If Cardi B Can Is Qualified To Talk Politics, We All Are

If Cardi B Is Qualified Enough To Speak On The Government Shutdown, Then There's Nothing Stopping Me Either

I didn't think I was qualified, but I guess we're past that now.

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I'm just a teenager with minimal insight into the government and the shutdown. Like most people my age, I get the bulk of my news from Twitter, which is an echo chamber of funny people with views similar to mine. I am really in no position to talk about anything other than my opinion on the position we're in as Americans and how politics affect me personally.

For that reason, I was hesitant to write or say anything at all about this partial government shutdown.

Then I saw that Cardi B posted a video where she slammed the government and complained about federal workers not receiving pay for the work they've been doing. She said we should take action, but she doesn't know what kind of action because this isn't what she does.

So, I decided that if Cardi B can call this country a "hell hole" and spark up conversations between senators and gain attention and respect, then I can say what I think. I'm in college, so I've had intellectual discussions in classes with scholars and I'm learning how to decipher what is factual information.

Although most of my news does come from Twitter, that's where Trump makes most of his addresses, or rants, or tantrums, or whatever people are calling them now, so I think it's acceptable. Sometimes I don't give myself enough credit because of how people act toward people my age, but I have been paying attention. And like Cardi B, I don't love what I've seen. It's getting personal for so many Americans, as we watch our families work without pay and continue to see children separated at the border.

It's not a good look for us.

I'm not an expert, but this is what I know: President Trump has been demanding about $6 billion for the building of a wall at the border of Mexico as means of border security. To the president, the current border security and immigration policies aren't cutting it.

At the end of December, a new spending bill was passed by the House. It included the $5 billion Trump was seeking, which is more than what the Senate planned for. So, the senators unanimously approved a bill to let the government run until Feb. 3.

Trump said he wouldn't sign the spending bill unless it had money for a wall, and was prepared to partially shut down the government if he was denied it.

It sounds like the shutdown was anticipated in a way. Trump has to know he isn't taken very seriously and would thus be questioned and potentially denied. And he was.

So, Donald Trump is officially the first president to shut down his own government.

It was expected that the government would remain partially shut down through the holidays until the House of Representatives was flipped on Jan. 3, but it's been about a month and neither Democrats or Republicans are blinking.

Federal workers have to do their jobs without pay. Families are finding odd ways to make ends meet. Trump is proving his incompetence for the umpteenth time, which has got to be embarrassing, even for him. He's finding ways to punish Democrats, like taking away Nancy Pelosi's trip abroad. Even Clemson's championship-winning football team had to sit through a candlelit dinner of fast food because a better meal couldn't be provided. As funny as I think that is because Clemson is my rival school, it's pathetic and sad.

That's everything I've learned about the shutdown just in passing; since it isn't a lot, I have questions.

Why do we suddenly need a wall? Why are we supposed to feel threatened by immigrants? How many immigrants are actually illegal, and where do most illegal immigrants come from? Would an expensive and timely wall help the situation? And most importantly, do we just have an extra $5 billion lying around? If there is all that extra money, couldn't it go to something more positive than a wall?

Because I'm curious, I looked into finding answers. And about every answer or solution I found is intertwined in another.

First and foremost, people are threatened by immigrants for economic reasons. This is extremely paradoxical because a wall would put us in even more debt. Solving one problem would lead to another. We obviously don't have an extra $5 billion for a wall. In fact, the U.S. is $21 trillion in debt, and that number is constantly climbing. This is why senators of both parties didn't want to pass the original spending bill, but as they always do, they were willing to put some money toward some sort of border security.

Another reason people are threatened by immigrants is that they feel as though their jobs are in jeopardy. I hear this constantly in my day to day life. Not in so many words, because the people I know who say it aren't really the most intelligent and are certainly not very eloquent speakers.

Just based on what I personally have seen, immigrants who come here are usually desperate and seeking asylum because where they come from isn't safe. Meaning, they will take whatever jobs they can get and they work their asses off at them because they don't take an opportunity for granted.

Usually, they are the jobs few Americans want. And ironically, the government shutdown is probably hitting the pockets of families of federal workers way harder than a few jobs "taken" by immigrant workers.

As for statistics on immigration, it's hard to say how many immigrants cross the border from Mexico illegally. However, as of 2016, there were 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. That is only 3.3% of the total population, which is a 13% decline from 2007. And of the 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants, only about half were from Mexico. Therefore, spending $5 billion on a wall that would take forever to build to solve a problem that is decreasing anyway seems insane to me.

I've never felt personally victimized by immigrants because I'm confident in my ability to work, and if somebody ever beats me out for a position it's probably because they're just better. That's why I work hard. I won't point fingers at anyone just trying to have the best life they can. I will, however, place blame when the president throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants, then handpicks who gets the short end of whatever stick he decides to pull so that it works for him and the people on his side.

I live in an America where qualifications don't matter anymore.

We have a president who had no experience in politics and arguably has no idea what he's doing.

A rapper can gain attention and respect for talking about politics in the most informal way. That's why I won't hesitate anymore to open myself up to politics and talking about it.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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