3 posts categorized "Politics"


Selma 50 Years (and a few weeks) Later: Where Are We Now?

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Selma, I think we should look at where the racial divide is today. In my opinion, this look won’t be pretty but let’s start with the positives.  Our president is African-American which certainly indicates there has been progress since the original march through Selma. Also, water fountains are no longer designated for race.  However, and perhaps this is due to how the media displays things, I see many negatives.  According to thinkprogress.com, admittedly a biased website, only 1.2% of fortune 500 CEOs are African-Americans.  CNN supports this disparity stating “The United States government has a black chief executive. But 99% of the nation's largest businesses do not”.  Putting bias and grammatical errors aside, there is clearly a disparity of who holds power.  In the 113th congress, also known as the congress before mid-term elections, 8.3% of the members were African-American according to senate.gov.  Now I know I’m starting to sound like a research paper and not a fun-loving blogger, but I think these facts are important. So important, in fact, that I’m ignoring runaway llamas and an abnormally controversial dress (I see white and gold).  Now I could go on with statistics but as both Benjamin Disraeli and Mark Twain will both tell you “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”  So let’s look at the actions which speak louder than words and, presumably, lies.  It’s no secret there has been mass misunderstanding between police and African-American civilians, but I’m not even going to focus on that. I’m going to focus on what happened in Oklahoma this weekend, where a fraternity chanted racist remarks in public.  During a weekend that commemorated a vital point in civil rights history (a history we are still writing) people were chanting racism.  Why?  Why do people still feel like color is a personality trait instead of a physical characteristic? Although we have made progress, this key question has yet to be answered.  So where are we? Looking at society, I’d have to say still nowhere close to fixing this divide.



The bottom line here is if you don't vote, how can you justify complaining about what is going on with our nation.  The government is supposed to be run "by the people" which only works if the people do their part.  That's not just voting on election and then forgetting about it. Write letters to Congress, pay attention to what the incumbent does and form your own opinion.  All of this is important not only to make an educated decision on election day, but also by holding those you have elected accountable. Say what you will about electoral college making your decision and how one vote does not matter, but it is the extent the constitution allows you to voice yourself.  If you don't like it, then that's why there's a right to petition. Instead of complaining about all the problems the United States has, get involved and take actions to help better the fine nation. It's as much your responsibility as it is the candidate's.


Why Watch the Presidential Debate?

Many people have very negative views of debate, whether that is considering them boring or considering them to not be of substance.  Many argue that watching the debate is essentially watching candidates dodge questions with fancy sentences and political babble.  I would know, because I am usually one of the people making that argument. However, that was not the case in the last presidential debate. They went to the other end of the spectrum, throwing around references to bills such as "Dodd-Frank" and "Simpson-Bowles" and throwing out economic numbers.  These debates are definitely not lacking in substance. So if you are convinced you're not going to learn anything about their plans, you may not want to reconsider.  Not only that, but it you pay attention, the candidates get quite witty trying to jab the other.  Romney and Obama both shared what the Twitter universe dubbed "zingers".  Romney said "Mr. President, you're entitled to your own airplane and your own house, but not your own facts." while Obama said "He now says he'll replace Obamacare and ensure all the good things in it will be in there ... Is the reason that Governor Romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they are too good?"  They went back and forth all night. It is better to watch the debate yourself instead of listening to the news or your friends about what happened, as all of those sources will have bias.  Listen to the candidates and draw your own conclusions.  With technology these days, there is no reason you would be unable to see the full debate even if you were busy when it occurred.  Youtube not only streams it live but also posts the full debate on their site for it to be watch at your own convenience.  The bottom line is it is your future that the candidates are affecting.  It's up to you whether you want to have a say in what's happening, or let them decide the type of workforce you will be entering, the healthcare plan you will have to utilize, and what retirement benefits you may or may not receive.

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