Kim K's push for Clemency

Kim Kardashian-West And Political Influence?

Recently, Kim Kardashian has been advocating and engaging politically. Here's what she's done.

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You know her, you (may or may not) love her, the one and only Kim Kardashian-West ladies and gents. But, she is so much more than a social media queen and a reality star. Kim K has actually been pretty politically active recently. But why and how? What could Kim K possibly be doing politically?

Well after the political spotlight landed on the Kardashian-West household following the Kanye (Ye?) controversy, the couples political actions have become more of a mainstream conversation. Kim Kardashian-West seems to have very different political opinions then her husband does.

Back in 2015, Kim K posted a selfie on Twitter with Hillary Clinton, seemingly announcing her support for Clinton's campaign for the presidency. Later in October of 2016, her endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. She has posted about the Obamas and going to March for our Lives. But, the most recent of Kim K's political activity came out when she visited President Donald Trump in 2018. He posted about it on his twitter thanking her for coming and discussing prison reform and sentencing. Kim K has actually advocated for clemency and commuted sentences for a few people, two of whom became high-profile cases.

Cyntoia Brown caught the attention of the media with her extremely sad story. When she was 16 years old, she was sold and solicited for sex. She was abused and used for sex repeatedly. In an attempt to escape, she killed the man who "owned" her. Despite her killing the man out of self-defense, she was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in the year 2055 (about 51 years after sentencing). The story got national (if not international) attention. A few celebrities actually took it upon themselves to intervene and either have her sentence reviewed or for the governor to grant her clemency. Kim K was among the few who spoke out in support of Brown. After the publicity Kim K was able to get the case, Cyntoia Brown was actually granted clemency and is being released later on in the year!

Alice Marie Johnson was arrested and sentenced in 1996 for a nonviolent drug crime as a first offender. She was sentenced to LIFE in prison. Kim K found out about Alice Marie Johnson's case through a video that went viral online featuring Johnson herself telling her story, a story about how she just messed up and was desperate for money to support her family. Kim K felt drawn to the case and actually brought it to the attention of President Trump. The President ultimately contradicted his administration's harsh stance on drugs and drug crimes by granting clemency Alice Marie Johnson, one step short of pardoning her. President Trump even received criticism from people inside his administration who did not believe the sentence was too harsh for a first time nonviolent drug offense.

I must admit before I knew she was politically engaged, I did not pay attention to Mrs.Kardashian-West. But, she has been using her platform to help people and bring attention to issues that she finds important. It's truly wonderful to see celebrities now using their platforms to speak about things they find important. I hope Kim K keeps speaking her mind and standing up for people who don't have access to what she does. It's inspiring.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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