An Open Letter To Our Candidates

An Open Letter To Our Candidates

Please stop behaving like children
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Dear presidential and vice presidential candidates,

I've been following the debates lately. They're painful to watch. Tonight I went to a debate at my college. A student who planned on voting for each of the four candidates (that's right, third party candidates actually got to debate), talked about their candidate's views and why they were choosing to vote for that person.

This debate was also painful, but mainly because four college students behaved more politely and maturely than any of you have managed to do. Nobody interrupted. Nobody talked over the other speakers. Nobody droned "wrong" into the microphone. Everyone respected the allotted time limits for speaking and rebuttal. Nobody ignored and talked over the moderator. There were a few occasions when speakers would address questions by bashing other candidates, but for the most part it was all very civilized. It was quite refreshing.

But it was also pathetic. Why?

It's pathetic because it's ridiculous that four college students gave a more rational, civilized, policy-oriented debate than any I have heard yet.

Mrs. Clinton, and Mr. Trump, you are competing to be the leader of our country. A country. An entire nation. One of you will likely be in charge. I don't mean to discount Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, but this rant is primarily directed at the two primary candidates and their running mates. People who cannot go an hour and a half without acting childish and immature towards their opponents have no place being in these debates, or running for these offices at all.

It is frustrating to continually hear you bash each other, avoid questions, ramble on about insignificant and irrelevant topics. Some are more prone to this than others *cough* Trump and Kaine *cough,* but it's irritating all around.

I don't care about the email scandal. If I hear the words "tax returns" one more time I may have to flip a table. Talk about policy. Talk about plans. Talk about something besides how corrupt the other person is. Stop using racist, misogynistic rhetoric to try to obtain my vote. Stop using hate and fear to try to tell me what I should believe.

Stop answering questions by saying what should have happened in the past. Address the current situation. Stop blaming previous administrations for problems that we have. Does it really matter that much? It could have been better, but it isn't. We are where we are. I want to hear solutions, not blame-shifting. Basically just stop the behavior that you've currently exhibited and start behaving in a manner that is acceptable in a potential president or vice president of the United States. Again, this applies more to some of you than others.

I'm so fed up with politics this election cycle. I'm frustrated. I don't want to vote for any of you, but I feel obligated to vote as a citizen who is affected by the outcome. But I'm tired of tuning in to debates to try to figure out what's going to happen to this country only to smack my forehead onto a table in defeat.

I'm tired of having to choose between candidates that I don't even remotely support or like. I'm tired of having to watch you have childish battles on national television, and feeling that my time would be better spent doing a finger painting of a chicken nugget. At least the painting would be respectful of a moderator. Basically I'm just done, and I'm not the only one.

So, to Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine, Donald Trump, and Mike Pence (in differing amounts), I'm begging you. Please just stop. Stop the ridiculous antics. You're making our country into a laughing-stock, more so than it already is. You're alienating voters, and making me distrust each of you more with every word you say. Stop debating like two siblings trying to get the other in trouble with a parent and start acting with at least some semblance of decorum and dignity. At least pretend you have some.

Sincerely,

A seriously fed-up voter

Cover Image Credit: Washington Post

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.

rahma
rahma
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These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.

rahma
rahma

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