The Truth Behind Phony Outrage

In July 2016, the North Carolina legislature passed the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act—more commonly known as House Bill 2—which forbids individuals from using bathrooms that do not match their birth gender. The bill, which was signed into law by governor Patrick McCrory on March 23, bans local governments from enacting anti-discrimination policies or setting their own minimum wage laws, but is best known for its stipulation regarding bathroom usage. According to McCrory, it was enacted to reinforce state authority over local government and defend standards of public decency,…

How the Confirmation Process of Judge Gorsuch is Entirely Political

Following Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court on January 31, a predictably polarizing debate ensued. While the Constitution requires an independent judiciary, judicial appointments, especially to the highest Court in the nation, have become partisan battles. Judge Gorsuch undoubtedly possesses the academic and professional credentials to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Court, yet the history behind this particular vacancy ensures a hostile confirmation process. Considering President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland this past year was denied any Senate hearings due to Republican obstruction, it is…

All Joking Aside: The SNL Effect

To many Americans, the political field is dull, divisive and plain ugly. For forty-two years, Saturday Night Live (SNL) has transformed the inner workings of politics into something that Americans find relatable, humorous, and ultimately engaging. With its witty and satirical depictions of presidential politics, this season of SNL has thoroughly captured the essence of the 2016 presidential election. It has seen record-shattering viewing figures: A recent skit featured Melissa McCarthy impersonating White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on his first day. Matching Spicer’s stroppy conversational style and donning his…

The Fourth Estate Under Siege

It is no great secret that the Trump administration has focused significant attention on attacking the news media. Repeatedly and publicly, Trump and his surrogates have critiqued news outlets, kept respected sources out of the White House, refused to appear on networks, and proclaimed with growing intensity the existence of “fake news”. If the intent is to create distrust of the media, then Trump seems to be succeeding. A recent Pew Research poll found that 64% of Americans say fake news causes “a great deal of confusion.” Indeed, some of…

Is Trump the New Reagan?

America has always been a nation of narratives. From Manifest Destiny to the American Dream, the stories we tell about ourselves have come to define not simply our culture but our politics as well. Since the Jacksonian Revolution, this myth-making, this populist penchant for following a cult of personality, has been a consistent factor in American life, but perhaps never more so than in the past election. Donald Trump has created a personal brand like few presidents in history, using his celebrity status for political ends like no one else…

The Dangers of Historical Revisionism

This past week, Yale University announced plans to rename one of its residential halls bearing the namesake of John C. Calhoun, a nineteenth century statesman and passionate defender of slavery. This decision comes in the wake of the growing controversy surrounding the administration’s initial pledge to keep the name as a biting reminder of our nation’s past transgressions to teach future students about all we’ve had to overcome. Despite its initial pledge, Yale swiftly reversed course and conceded to the demands of those who wish to see every blemish of…

President Trump’s Economic Resolution

Newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump has a prime opportunity, with a Republican-controlled House and Senate, to be an advocate for the significant economic reforms that our country desperately needs. Since the Great Recession, the economy has been limping along, exhibiting anemic growth that is both shameful yet unsurprising. In fact, president Barack Obama is the first president without a single year of 3% GDP growth during his administration. Continuing the overall trend of an ever-increasing presence of the federal government meddling in our economy whether it be through regulations, mandates, price…

Fear Itself: Why Donald Trump’s “America First” Mantra is a Euphemism for “America Only”

Standing in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump declared, “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America first.” Commensurate with his campaign rhetoric, this proclamation was followed by a description of the actors who have eroded American power under his predecessors’ rule: foreigners, the establishment, other nations, and a globalized economy. The Trump Administration’s guiding principle of “America first” is problematic for two reasons: it will not lead to the desired effect…