A Call To Arms

A Call To Arms

The only way to keep Washington in check is a coordinated effort from media outlets and journalists everywhere to inform the people.
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Journalism-- it is what we say we are doing on this website, right? I don't mean to bash anyone, but a listicle? Sure, they make you feel good for a while, but that next week you need another one to get your fix on new followers. If you find fulfillment in your friends and your Aunt Edna knowing whom you think the hottest males in movies were this year (Ryan Gosling, am I right?) that is fine.

More worrying, it feels like a majority of my generation now gets their news from Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert. Don't get me wrong-- they have their place and they make great points, but getting all of your news from a satire is just lazy. We as a country used to get our news from journalists and anchors. People like Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather come to mind.

Sadly, our generation refuses to weed out people we do not need to hear. Just look at Tomi Lahren's videos, which have 10 million views. I realize most of them are laughing at her anger, but that laughter obviously didn't translate at the polls.

Our generation now makes up the largest percent of the population in this country and yet Donald Trump is still president. I have been described in the North Country as being a "Bleeding Heart Liberal" and, while I lean to the left, I would not completely identify as a Democrat. I identify as a person ruled by common sense, especially when it comes to being governed. Like many Republicans, I do believe the government is too big in certain areas.

However, just like Democrats, I believe that common sense gun laws are the only way for our country to be safer. That's right, I said safer… not safe. No one is ever truly safe. 32,675 people died in car crashes in 2014, and that number went up in 2015, according to the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is 89 lives per day, or about one every 15 minutes. That means in a standard 45-50-minute college lecture, three more people have died in car crashes. Would a concealed weapon help them? Anyone that guarantees you total safety is either trying to sell you something or is flat out lying. People can be safer by being informed and getting news from not only Trevor Noah but credible news sources as well.

There is a huge block in the way of America becoming informed of its own issues and it has to do with journalism as a whole. Journalism, as we know it today, is a popularity contest with content being driven by how many likes and shares it gets. Do you think Tomi Lahren has that nice set because no one watches? While people rage on and spin their wheels in the muck, we forget to ask the real questions. Why has no one talked to Trump about his failure to divest from his company? We forget that our prospective Attorney General has repeatedly been accused of racism. Donald Trump and his pussy- grabbing “locker room talk” completely overshadowed his worrying lack of real policy. The new iPhone may impact your life in a second, but it takes a spot behind Donald Trump having the power to impact your life for generations to come. He could have the power to appoint not only one, but two Supreme Court justices.

The only way to keep Washington in check is a coordinated effort from media outlets and journalists everywhere to inform the people. We need to send a message to not only Donald Trump, but to the whole world that we as a society will not sit blindly in the sidelines. Americans must make a conscious decision to become more involved and in turn hold our politicians to a higher standard.

That higher standard starts with journalism the electorate can trust and a rededication to the issues that matter by the media. For our own sake, our children's sake and frankly our country's sake, we need to change how we get our news. One of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, wrote, "A well-informed electorate is a prerequisite for democracy." Jefferson knew from the start that corruption would be inevitable, but trusted in the power of the press to inform the people of the corruption.

In a couple of years, we will have to ask ourselves if we are comfortable caring more about the iPhone in our hand, or the fact that defunding Planned Parenthood has led to more teen pregnancies due to not having the resources for contraceptives. We as a society have to weigh whether our own instant gratification is worth ignoring why Russia was allowed to hack into our government and affect the very democracy we love. We need to tap into that resolve that won us WWI, WWII, and put men on the moon. Journalism is a start and politicians can always be held to a higher standard whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, young or old. If we are to reach the lofty goals and expectations we have set for ourselves, we also must raise ourselves up as a society to set an example for the politicians and journalists.

Sources here and here.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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