5 Steps To Talk About Politics After Inauguration

5 Steps To Talk About Politics After Inauguration

The election may be over, but in 2017, discussing politics should be productive and clear.

With a few days until the inauguration of our new president, politics have become a sore thumb to deal with, even with the new year trying to erase all that away. Considering that, 2017 may be even more polarizing than the last with the inauguration, continuing discussions over how Brexit should be approached, more elections within Europe, and how to combat the refugee crisis in the Middle East.

Talking about issues like these may sound easy, but as we’ve seen through comment sections and protests, it’s hard to approach it with a clear mind.

Some of us would advocate for fighting these threats off and resisting everything...

..while others seem perfectly content to bow their heads and let politics continue on its course.

When these two forces combine, sparks fly in a bad way. It descends into flames and somebody gets hurt. Nothing is mentioned again.

But in such a world of frequent polarization and unsubstantiated claims, one may have to look to the entire sphere of politics to form a coherent opinion.

    Recognize your own biases: Personally, I have liberal political beliefs; this is further strengthened by the location I am in. Therefore, it would be easier for me to fall back into the same websites and the same people to discuss about issues. But chances are, that would leave dry discussions in one’s wake.Therefore, I give credit towards who attend university in different locations where their views may not be welcomed. It gives some perspective.The point is that everyone has a political allegiance; the important thing is to not use that as a monolithic starting point. Check them every time before you say something is “true”, because these beliefs were forged over time and may not be always correct.

    Back these biases up with research: As seen with the dossier released by Buzzfeed last week, if there’s no quantifiable evidence for a particular claim, then it would be better just to say it’s not true, or at least wait until there’s more evidence to convict.

    In this environment of fake news, an opinion with unsubstantiated evidence is more dangerous than having no opinion at all. That indicates one may have beliefs so strong, or so stubborn, they couldn’t listen to the truth.

    So we should find articles from all across the political spectrum with evidence and clear interpretations of it, or reasons why it’s not false.

    Listen! Clichéd, but true. If we want to get a pulse on what a person thinks and why they think it as a possible idea, then taking a moment to listen wouldn’t hurt. And how do you expect for someone to listen to you if you keep pointing out their flaws?Keep Calm…and carry on, if something punctures your argument. There’s nothing worse in a discussion than storming out if you think something has quaked your view point. It just highlights the possible intolerance one party has for another. This is not to say that one person is representative for all the party members; it’s just to show a person has respect for another political party. On the other hand… If a view clearly hurts another person, call them out. This is not about hurt feelings. This is about those whose ideas of policies could impact those for the negative. This could be as small as restrictions on voting to as large as declaring war. When we focus on governmental policy, one must look at the most vulnerable impacted by them. Because at the end of the day, the government should work for all citizens.
Cover Image Credit: https://dasa.ncsu.edu/urec-collaborates-with-campus-partners-to-provide-finals-survival-week-events/

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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News Flash: 'Building The Wall' Is Still A Dumb Idea And Always Will Be

The government is still partially shutdown because of funding for the wall. Really?


A man who is a strong supporter of building the wall told me this metaphor: If you don't want the wrong people walking into your backyard, you put a fence up. We don't want the wrong people coming to America, so we put a wall up. I respect people's political beliefs, and because of this, I want to share mine.

I believe that President Trump demanding money to build a border wall is dumb.

It's hard to believe so many people really think that this "build a wall" has everything to do about border security. It's just inhumane and wrong.

Literally, the most notorious drug lord of Mexico has shed light about how he smuggles the drug into the U.S. They have brought it through fishing boats, trucks going through the legal point of entry, underground tunnel, but not through unwalled parts. The half of million pounds of narcotics that were secured at the border? They were all al legal points of entry.

I'm saying this because I am a proud daughter of immigrants who crossed the border. The media has portrayed immigrants as these horrible people infiltrating our country. They just want somewhere safe to live to raise their kid.

The conditions of Latin American countries are inexplicable. Communist have risen from the ashes dominating these countries letting people rot on the street starving. There are little to no job opportunities. I haven't seen my family in three years because it is dangerous to go.

The media doesn't tell you this. They don't tell you how many people have gone to the border and returned to Mexico because ICE agents tear gas them.

They tell you that they throw babies over fences to distract border patrol agents. They tell you children are dying because of malnutrition of trekking thousands of miles to get the border. They don't tell you that those same children have been eating unmonitored food with thousands of microorganism some mal some good.

Not all immigrants are not bad people. The notions that all immigrants are criminals is "fake news." It has been a hook, line, and sinker for the Republican Party. There are studies such as one from the journal Criminology showing that places with high undocumented immigrant population does not equal high crime.

Should undocumented citizens attempt to become legal residents of the United States? Absolutely, and that is a problem if they are evading taxes and other legal notions with more consequences.

However, we should not lie to ourselves and act as a wall is to help border security against drugs and crime. It's just a physical quota like 1920s immigration laws. There is a better solution then sacrificing 5.7 billion dollars. Let me translate that: 5,700,000,000 dollars. That is our taxes. As a college student, I rather have those 5.7 billion dollars be translated to scholarship, grants, financial aid, and helping us, the future of this country become the best people we can be. Why build a wall when the future of America, who I personally think is more important can be helped.

I don't come from a rich family, and I don't have the means to afford a college education without loans, so when I hear that the Government can afford to give 5.7 billion dollars for a wall, I have the right to be upset. Tell me I'm wrong, and call me dumb, but this is my unpopular opinion.


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