I'm A Christian, And I'm Voting Democrat This Election

I'm A Christian, And I'm Voting Democrat This Election

I personally prefer candidates who actually hold town halls and rallies over incumbents who ghost us.

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Alabama is currently in the bottom 4 for overall state ranking. With the midterm elections soon upon us, we have plenty of positions to fill in Alabama. Governor, representatives for state and districts, Public Service Commision, the list goes on. I have been raised in a Baptist church my whole life, but I'm voting blue for this election and all others to come.

For Governor, we have Democrat Walt Maddox and Republican Kay Ivey Both Christians, but only one treats people the way the bible tells us to. As you can see, Walt Maddox is clearly the only candidate with an actual plan for Alabama. From Education to Public Saftey, Walt Maddox has a plan. We have not seen the same from Kay Ivey. I've also been able to recently go to a campaign rally that he held at Troy University and I and many other students were able to ask questions and he gave informed and detailed answers. Still waiting for that debate, Governor Ivey.

Moving on, we have Democrat Tabitha Isner and Republican Martha Roby for Congress; more specifically, District 2. Again, with the Republican vagueness. Tell us your actual plan. It's not that hard. Also, Tabitha Isner is an ordained minister and her husband is a pastor! I recently got to meet her in Union Springs for a high school homecoming parade. She's also visited Troy University several times. I also have volunteered on occasion and she is just a joy to be around! There's been nothing on Martha Roby's side.

For Public Service Commision (yes, that's a thing), we have three places. Place 1 and 2 are up for election. For place 1, we have Democrat Cara McClure and Republican Jeremy Oden. The Montgomery Advertiser had an interview with each candidate and Cara McClure was the only candidate that talked about the issues. Alabama is currently number 2 in electricity bills and number 4 for overall energy bills.

For Place 2, we have Democrat Kari Powell and Republican Chip Beeker. Okay, now this is just frustrating. It really bothers me that both Republican candidates for PSC don't even have their own website and are super vague about the issues. However, Cara McClure and Kari Powell have actually teamed up and are running together! Both were able to visit Walt Maddox's campaign rally here at Troy and told us about issues that I didn't even know had happened and were still happening. They both told us their plan for Alabama and how to help fix the problems.

These are just the ones that have been posted all over my college's campus. There are plenty of other seats to fill and to save everyone the time and trouble, this link will show you all the amendments to vote for and positions up for election. This has been set to Troy University's location.

If you don't get anything else out of this, it's to VOTE. Exercise your most basic right as an American and VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

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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.
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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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President Trump’s Wall Is Not A Solution, It Causes More Harm Than You Think

After the second government shutdown since Donald Trump's inauguration, immigrants and opponents of the wall are not the only ones suffering.

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At this time of writing this, the government has been shut down for 19 days. Friday will be the first day that workers in one of the affected organizations will not receive a paycheck. Children on free lunch programs will have gone without this service for 19 days. Families on food stamps are unable to receive one of the most necessary and basic human rights. This is not an emotional tangent, but rather a reasonable suggestion to our government to do their jobs. Both political sides can be seen at fault, as a negotiation usually occurs between dissenting opinions. However, compromises are made through understanding and reasoning.

However, while our government converses about their views on the proposed wall, I will offer mine. With a price tag of $5 billion to construct, this is not a cheap and short-term project. Building this "border" will take money out of every American's pocket; our government simply does not have $5 billion in a savings account. Funding may occur in the form of taxes, which is already a system that has been reformed and looked over time and time again. If the administration follows through with their prior statements, then funding may also come from the budgets of other existing agencies. Additionally, since President Trump is a man of maximalism, the construction of a wall will impede on residential lives for those who live along the southern border. This affects major cities and towns such as San Diego, El Paso, and San Luis.

In a capitalist country where money and finances are a concern, there are many agencies that would thrive if they could obtain a fraction of this billion dollar proposal.

Schools need funding. The criminal justice system and public defenders need funding. Women's health services, like Planned Parenthood, need funding (Planned Parenthood has stated that government money does not get used in abortion services). Did you know that Planned Parenthood only receives $500 million for their annual budget, which is 1/10th of the wall's budget? With a fraction of this budget, you could fund a project to provide clean and safe drinking water across the world. The governmental funding for the Environmental Protection Agency has been halved, and it is now less than the budget for this wall. Humanitarian services need funding. We could help the homeless and build walls… four walls for a shelter, that is. Remember Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria? There are still people without power- our government is responsible and needs money to aid these citizens.

I understand that people want stricter security and immigration services. A wall is not a solution. Airplanes exist- people can fly over the wall. Boats exist- traveling to America via water occurs. Building a power symbol cannot solve a "national emergency," as Donald Trump believes; the national emergency lies in the suffering Americans who will be impacted by the attempts to get this wall built.

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