The Party of Trump

On July 19, 2016 presumptive Republican nominee Donald J. Trump seized control of the Grand Old Party. His fringe populism was expected to dictate the party’s ebb and flow for the remainder of the general election, but the party’s long-term destiny would still be in the hands of the Republican establishment. Although wary of a Trumpian overthrow, the logic within the establishment class went something like this: give Trump his desired treasure, reign in his frivolities, and puppeteer him as a vehicle for driving a conservative agenda. Trump won his…

Conservative Provocation and the Assault on Free Speech

Free speech is a cornerstone of our democracy, and a college education must herald free speech by exposing students to new ideas that challenge their own convictions. A few weeks ago, a “Free Speech Week” was cancelled at Berkley University amidst logistical confusion. The event, organized by a young Conservative student group, was headlined by conservative provocateurs Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, and Steve Bannon. Despite the event falling apart, protests ensued, highlighting the polarization of political views on campus and a burgeoning movement against provocation disguised as free speech.    …

Trump’s War on Expression

A few weeks ago, President Donald J. Trump proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In the same breath, he indicated he wanted to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides essential revenues to PBS and NPR (National Public Radio). Then, only a week ago, his administration announced that they planned to repeal net neutrality provisions that had been signed into law a few years ago, which would greatly restrict people’s ability to use vast parts of the Internet unless they…

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…

A State of (Dis)Union

To the incredulity of some, there was a pervading call for unity in President Trump’s first joint address to Congress. Trump proposed furthering a bipartisan agenda with talks of immigration reform and a new infrastructure bill. Within Congress, Trump stated that Republicans and Democrats should “join forces and finally get the job done,” because, ultimately, they “should get together and unite for the good of our country, and for the good of the American people.” The morning after, Republicans littered the networks with adulation, thereby solidifying their support for the…

Management Failures & Dysfunction: The New Trump Administration

While he was still running for office, President Trump repeatedly made it clear that he’d be hiring the best talent possible to fill his administration’s positions and that he wasn’t limited, as he claimed other Republicans were, because of the nature of his self-funded campaign. His self-proclaimed management skills were a key theme among the voters that propelled him into the presidency, and the expectation was that Trump, when in office, would surround himself with a top-tier administration of the best and brightest. What’s materialized instead is perhaps the most…

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…