Tag Archive | "politics"

Race to the Convention

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Race to the Convention

The candidates still in the running for presidency.

The candidates still in the running for presidency.

The primary season has been a jungle – from the Republicans who had 16 candidates at one point to the Democrats who started with five. Now we’ve reached a midway point, with the last primaries scheduled on June 7 and June 14. So, who still has a chance? Let’s take a look.

On the Republican side, the candidates have been whittled down to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich. At this point Donald Trump has a sizable lead, but Ted Cruz is still well within range to surpass Trump. John Kasich may be able to keep up or tie, but it’s very unlikely based off of the polling data. He is currently a distant third in national polls at 20 percent, trailing Donald Trump by 25 percent and Ted Cruz by 8 percent. He’s also behind in the delegate count by over 300 delegates, making it so that his campaign must win around 75 percent of the remaining delegates. 

Current polling data has Trump still winning in most states, but Ted Cruz is catching up to him in some. Trump’s home state is New York, which should go to him handily. John Kasich won his home state of Ohio, which should give him some momentum, but may not be enough to get him far, especially this late in the game.  

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are still battling it out. Clinton has the clear advantage and Sanders has lost momentum after failing to capitalize a significant win in Michigan. Sanders still has a chance to tie or win, but he has to win almost every state in the West and Central United States.

Current polling data has Clinton winning the big delegate states, including California and New York. While polling was very far off in Michigan, these states may still be securely in Clinton’s hands due to New York being her home state and California typically being fairly establishment, also known as the party elite who decide the platform and ideology of the party. However, California also has a strong liberal base that may not see Clinton as liberal enough for the presidency. Sanders is still polling well in the smaller states, but he has to win big in these states in order to get the delegate count he needs.

Here are the current delegate counts:

Republicans (1,237 to win)

Donald Trump: 752

Ted Cruz: 463

Marco Rubio (dropped out): 173

John Kasich: 144

Democrats (2,383 to win)

Hillary Clinton: 1,266.  Superdelegates: 471

Bernie Sanders: 1,038.  Superdelegates: 31


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Bernie Sanders packs Breslin at MSU

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Bernie Sanders packs Breslin at MSU

Over 10,000 people came out to see Sen. Bernie Sanders speak at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center Wednesday evening. Lines to get into the building wrapped around the Breslin Center, braving the bitter cold several hours before Sanders took to the podium at 7 p.m.

The crowd was composed mostly of young adults. A few hundred attendees stood on the floor, roughly 10,000 filled the surrounding lower-bowl seats and some even caught the speech from the upper level.

Michigan’s primary election is Tuesday March 8. Sanders concluded his speech by asking all those in attendance to march to the polls next Tuesday.

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Trump and the exploitation of ignorance

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Trump and the exploitation of ignorance

Immigration was, is, and always shall be one of America’s chief long term controversies. Public opinion is perpetually shattered in half—liberals calling conservatives heartless bigots and conservatives firing back with arguments that suggest amnesty can’t realistically be sustained. Differing political philosophies clash like the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object.

In turn, it’s become very easy for American’s perspectives to become awash with rhetoric—rhetoric laced with misinformation that has inadvertently encouraged xenophobic attitudes. So, it’s become necessary to take a more realistic look at the state of immigration in America today.

Let’s first consider Donald Trump’s wildly controversial statements—statements mind you that have given him feverous support from millions of right leaning Americans. Trump has gone as far to call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Muslims haven’t been the only target of Trump. Earlier in his campaign he made extremely inflammatory remarks towards Mexican immigrants saying, “What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists.”

Trump has repeated this mantra ad nauseam with little in the way of actual facts. Unfortunately, because of his position as a major presidential candidate, many Americans are inclined to take his every word as truth. After all, what he’s been proudly proclaiming is based on very common preconceived negative stereotypes that many Americans have also falsely accepted as fact.

There is a strong reason to believe his outrageous remarks, which are repeatedly devoid of factual information, are made to exploit and piggyback on the support of xenophobic right wing Americans.

The Washington Post did some fact checking homework on Trump’s big claim that “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Not surprisingly, Trump has been exaggerating quite heavily. Washington Post writer Michelle Ye Hee Lee found that, “Of 78,022 primary offense cases in fiscal year 2013, 38.6 percent were illegal immigrant offenders. The majority of their cases (76 percent) were immigration related. Of total primary offenses, 17.6 percent of drug trafficking offenses and 3.8 percent of sex abuse were illegal immigrants. Of 22,878 drug crime cases, 17.2 percent were illegal immigrants.”

Lee also addressed more facts that disprove much of what Trump says about immigrants. Lee explains, “2010 Census data in a report from the American Immigration Council, a pro-immigration group, shows that 1.6 percent of immigrant males 18 to 39 years old were incarcerated, compared to 3.3 percent of native-born males. That disparity in incarceration rates has been consistent in the decennial Census since 1980, the report says.”

Regardless of Trump’s comments against Latino immigrants, the evidence is not there. Doing actual research proves that most of what he’s said, is simply hyperbole based on misconceptions.

It’s not just the Washington Post that’s taken the issue to task. In a similar article written by Albert R. Hunt for The New York Times, more damning facts were found that put the immigration issue into a different context. The reality of the immigration situation is not in alignment with the frenzied image Trump has created with his hateful rhetoric.

What Hunt found is that “Net migration from Mexico is negative, many experts say; more people are returning to Mexico than are illegally crossing the border into the United States.” This is a fact that many people in Trump’s camp, do not seem to be aware of.

There’s a myriad of other facts that dismantle a lot of popular notions about immigration. Namely that the number of undocumented immigrants is actually decreasing. There are currently 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, as compared to the more than 12 million there were in 2007. Also, the Obama Administration is actually responsible for more deportations than any other president in history, according to government data.

Obama has developed a reputation for being soft on immigration, for seemingly no real reason. Republicans like Trump have ridden this image with serious success, rallying an anti-immigration base that believes these candidates are the strict lawmakers that will squelch immigration. Ironically, the presidency currently spends more on fighting undocumented immigration than any other federal crime.

A large portion of the United States seems to be in a collective agreement with Trump. Sadly, many have not put much in the way of critical thought and are content with letting ignorance drive their thoughts on the crisis at hand.

Trump has been allowing his dangerous hyperbole to dehumanize multiple sects of people who are really just trying to live their lives. Like every single population to have ever existed, some turn to crime, but not nearly to the extent of which Trump preaches like the end all be all truth. Placing blame on problems that have very diverse factors causing them is highly irresponsible for a politician with such a large audience. One can only hope that primaries nominate candidates that don’t exploit ignorance for votes.

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President Obama faces a challenge in nominating successor for Supreme Court

On Feb. 13, the most widely recognized conservative voice on the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, died. Scalia took his seat on the Supreme Court as Associate Justice on Sept. 26, 1986, after President Ronald Reagan nominated him. He wrote opinions that used strong legal language. He scathingly used precedent or constitutional arguments to craft blunt arguments. Americans have mourned him and celebrated his almost 30 years of service as Associate Justice.

Antonin Scalia.

Antonin Scalia.

Hours after Scalia’s death, many conservative Republican leaders in the Senate began calling on President Obama to leave Scalia’s replacement to the next president. President Obama responded by saying that he would fulfill his constitutional obligation to nominate a successor and expects the Senate to fulfill its obligation to advise and consent.

An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court hears the arguments of cases that have been appealed to the Court and then writes opinions based on those arguments and precedents from other cases. These cases are decided by a vote of all eight of the Associate Justices and the Chief Justice.

But whom will President Obama nominate? The news media has begun speculation while the Obama Administration works to select their nominee. All of the following have extensive judicial experience either as judges or as lawyers within governmental positions.

The speculation revolves around Sri Srinivasan, who President Obama nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Srinivasan was confirmed by the Senate with a 97-0 vote. He even had the votes of Republican candidates for president, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

With this unanimous confirmation, the selection of Srinivasan is considered to be a strong choice. If the Senate votes down his potential nomination for the Supreme Court, they’d have a hard time justifying it after a unanimous decision to place him on the D.C. Circuit.

Other names that have been mentioned, and some that could be added to the short list, are Attorney General of the U.S., Loretta Lynch; former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm; Judge for the 8th District Court of Appeals, Jane Kelly; and Senator from Montana, Amy Klobuchar.

Loretta Lynch is the current Attorney General for the United States. Her confirmation by the Senate was one of the longest in United States history at 166 days. It was also a tight vote at 56-43. Despite her long road to confirmation, she has proven herself through her previous work as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Jennifer Granholm, formerly the Attorney General as well as the Governor of Michigan, has also been on the short list for President Obama’s last two Supreme Court nominations and his last two Attorney General nominations. Granholm has been a longstanding ally of the Obama Administration and has truly built up a lot of political capital. However, she is a fresh face before the Senate and confirmation would be a tough sell.

Jane Kelly is a judge for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate also confirmed her unanimously for her position, making her a good choice for Justice. The only problem she may have is that she has a low profile and her record is not well known.

Amy Klobuchar is currently the senior Senator from Minnesota. Before her election, she was the County Attorney for Hennepin County in Minnesota and gained a reputation as a strong prosecutor. She was also on the short list for Attorney General for President Obama. Klobuchar serves on the Judiciary Committee in the Senate and due to this she may have enough political capital and personal relationships to get her out of committee and to a confirmation vote in the Senate.

Any of these choices would make fine Associate Justices of the Supreme Court. President Obama has said that he would nominate Scalia’s successor in due time, so we won’t have to speculate for much longer until we find out who he has chosen.


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Politicians we’d like to see in the White House but won’t

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Politicians we’d like to see in the White House but won’t

Photo via Creative Commons.

Photo via Creative Commons.

1. Joe Biden

As great as the current vice president of the United States is, he may have seen the end of his days in politics. His position as vice president and personality made his popularity soar, but that unique “I’m a fun ol’ guy” personality may not fly when it comes to running for the White House. He couldn’t get his presidential campaigns in 1988 and 2008 off the ground due to lack of name recognition. Even after a 36 year-long career as a senator from Delaware with significant legislation under his belt, such as the Violence Against Women Act.

2. Jennifer Granholm

Granholm’s former position as governor of Michigan would have made her a great contender for president. Her current positionality among the Democratic Party elite has brought her name up for several positions. After aiding in President Obama’s transition team, her name was brought up twice for nomination to the Supreme Court and once for an attorney general nomination. Now that Hillary Clinton is running for president, Granholm’s name has been mentioned as a possible future secretary of commerce or Democratic National Committee Chairperson. She’s still a rising star in the Democratic Party, but unfortunately she can’t rise much higher than vice president due to her Canadian roots.

3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

She’s everyone’s favorite Supreme Court Justice due to her strong opinions (if you’re a liberal that is), but her age and health would make winning a general election practically impossible. She’s now older than when President Reagan took office and both sides of the aisle are greedily eying her Supreme Court seat.

4. Kate Brown

As she has only just recently become governor of Oregon due to the resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Kate Brown wouldn’t be anyone’s first pick for president.  She hasn’t had enough experience within the executive office of Oregon. However, if she wins re-election to the rest of Kitzhaber’s term, she may prove to be a very effective executive.

5. Debbie Stabenow

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is a prominent figure in the Senate. She is currently the third-ranking member of the Democratic Caucus and the chair of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee. In 2008, the National Organization of Women encouraged President Obama to nominate her for secretary of health and human services. All of these accomplishments may point to her being a great candidate, but it appears as though she does not have the desire to run for it. Stabenow seems to be content with keeping her head down and taking care of her constituents in Michigan.

6. Al Gore

As a former congressman, senator of Tennessee and vice president of the United States, Al Gore appears to be an obvious choice as a presidential candidate. In 2000, he won the Democratic nomination unanimously and arguably won the election for president (winning the popular vote but losing the Electoral vote). Voting machine errors in Florida caused the erasure of thousands of votes that allegedly would have awarded then Vice President Gore the state and the election. After this controversial election, Gore retired from politics and is likely to never go back.

7. Russ Feingold

As a former senator of Wisconsin, Feingold is known for hardline stances on civil liberties and commitment to removing corruption from elections.  He lost his Senate seat in 2010 to Ron Johnson, but is looking to retake that same seat in 2016. Currently, predictions for a rematch between Johnson and Feingold show Feingold coming out on top by a wide margin. Back in 2008, Feingold flirted with the idea of running for president, but eventually decided against it to focus on the Senate.  Feingold is an intriguing politician to contemplate for the White House, especially since he was essentially the Bernie Sanders of 2008.  His popularity among the grassroots was strong, but amongst everyday Democrats his popularity is minimal.

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Jennifer Granholm: Where is she now?

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Jennifer Granholm: Where is she now?

Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan and Michigan attorney general, was a dominant political figure in Michigan for over a decade. Since her final term as governor ended in 2011, she’s seemingly kept a low profile. What exactly has she been up to?

Granholm was seen as a likely choice to run for Senator Carl Levin’s empty Senate seat in 2014, but declined for family reasons. She also aided with President Obama’s transition team in 2008. Granholm has managed to remain a well-discussed political figure in Michigan and is bolstering her national presence as well.

Former Governor for the State of Michigan Jennifer Granholm. Photo via Creative Commons.

Former Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm. Photo via Creative Commons.

Throughout President Obama’s two terms, Granholm has been speculated to be on the short list for three positions: the associate justice of the Supreme Court, which was eventually filled by Elena Kagan; the other associate justice seat filled by Sonia Sotomayor; and the attorney general position now held by Loretta Lynch.

Despite not holding office, Granholm hosted her own political talk show, “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm.” The show ended after its host network was bought out by Al Jazeera. Granholm then went on to co-chair Priorities USA Action – a Political Action Committee aiming to aid in President Obama’s reelection.

Recently, after Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential push gained momentum, Granholm became a leader in the PAC Correct the Record, which aims to protect Hillary Clinton from political attacks, where she can act as a surrogate for the Clinton campaign.  

What lies ahead in Granholm’s future? One thing is for certain, the United States may not be done with her yet. After years of being passed over by the Obama Administration, perhaps she will have her opportunity in the potential Clinton Administration.

Granholm has been a long-time supporter of Hillary Clinton, even endorsing her during the 2008 presidential primaries. This support over the years has the likelihood to promote Granholm from useful backbencher during the Obama Administration, to cabinet-level material in the possible Clinton Administration.  

Granholm has been frequently discussed as a good pick for the Supreme Court or as attorney general, but current speculation sees her taking a place in Clinton’s potential cabinet as secretary of commerce. If given this position, she would be in charge of promoting American businesses and industries.

Jennifer Granholm’s political star may be far from set. Her commitment to public service is pushing her into the inner circles of Democrat powerhouses – where she could easily rise in prowess. Due to her rise among Democrats and the political connections she’s made, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Jennifer Granholm stays in the public eye for years to come.

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Master of the House, Keeper of the Zoo: The US Speaker Race

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Master of the House, Keeper of the Zoo: The US Speaker Race

Many people have been asking the question, what is going on with the Speaker of the House? For those who don’t know, the Speaker of the House is the leader of the United States House of Representatives. Usually, the Speaker is the leading member of the majority party in the House.

Speaker candidate, Paul Ryan. Photo via Creative Commons.

Speaker candidate, Paul Ryan. Photo via Creative Commons.

However, the current Speaker, John Boehner, is resigning and the Republican Party has found itself divided on whom to select as their new leader. The Republicans in the House are split into different factions, those of the establishment and those of the Freedom Caucus (among other caucuses). The establishment is those who follow what the mainstream of the party fight for and believe in. The Freedom Caucus is a right to far-right leaning group of some of the most conservative members of the House.

But why does this prevent the Republicans from picking a new Speaker? The reason is that in order to become Speaker, the candidate must reach a majority vote. In the House, this totals to 218 votes. There are 247 Republicans in the House, which usually means that they can elect their Speaker without a problem. However, the Freedom Caucus totals 36 members, which leaves an establishment candidate seven votes shy of election.

Due to this, many different representatives of the establishment are toying with the possibility of a bid for the Speakership, in order to see if they would be able to appease the Freedom Caucus. So far, Kevin McCarthy, Jason Chaffetz and Bill Flores cannot match up to the Freedom Caucus’ own contender, Daniel Webster. McCarthy has already dropped out of the running after being considered the front-runner, because of his position as the Majority Leader.

Does this make the House ungovernable?  In some people’s minds this shows that the Republican Party is unable to lead or legislate effectively, while for others it is seen as the Republicans taking a stand for what they believe in. Those of the latter opinion believe that one man can rise to the challenge and unite the factions—Paul Ryan.

This opinion may in fact hold true. Members of the Freedom Caucus have indicated that they would be willing to support Ryan, and the official caucus vote had two-thirds of the members in support of Ryan. Chaffetz and Flores dropped out of the race in favor of Ryan as soon as he made his announcement. Ryan previously stated that he was comfortable in his current position as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and would not seek the Speakership. This changed as it became more and more apparent that no other Speaker candidate would be able to get as much support as Ryan.

It is widely recognized that he is the only candidate that can unify the factions, and he admits this himself. According to CNN, Ryan said, “I never thought I’d be Speaker … But I pledged to you that if I could be a unifying figure, then I would serve — I would go all in. After talking with so many of you, and hearing your words of encouragement, I believe we are ready to move forward as one, united team. And I am ready and eager to be our Speaker.” 

In short, the campaign for Speaker of the House is a horror show worthy of the Halloween season. The election itself will take place on Oct. 29, so the next speaker will take office just in time for the annual festivities surrounding Halloween.

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Preview of the Democratic Debate

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Preview of the Democratic Debate


From top left: Hillary Clinton, Lincoln Chafee, Lawrence Lessig, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb , Martin O’Malley.

On Oct.13 the main Democratic Party candidates for president will face off in a debate. The two front-runners will be a dominant force on the stage while the other three main candidates may scramble for screen time. Find out what to watch for in the debate, including each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

Hillary Clinton

Strengths: Clinton is a long time public servant with a wide range of followers. She’s also proven to be very versatile and adaptable to current politics. Her favorable public image with Democrats is sure to make her a spectacle on screen.

Weaknesses: The scandals of her past and present, in addition to her evolution on issues, have caused many people within the Democratic Party to leave her side for a fresher face. This debate will be her chance to regain those who she has lost.

Bernie Sanders

Strengths: Sanders is a voice of the Left, even further left than most of the Democratic Party support. This gives him a bit more screen time for entertainment value. However, because of these views he has also catapulted in the polls and gained a great grassroots following.

Weaknesses: He is a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist. In the United States, this is a term to be avoided in politics; because of this identity he may inadvertently turn away voters who are turned off by the term “Socialist.”

Lincoln Chafee

Strengths: He has had tenure as Governor of Rhode Island, one of the most liberal states in the Union.

Weaknesses: Most Democrats consider him a “flip-flopper” opportunist. He has been a member of the Republican Party before and this has come back to haunt him. In addition, not many people within the Democratic Party know about him.

Martin O’Malley

Strengths: His last term as Governor of Maryland saw great victories, such as: the end of the death penalty, the passing of a D.R.E.A.M. Act and same-sex marriage. These victories should be his talking points when discussing his ability to get things done.

Weaknesses: Many people will recall his time as Mayor of Baltimore and bring up the current state of Baltimore after the riots this past summer. This may bring into question his ability to champion black rights.

Jim Webb

Strengths: He is running as a moderate, taking the centrist position on most issues. His criticism of the Affordable Care Act may not be a strength among most Democrats, but it may win him some pats on the back from Southern Democrats.

Weaknesses: He served as Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan. Even though this is a great position to serve in, Reagan is a big “no-no” when it comes to the Democratic Party.

Bonus Candidate: This candidate is not currently invited to the debate, but is being talked about like a major candidate since he’s been included in major polls.

Lawrence Lessig

Strengths: Lessig’s stance on electoral reform is matched only by Bernie Sanders. Since Sanders is a front-runner, the debate questions may be tailored towards the issues he is running on. This means that if there are substantial questions about electoral reform, Lessig can attempt to jump in and steal the spotlight.

Weaknesses: Despite his views on electoral reform, Lessig is running as a “referendum president.” This is his own way of saying that he will run on the one issue of electoral reform and once he has accomplished that, he will resign the presidency. This is an inherent flaw in his campaign since Democrats (and every other party for that matter) are looking for a president to run on a variety of issues.

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Global Corner: Donald Trump and the Refugee Crisis

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Global Corner: Donald Trump and the Refugee Crisis

Is it possible to write an introduction to a column without it being redundant? The most brilliant writers of the world could probably do it, but I don’t think I can; I’m just a Midwestern college student that can barely wake up before 10 a.m. Just look at that cheese right there, I’m sorry for using a semicolon, Vonnegut. Equal parts of me want to say, “everything written here is the absolute truth” and “take everything I write with a grain of salt, because I am very poor and stupid.” I’m going to take up this space talking about things that are supposed to be categorized under the umbrella of “Global Views,” yet these are always going to be my views. You’re young, you’re smart, and I won’t punish you by dragging this part out anymore.

Donald Trump

“America, You Can be My Ex-Wife,” reads Donald Trump’s campaign slogan in a March 19, 2000 episode of The Simpsons. Yet, here we are dangerously close to having a man who said he’d date his own daughter, if she weren’t his daughter, winning the Republican nomination. His 2012 campaign was rightfully laughed into oblivion, but he has gained much more strength this time around. To everyone who isn’t interested in turning the world into an absurdist dream sequence from a cartoon, this is an actual nightmare. Donald Trump becoming president would be like living in a dystopia run by Bozo the Clown.

Photo via Flickr

Photo via Flickr

I understand why he has so much support; the skeleton of his policies is just the basic conservative approach–businessman economic ethics, tough on immigration and defending Israel. Trump just goes about it like a cartoon character, I mean building “the Great Wall of Trump” on the border of Mexico? The other thing he said that was just amazing was that he didn’t think John McCain was a war hero because “he got caught.” Ouch. Trump realizes he can say whatever he wants, because ultimately none of this matters to him; he loses and he retreats to his fortune and his supermodel wife. He is not a politician; he’s a loudmouth billionaire. Not even Herman Cain would ask a reporter if she was on her period. Donald Trump is your rich uncle that gives you a  $10 iTunes gift card for Christmas, not your straight talking savior.     

Refugee Crisis

The people living in war torn countries, where bombs eviscerate the landscape and sporadic bloody gunfights are constant, are always going to flee eventually. Who can blame them? Apparently a lot of people can. We spend most of our lives in the comfort of the typical American life. Our quarrels are so much more mundane than finding shelter or food to eat, or worrying about your entire family suddenly dying in the midst of a war that you wish would just go away.

Photo via Flickr

Photo via Flickr

The perspective of these people shouldn’t be misconstrued into leeches looking to game the system, but unfortunately the world is a pretty racist place. In these complicated political issues, I urge you at the very least to take the smallest look at the humanity of the situation. Even if you are against immigration at all costs and are the staunchest conservative around, at the very least you can observe the struggle of people desperately wishing for a better life. It’s an important instance to set politics aside and try to take care of the people living on this Earth with us.

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Western Spring: The Uprising Against the Establishment

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Western Spring: The Uprising Against the Establishment

Photos via Creative Commons

Photos via Creative Commons

Before May 7, when Jeremy Corbyn announced his bid for the Labour Party leadership election, many people would not know Corbyn, possibly not even his name. Now, he has been elected the leader of the Labour Party and subsequently, leader of the opposition.

Before April 30, when Bernie Sanders announced his campaign, many people did not know his name. Today, he is gathering huge grassroots support for his presidential bid.

Before June 16, when Donald Trump announced his campaign, no one believed that Trump would actually run, let alone become successful in polls.

What do these three people have in common? They challenge the establishment of their parties as well as their nations’ governments.

The establishment is essentially the group of political insiders who have been involved with politics for a long period of time. They represent the status quo of governing systems while the anti-establishment figures fight to change, in some cases radically, current systems such as immigration or electoral policy.  An example of an establishment figure in the United States would be Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, while an example of an anti-establishment figure would be Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.

The electorates of the United Kingdom and the United States tend to follow similar trends. Conservative parties currently run the legislature of both nations and both of their electorates currently have a strong distaste for the political establishment these parties have helped create, such as a climate of uncompromising politics. This is why members of the Labour Party voted Corbyn in by a landslide.

The way leadership elections work for the Labour Party involves the voters choosing the candidates by preference. If any one candidate does not gain more than 50% of the vote, the one with the least percentage of the vote is disqualified and the people who voted for them move on to their second choice.

This procedure generally causes there to be two or three rounds of voting until a consensus is made. However, Corbyn managed to not only win in the first round, but did so with 60% of the vote. This is a major landslide victory that has resounding implications for the United States.

As mentioned, the U.S. and the U.K. electorates are very similar. Corbyn was elected as a true left-leaning leader and an anti-establishment candidate. You hear similar complaints about the establishment and non-ideological stances in the U.S., for example terms such as RINOs, which stands for Republicans in Name Only.

It can be interpreted that the election of Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party can be used to measure the temperature of the U.S. primaries. Candidates like Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders are seen as anti-establishment and ideologically strong in their own rights, not just because of their attachment to a particular political party.

The success of Corbyn will likely inspire these candidates and give their supporters more hope for their success in the primaries.

In an article from the Huffington Post, Bernie Sanders said, “I think whether it is the U.K. or here in the United States, here’s the answer: People are sick and tired of establishment politics. They are sick and tired of a politics in which people continue, candidates continue to represent the rich and the powerful — go out beggin’ money from the wealthy. They are sick and tired of an economics in which almost all of the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.”

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