Where Are All the Moderates? Conservative Republicans and Moving Goalposts

In recent months, a certain narrative has taken hold in the media about Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan, it seems, was poised to counter Trump. The rumblings began near the Republican National Convention, with some Republicans hoping for a coup that would replace presumptive nominee Trump with the “moderate” Ryan. Once Trump won the election, the strength of this narrative grew. As Speaker, he was held up to be a balance, a centrist opponent who could challenge or even curb Trump’s more right-wing ideas. Paul Ryan was the moderate savior of…

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…

Donald Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of New Fascism

In the aftermath of the Second World War, we told ourselves: “Never again.” Standing in the rubble of London and in the ashes of Hiroshima, we swore that we would not allow a conflict of this scale to proliferate again. The generation that had seen the rise of fascism and genocide, of dangerous nationalism and xenophobia, vowed that we would not stand by and do nothing in the face of the Hitlers and Mussolinis of the world. They promised. And now, their children and their children’s children are breaking that…

The Electoral College after 2016

A divided nation produced an astonishingly divided result in the presidential election on Nov. 8. While Donald Trump, the billionaire business magnate, captured enough Electoral College votes to secure the presidency, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earned more popular votes. Currently, she stands over two million votes ahead of the president-elect. This occurrence illustrates a divide between urban and rural America, which received little focus leading up to the general election. The Electoral College, as defined by the National Archives, was established by the founding fathers “as a compromise…

What’s Left For the Democratic Party

The world’s oldest active political party now faces a historic identity crisis after Donald Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton two weeks ago. In hindsight, this ideological void should not have been completely unexpected given Bernie Sanders’ strong challenge against Clinton for the party’s nomination during the primaries. But it was the general consensus among party leaders that any healing of wounds inflicted as a result of party infighting would be tempered by the fact that one of their own would be stewarding the ship of state while the kinks…

Truth, Relativism, and the News Media: How Donald Trump Was Elected

“How did this happen?” This is the question roughly half of the country is asking in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. How did a candidate, who nearly every analyst deemed unelectable, prove everyone wrong? Some point to the political polarization plaguing the country as the answer. But this is not satisfactory. Trump’s success may be a symptom of this polarization, but to understand the problem, one must understand the primary cause of polarization itself. Indeed, the polarization that is currently hampering political discourse in the United States existed…

It’s Morning in America

Donald Trump’s shocking win last Tuesday was a seismic blow to the American political establishment of the past eight years. His victory completely gutted the mainstream polling industry, shattered the expectations of nearly every political pundit, and signified the largest juxtaposition between any two administrations in the modern era. For conservatives, Trump’s electoral landslide victory represents a chance to begin anew after enduring eight stormy years of the most liberal administration in contemporary times. A conservative administration, supplemented by Republican majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate…

With the Two-Party System Reaffirmed, Onus on Democrats to Bridge Divide

Throughout the 2016 election, political pundits claimed that the American people were growing disillusioned with the two-party system. These assertions came as a godsend for many American voters; 60 percent of Americans believe a third-party is necessary for adequate representation, according to Gallup.   Yet, if there was one overarching truth to the 2016 presidential election, it was that all prophetic presumptions were trumped-up miscues. The 2016 presidential election only reaffirmed the two-party system. In an election where the two-party system was seemingly on the chopping block due to a…