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…

Trump’s Withdrawal From International Agreements Makes the Nation Worse Off

Since his inauguration in January 2016, President Donald Trump has repeatedly withdrawn the United States from international, multilateral agreements. He claims withdrawal from such agreements is to the benefit of the United States; he is wrong. Withdrawal from such agreements is to the detriment of the United States’ standing as an international leader. According to the international relations theory of liberalism, international order is produced and maintained through processes of repetitive interdependent relationships among global participants. This school of thought asserts that an international balance of power is needed to…

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…

Sustainable Development No Longer a Focus as Trump Administration Battles Multilateralism at the United Nations

2018 marks the third year since the United Nations launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The agenda set forth 17 goals for the international community to reach by the year 2030. Among these are the ambitious objectives to end hunger and poverty. With total buy-in from world leaders, many of the goals and their respective “indicators” (smaller, more targeted goals) could be achieved in the remaining years of the commitment. Unfortunately, progress on achieving the SDGs is hindered by the ongoing struggle of the Trump Administration to define the role of the…

The Shroud of Objectivity

Racialized immigration has reentered the contemporary national discourse following Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and his “Muslim Ban.” Trump’s immigration policies, like “family separation” and the Muslim Ban, call for the exclusion of “undesirable” immigrant groups with appeals to order and national security; this exclusion, he argues, is a logical and impersonal precaution which serves the nation’s best interest. However, these appeals to order prove insincere when he and others effectively describe the citizens of the targeted nations as “lesser,” “untrustworthy” racial groups. Trump’s immigration policies and corresponding justifications echo the…

Right-Wing Extremism is the Most Dangerous Threat to American Democracy

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Pastor Martin Niemoller, Holocaust survivor (1955) On October 27th, 11 people were murdered and six were injured in the…

Khashoggi, Trump, and Threats to the Press

Few would call President Donald Trump a “friend of the press.” From the advent of the phrase “fake news” to yelling at reporters in press conferences, the president has fostered one of the tensest relationships with the media that America has ever seen. However, this painful association was taken to a new level in the past month with the disappearance and death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was a native Saudi, who left his country in 2017 to continue writing in DC and to avoid the suppression of…

Pink, White, and Blue: The Most Recent Transgender Fight

The LGBT community has made great strides in the past few years with the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, as well as the growing visibility and awareness of LGBT issues.  However, the community does still face discrimination and ignorance, and the latest example of this is the reckless fervor with which the Trump administration is attempting to roll back rights.  The Department of Health and Human Services is currently trying to establish an “explicit and uniform” definition of gender.  According to a memo obtained by the New York Times that…