Why Representation Matters

If you are a straight, white, cisgender, able-bodied man or woman, it is likely that you have never given diversity much thought because you have always been represented. You have always shopped in a store, turned on the TV, or read a book wherein the names and faces match what you see when you look in the mirror. For many people, this is not reality. Occasionally LGBT and non-white people are given a bone – as if to say, “here, now stop complaining” – but the amount of times in…

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…

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…

A Unique Election Season in the Age of Social Media

I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about the 2016 election. After all, it’s all around us, permeating our conversations, splashed on the front page of every newspaper, and receiving constant television coverage. For months we’ve been unable to escape the constant onslaught of speculations on who will win and how, and talk is unlikely to slow now that there’s been such a stunning reversal of expectations with Donald Trump’s victory. In fact, I bet your social media platforms are especially saturated with election coverage. Scroll through Facebook and what was…

Donald Trump is an Existential Threat to Democracy

At a Florida rally in mid-October, Republican nominee Donald J. Trump announced that “this election will determine whether we are a free nation or whether we have only an illusion of democracy … our system is rigged. This is reality.” But the true, unnerving reality is the danger that Trump poses to the legitimacy of American democracy. Over the past month, Trump has continuously eschewed our democratic institutions. Onslaught after onslaught, tirade after tirade, Trump has offered a menacing view of the institutions that Americans have valued for 240 years.…

Don’t be fooled. Trump loves the media

As the Trump campaign continues to face roadblocks that would normally encumber a presidential nominee’s road to the White House, the business-mogul-turned-politician has accused the media of conspiring against him to deny him the seat in the Oval Office. His crusade against the media, and the democratic institution itself, climaxed in the third debate when he told the nation that he might be unwilling to accept the terms of the election granted a Clinton victory. Since then, Trump’s attacks on the media have run unabated. But does the Republican nominee…

Women in Politics: Obstacles Hindering Their Climb to Success

“I’m going to go into politics.” I’ve said this many times to family, friends, coworkers, and new acquaintances. While many people have expressed support and plan to vote for me when I run for office, others doubt my ability as a woman to lead. Whether or not I end up in the White House, I want more than anything to serve in public office and fix what is broken in our country. Because of these goals, I have worked hard to set myself on a path to success. Yet, I…