, if you’re a boy or a girl,” West said. “Anyone is allowed to hold opinions.” 

Scheduling their first club meeting to coincide with the aftermath of the Republican Debate was a hot topic of discussion, but Reyes says it was a complete coincidence.

“I looked at the calendar and picked a date that worked,” Reyes said. “I’m glad it worked out because it facilitated a great discussion about who we think should be the next conservative president and nominee.”

In the coming months, the club plans to hold forums and host more speakers.

“Students want to see that we are not afraid to have these conversations because we are mature enough,” Reyes said. “We are intelligent enough that we need to have these conversations, especially if we plan on being the next leaders of tomorrow’s world.”

Additional reporting by Brandon Wu.

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Gabriel Pope
Gabriel Pope, Staff Writer
Gabriel Pope ('26) joined The Review in 2022 as a freshman. He has participated in an under water basket weaving team for five years. His favorite word is the pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

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