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Viewpoints from Readers: Miss WV interview causes a stir

September 15, 2018

As new leadership took over at the helm of the Miss America Organization last winter, national chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper set out to transform the organization, dubbing it “Miss America 2.0.”

Their most consequential decision was to drop the swimsuit competition and give the candidates more time to talk onstage about themselves, their platforms and how they would do the job of Miss America.

Supporters welcomed it as a long-overdue attempt to make Miss America more relevant to contemporary society, while others mourn the loss of what they consider an integral part of what made Miss America an enduring part of Americana.

As the pageant unfolded, onstage interview comments raised some eyebrows - including one answer from Miss West Virginia, Madeline Collins.

When asked what she believed was the most serious issue facing the nation, Collins responded, “Donald Trump is the biggest issue facing our country today.”

The Washington Post reported that Collins continued: “Unfortunately, he has caused a lot of divide in our country, and until we can trust in him and the choices that he makes for our country, we cannot become united.”

HD Media readers were quick to share their thoughts on her brief answer:

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Samuel Thomas: “I love her answer and her honesty. Trump is the great divider. He has done absolutely nothing positive for the working class people of this country.”

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Bonnie Shumate: “He didn’t cause the division ... Sorry to burst your bubble ... The division had started before he took office. What planet do you live on, Miss WV?”

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Roger Holliday: “Good answer; he is a clear and present danger to America.”

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Patricia L. Summers: “We will see if she still feels this way in a few years if a socialist gets in or any of the Dems planning to run. President Trump is doing a great job even with what he has to put up with. Never think for one minute the trouble is caused because the other side just loves America so much. No there is a spiritual warfare going on.”

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Glenn Wiley: “Trump is simply awful, which goes to show some people do go through life with their eyes wide shut.”

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Pam Markley: “Sad....just sad.”

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Chris Campbell: “Clueless, Obama caused the racial divide, not Trump! Trump helping WV ... sad how wrong people are of President Trump!”

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Mike Harman: “I was quite happy to see this in my morning paper. After all, this outrageous, lying scoundrel of a president has attacked women in general, and personally, and physically, to the point that he is asking for massive critical feedback. The Miss America Pageant is the perfect venue for women to sound off! Ms. Collins has done us proud and we should be grateful! I shall be sharing this article widely.”

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Jim Slade: “She has the right to voice her comments without being referred to as ‘dumb’ by those that comment. I may not agree with all she said (but do re Trump), but the fact that some resort to ignorant name calling just proves her point regarding the ‘divide’ that currently exists.”

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Robert W. Jones: “Good for her! She’s not afraid to tell the truth! That makes her a WINNER in my book!”

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Shirley Hall: “Her truth, not ours.”

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Frances Tolley: “Way to go Ms. Collins! You make WV proud!”

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Monica Rose: “And this is why the Miss America contest shall be no more ... getting way too political ...”

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Derek Brown: “Life is political.”

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Shannon Wiley: “She is just doing what is popular; sad she probably couldn’t articulate why!”

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Joann Kitts: “I bet there’s not a conservative in that goofy pageant, I thought this was done away ...”

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