Are the Politics of Today Having a Deterrent Effect?

There is no denying that the process by which a citizen strives to attain public office, whether elected or appointed, entails a great degree of public exposure and risk of character damage. Political candidates are regularly subject to a vetting process by which individual Americans, the media, and other members of government evaluate the suitability of a particular individual for a political position. These evaluations can range from more benign measurements of education level, experience, and their intended policy agenda (which I fear is becoming less commonplace a metric), to…

The Electoral College: Extinction or Evolution?

The biggest news of the 2020 electoral season (so far) is the ever-growing pool of Democratic candidates whose progressive policies are ever more in the mainstream.  Recently, the senator from my lovely home state of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, made a bold statement about abolishing the Electoral College.  Other candidates have also said they were open to the idea.  But what would abolishing the Electoral College actually mean for our country?   The idea is not new.  In 2000, Republican George W. Bush beat out Democrat Al Gore for the presidency…

Approaching Tyranny in the Age of Trump

The question of whether or not U.S. President Donald Trump is a fascist has been a popular debate amongst sects of the liberal base. However, the question of fascism has recently reached the frontline of academic political thought and headline in media circulation. It is fair to ponder the question: does a fascist ideology linger in the executive branch? If so, will this lead to the weakening of democracy and upsoar of tyranny?   “Post-truth is pre-fascism,” according to Timothy Synder, author of On Tyranny. Academics have labeled the phenomenon…

Is Ilhan Omar Wrong?

On Sunday, February 10th, freshman Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional district sparked a major controversy with tweets about AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Kevin McCarthy was fiercely defending U.S. support for Israel, and Rep. Omar tweeted that “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” suggesting that his vehement support for Israel was a result of campaign donations. Connecting Israeli money and U.S. policy referenced a long-running facet of anti-Semitism, suggesting that Jewish money is the driving force behind the strength of the U.S.-Israel alliance. Democrats and Republicans…

Paul Ryan’s House

The Speaker was a public ally – and a private adversary – to the president.   After a month of the government in shutdown and a declaration of national emergency, Paul D. Ryan, the oft-considered inconsequential Speaker of the House, feels like a distant memory. Politics in the nation’s capital has trudged along, rendering Ryan dust in the wind of history’s heartless march forward. As the government returns to regular business, though, and the political tumult simmers temporarily, a legacy conversation is in order for the 20-year old congressional veteran…

The Pipe Dream of Donald Trump as “Uniter-in-Chief”

With approximately two years of the Trump presidency having already elapsed, most have, by this point, become more than familiar with the pattern of the new, Trump-driven news cycle.  Every few weeks, some kind of tragedy, controversy, or other drama will unfold, the president will inevitably make a tone-deaf or divisive remark which will briefly set the mainstream media in an uproar, and then the next scandal begins.  So the cycle goes on and on like a Mobius strip.  Every time such a situation makes the headlines, discussion regularly turns…

The Problem with Public Schools: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go

Of all government-funded projects and services, the public education system is one of the most important – and not just for individual students. Access to a robust public education gives students lifelong skills, increased job prospects, and a greater likelihood of future family stability and financial independence. In the aggregate, a more educated population (on the local, city, state, and national levels) leads to improved public health, civic engagement, and economic prosperity, as well as reduced crime and unemployment.  Undeniably, public education has the power to help everyone.  For many…

America: Land of the Unfree

Conjure an image of ninth graders, fourteen-year-olds who have just barely entered high school, putting tape over their laptop webcams in an effort to thwart U.S. government spies. When I was in ninth grade, this trend was all the rage. Many of us feared that the FBI agent “personally assigned” to us would snitch on us for going on Facebook during class. Most students did this as a joke, but some of my slightly less-informed peers surmised that the government could – and would even bother to – watch them…